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Familiar faces among Nerit appointments

Questions raised about recruitment procedures

Permanent staff are being recruited to Nerit, the new state broadcaster, on the basis of objective criteria, such as university qualifications and language skills, as well as subjective criteria, through assessments of CVs and interviews with the candidates, which critics say allows for political interference

Concerns have been expressed over the procedures used to fill permanent positions at the new state broadcaster Nerit, with critics arguing that the process has allowed for considerable political involvement and interference in making appointments.

Among the cases being highlighted is that of a former Pasok MP who switched to New Democracy just before the 2012 elections, who has been awarded one of 16 sports reporting positions in Athens.

The names of 16 recruited sports reporters were published on August 8. Last month, the names of the new political correspondents were announced, six months after the positions were advertised. 

Many of the appointees worked at ERT, the state broadcaster shut down overnight by the government in June 2013, and at DT, an interim station set up while Nerit was being established. 

The recruitment procedure is being conducted outside of the state’s relatively transparent hiring agency Asep and involves assessing objective criteria, such as university qualifications and language skills, as well as subjective criteria, through assessments of CVs and interviews with the candidates.

To date, the selections have already been made for political correspondents as well as sports reporters. Applications for the posts were submitted to a private company, Icap, which then provided Nerit management with lists of potential recruits.

According to TheToc.gr newsite, the evaluation of candidates’ CVs was conducted by a committee that included a former New Democracy MP, while participating in the panels that carried out the interviews with the prospective Nerit journalists was a former New Democracy trade unionist and a 92-year-old journalist.

Tables published by Nerit showing the marks received by candidates on the basis of their qualifications, their CVs and their performance in interviews. The data shows that the candidate for sports reporter with the best marks in terms of qualifications and languages (he has a bachelors and masters degree, proficiency certificates in English and French and certified computer skills) did comparatively poorly when his CV was evaluated.

On the other hand, Aria Agatsa, a former Pasok MP who later joined New Democracy, moved from 14th to 7th place overall on the strength of the evaluation of her CV and her performance at interview. Agatsa only has a primary degree, has no foreign language qualifications or certified computer skills, but does have work-related experience.

Political reporters

The Nerit tables also show that a journalist who at Nerit’s predecessor ERT once covered New Democracy in opposition and later the prime minister’s office after New Democracy took power came joint first in the interview stage, earning 950 out of a possible 1,000 points.

However, the reporter, Ioannis Troupis, has no university degree, only a certificate in English proficiency. Yet, his CV was ranked second, receiving 1,340 points out of a maximum of 1,500. A familiar face on state television, Troupis presented the first show on DT, the interim station set up in the aftermath of the government’s overnight shuttering of ERT.

Yiorgos Efthymiou, another political reporter who has also covered New Democracy in the past for ERT, also received 950 out of a possible 1,000 points in the interview.

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New Hellenic Radio Internet and Television (Nerit)