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.
Journalist Julie Urbišová has just published a book entitled Doma v NOLA, or At Home in NOLA, with NOLA meaning New Orleans, Louisiana. Having first visited the city on a student stay in 2007, Urbišová has now been living for several years in New Orleans, from where she reports for Czech Radio, Czech Television and other outlets. Our conversation took in NOLA’s Czech connections, its crime rate and Hurricane Katrina. But it began with the organisation of its famous Mardi Gras parades.
The state collected over one trillion crowns in taxes last year, which is
62 billion more than in the previous year, the Czech News Agency reported
According to the state’s final account, presented by the government in the Lower House of Parliament, some 727 billion crowns ended up in the state budget and 295 billion crowns were earmarked for regions and municipalities. Nearly 20 billion crowns went to the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure. Collection of VAT and personal income tax recorded the steepest growth in 2018.
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.
Prima TV, the second most popular commercial TV station in the country, has announced it is teaming up with CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) to launch a 24-hour news platform. The CNN Prima News channel should combine international news coverage by the CNN with national reporting covered by Prima.