In 2011, UNESCO proclaimed February 13 as World Radio Day. It is a celebration of radio as a powerful medium and its role in serving diverse communities of listeners worldwide and promoting their interests. To mark the occasion several partner radio stations held a debate on diversity and how it is reflected in their work. The debate was hosted by Radio Canada International and involved journalists from SWI Swiss.info, Radio Poland, Radio Romania International and Radio Prague International.
The Ferdinand Peroutka Prize for journalist of the year has gone to writer
and commentator Ondřej Štindl, who currently works as a columnist for the
news site and weekly Echo 24.
Štindl has also written two novels and several screenplays, two of which received the Czech Republic’s most prestigious film awards, the Czech Lions.
He received the prize in a ceremony at Prague’s DOX centre for contemporary art on Wednesday evening.
The award is named after František Peroutka, one of the most significant figures of Czech journalism, who died in exile in 1983.
UK journalist Misha Glenny is an expert on organised crime and cybersecurity and has written a number of books, including the hit title McMafia. He studied in Prague and did a lot of reporting from the city in the late 1980s, including during the Velvet Revolution. At present he also heads a committee guaranteeing the independence of editors and journalists at the Economia group, which publishes titles such as Hospodářské noviny and Respekt. Czech Radio’s Lenka Kabrhelová sat down with Misha Glenny recently and began by asking him about the nature
The richest Czech, Petr Kellner, is taking over the country’s most popular TV station, Nova. The purchase of Nova operator CME by Kellner’s PPF Group will also give it control of a number of other channels in the region. However, critics say the move is politically motivated and have warned of a new danger to press freedom. Among those voices is Josef Šlerka, director of the Foundation for Independent Journalism.
Scrutiny regarding the handling of funds by the country’s two public
broadcasters – Czech Television and Czech Radio – should be handled by
the politically independent Supreme Audit Office instead of Parliament,
according to a proposal submitted in the lower house by four Social
Democrat members of the Chamber of Deputies.
The proposal was made amid an ongoing dispute in the lower-house, where the Communists and the Freedom and Direct Democracy party are blocking approval of Czech Television’s annual budgets.
Czech Television stated via its social media that its management is already subject to a multi-level audit and that it would not be opposed to scrutiny from the Supreme Audit Office.
Public service media in Central Europe reflect growing populism in the region but are not the cause of it. That’s the view of New York Times CEO Mark Thompson, who was recently in Prague. Thompson shared his views on the media landscape in this region with Czech Radio’s Lenka Kabrhelová – and also explained a move to end Czech language broadcasting while he was director-general of the BBC.
Older people are the most vulnerable and targeted group in the Czech Republic when it comes to online disinformation, says Jaroslav Valůch. He is the head of the media education programme at Transitions Online, which runs media literacy courses around the country in cooperation with Elpida, a pro-seniors organisation. When Valůch visited our studios the conversation took in the specific kinds of fake news older Czechs encounter, how disinformation is poisoning intergenerational relations – and much more besides.
The Czech branch of the International Press Institute has called on MPs to exercise maximum responsibility in the choice of two new members of the council overseeing the Czech News Agency wire service. Respekt reported that in a first round of voting ANO backed an anti-Semitic candidate who looks likely to win a place in the second, a situation that has been condemned by the Federation of Jewish Communities. I discussed the journalists’ appeal with Michal Klíma, head of the International Press Institute in this country.
The Czech Republic has slid further down the press freedom index published
by the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders.
On a list on 180 countries, the Czech Republic now ranks 40th on the ladder, down from 34th the previous year.
In the press freedom index for 2014 the country ranked 12th in the world.
The US has also seen a marked slide and now ranks 48th, while press freedom is thriving in Norway, Finland, Sweden and The Netherlands.
Bottom of the ladder are North Korea and Eritrea.