This spring I worked on a project to explore the Czech Radio archives with a group of international undergraduate students, studying at the Anglo-American University in Prague. This followed up on a similar project last year to mark the radio’s 90th birthday. Czech Radio has one of the biggest radio archives anywhere in the world, going way back to the late 1920s and it includes several hundred recordings in English, most of them from the radio’s international broadcasts. Working in groups, the students spent time delving into the archives and they chose several archive recordings to analyze. Some of the recordings they picked out are well known and have gone down into radio history, but others had not been listened to since they were first broadcast several decades ago. They give us some intriguing insights into radio at different times in Czechoslovakia’s history: into the tense atmosphere before the outbreak of World War II, into the drama of the Cold War and then the thaw of the 1960s, followed by the Soviet-led invasion. As we listen to the recordings, the past quite literally comes to life. In the programme we listen to extracts from these archive sounds and hear some of the insights that the students gained into them. More
Czech Radio opened its doors to the public on Saturday giving people a chance to view the process of live broadcasting, pre-recording of children’s stories and minute plays and meet with popular radio personalities. Guided tours are available between 9 am and 5 pm and the public is being invited to view a collection of historic radio receivers or visit the radio store to buy recordings of successful radio plays or concerts by the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Czech Radio is marking 91 years since the start of regular radio broadcasting in the country. The country’s first radio operator Radiojurnal went on air on May 18th, 1923, broadcasting from a military tent in Prague’s Kbely district. At first the long-wave broadcasts lasted for just one hour a day and consisted of a brief lead-in and a concert. The country's broadcasting pioneers were journalist Miloš Čtrnáctý, businessman Eduard Svoboda, and Ladislav Šourek, director of Radioslavia – a company that distributed radio receivers. In December 1924 Radiojournal moved from the tent in Kbely to a building on today's Vinohradská Street in the centre of Prague. Czechoslovakia was the second European country after the UK to have regular radio broadcasting.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on Monday marked the 69th anniversary of the Prague Uprising of May 1945. Speaking at a ceremony outside the Czech Radio building in the centre of the capital, Mr Sobotka rejected attempts to diminish the uprising’s military significance, and said it was crucial in facilitating the liberation of the country. Around 30,000 people stood up against Nazi troops in early May in Prague; some of the heaviest fighting occurred outside the Czech Radio building in Prague’s Vinohrady district.
The Czech Republic’s public broadcaster, Czech Radio, is marking World Radio Day on Thursday. All Czech Radio stations feature special programming with debates and analytical programmers focusing on the future of radio. Czech Radio CEO, Peter Duhan, appeared on Radiožurnál on Thursday morning, and said he had no doubts that radio would survive the boom of new media.
The Davis Cup has gone on display in the lobby of the Czech Radio building on Prague’s Vinohradská St. Visitors can view the tennis trophy and also have their photograph taken with it between 9:00 and 18:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Inspired again by veteran Radek Štěpánek, the Czech men’s team recently won the trophy for the second time in a row.
Halloween has continued to gain in popularity among Czech pre-schoolers and schoolchildren, according to Czech Radio. Increasingly, various towns, nursery schools, as well as private venues hold events; this year, zoos and botanical gardens are among those to have prepared special programmes for children including pumpkin carving, lantern processions and masquerade balls, Czech Radio said.
In related news, Cardinal Duka strongly criticized the Social Democrats on Czech Radio on Tuesday afternoon, comparing the possibility of Prague Castle being exempted from church restitution to actions taken by the country’s former Communist regime. His statements, and the raising of his voice in the broadcast, saw him clash with the programme’s host, and led to his being cut off. Czech Radio said in a statement that the cardinal had breached the broadcaster’s pre-election impartiality rules.
Less than two weeks before polls open in an early general election, campaigning in the country’s public media took off on Monday. Public broadcasters Czech Television and Czech Radio begin airing clips supplied by 24 parties and groups running for office. Czech Radio is broadcasting minute-long clips on three of its stations, while Czech TV is airing 30-second clips on channels One, Two and 24. Each broadcaster will in total air 14 hours of parties’ election messages. Campaigning in the public media will end on October 23, two days before the election.
Public broadcaster Czech Radio posted a net profit of 26.6 million crowns and generated revenues worth 2.158 billion last year, according to its annual report for 2012. In 2011 Czech Radio netted 145 million. Licence fees, accounting for more than 90 percent of total revenues, generated 1.913 billion crowns last year. The number of licence fee payers is reported to have increased to 3.063 million in 2012.The public broadcaster last year employed 1,400 people.