PtG Article 24.10.2005

Third Greek sports journalist assaulted

Greece is rapidly becoming a very dangerous place for sports journalists. On 30 September 2005, sports journalist Periklis Stellas was brutally attacked by an unknown assailant – taking the number of sports journalists attacked in Greece up to three within the past year.

Periklis Stellas is the director of the Thessaloniki branch of the sports daily newspaper, Goal News, and according to information given to the Vienna-based South East Media Organisation he was attacked as he was leaving his office in the centre of town.

An unknown person hit him several times in the head and face, and he was left with a concussion, a fractured jawbone and other minor injuries. According to the police there were no eyewitnesses to the attack.

The recent attack highlights the growing dangers of critical sports journalism in general and sports journalism in Greece in particular. Play the Game has compiled a list of attacks on sports journalists in the period from 2000 to 2005 and Greece tops the list together with Colombia as places where being a sports journalist can bring you into serious trouble.

The other two sports journalists attacked in Greece within the past year are Kostas Nikolakopoulos and Filippos Syrigos. Filippos Syrigos has been invited to speak at Play the Game about the attack and how that might be connected to his journalism.

Fillipos Syrigos speaks on the opening day of the conference, Sunday 6 November, and the following day Aidan White, Secretary General of the International Federation of Journalists, will talk about safety measures for sports journalists.