Media and Entertainment

In any culture, media plays an important role. Media provides entertainment and news whether it’s music, film, television, literature, or even a play. For millennia, the Greeks have been pioneers of media, and today that still holds true in the Greek enclave of Astoria.


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In Ancient Greece, there were many instances of media, not in the way we know it to be, but through the use of pigeon delivery, tablets and paper for writing, and oral communication for news and stories. News didn’t arrive within moments or even hours of it happening, and one would actually need to go out to an amphitheater to watch a play or listen to a concert.1

Today, using pigeons or a horn or even running miles from city to city aren’t necessary for the transport of media throughout Astoria and other communities like it. Cell Phones, television, radio, the internet, and print have become the dominant source of media and communication throughout the world. In Astoria, this is important because these technologies help to connect what’s happening in Greece thousands of miles away to the Greeks who live in America.

For news from Greece, there are tons of outlets online, in newspapers, or broadcast which help to facilitate everything going on back in the homeland to Greek-Americans. One such is the popular website the Greek Reporter, which was created in 2009 as an
effort to reach Greeks in the United States and internationally and give them a consolidated source of Greek news, feeling that there is a “Greece outside of Greece.”2 There’s also
Greek News Online, an American based newspaper which provides Greek news of all kinds, even having the articles written in Greek. Another revolution the internet provided is the database provided on which supplies links to dozens of region specific newspapers and articles from Greece, allowing Greek Americans to remain in the know of how their cities back home are doing. All of these sites allow the Greek community within Astoria to remain in contact with their home country instantaneously with the click of a button.

There are newspapers and websites specific to Astoria as well including the Astoria

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Times and Astoria Post. The stories found on these online papers adhere to the ongoings of Astoria itself as a community, not necessarily connecting to Greece. Events within Astoria are chronicled and advertised such as local politics, businesses, families, and community events. A physically printed newspaper is the National Herald, a newspaper which aims to bring Greek news to generations of Greeks in America.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Speaking of which, community events are also a huge source of media and entertainment for Astoria. Websites such as Why Leave Astoria and We Heart Astoria focus on compiling media events throughout the neighborhood, including those hosted by Greek and non-Greek associations, churches, and businesses. For instance, this month alone will have several cultural events including a production at the local Ophelia Theater, a party to celebrate the Council of the Arts, and an International Culture Festival to celebrate the melting pot of cultures that make up Astoria.3


Image courtesy of Jared Cox

In a local supermarket, there was a display of various DVDs, CDs, and books coming from all different cultures. Although most of the media found on that display were Greek, it really just goes to show the diversity of the neighborhood as well as literature’s role as a medium in sustaining the Greek heritage. The children’s media for sale also shows how even children born and raised in America still learn about and enjoy the heritage their parents were brought up with.

Astoria is also no stranger to broadcast media with the AKTINA Productions Inc. and New Greek TV. AKTINA provides a radio station on 95.1 FM as well as a television station on New York’s local channel 25, both being the first bilingual Greek and English broadcast stations in the area. AKTINA TV has many programs aiming to educate on Greek history and culture with cooking shows and documentaries, as well as news about Greek Americans and their communities, and public affairs.4 New Greek TV however has outsourced shows and movies straight from Greece, a live broadcast of a church mass each Sunday, news, and food and travel shows. As all three are based within Astoria, they provide the community with a unique Greek-American entertainment experience.5 There’s also ANT1 TV, or Antenna TV,  which runs over Antenna Satellite in the United States via the Dish Network. This helps to bring a variety of Greek program such as singing shows, news, and Greek-dubbed editions of American programming like True Blood and Grey’s Anatomy. ANT1 TV helps to bridge the gap between modern Greece and modern United States with instantaneous programming.

All of these assist the Greek community of Astoria to remain intact with their heritage, as well as with New York itself and the other cultures that surround them. Media brings the world and different cultures together and has only been transformed by technology.

Author: Jared Cox