The Karel Havlíček Borovský Prize for journalism has gone to Světlana
Witowská of public broadcaster Czech Television. The jury praised her
ability to conduct interviews with perspective, thoroughness and elegance.
Ms. Witowská won plaudits for her handling of the final TV debate between presidential candidates Miloš Zeman and Jiří Drahoš in January, which was watched by around a quarter of the population.
Czech Radio is celebrating its 95th anniversary this year. The Czech national radio broadcaster has come a long way since its pioneering days. Today it is the biggest radio broadcaster in the country with 9 channels, manned not only by its Prague staff but 14 regional branches providing news and reports from around the country. The station’s buildings are also an important part of its history. On the occasion of Czech Radio’s 95th anniversary we have prepared a photo gallery of its buildings, some of them valuable architectural landmarks.
As controller of BBC World Service English, Mary Hockaday is one of the most senior executives at the globe’s biggest radio station. When she was in Prague last week for a recording of the debate show World Questions, I asked Hockaday about various aspects of the World Service’s role and today’s media landscape. But the conversation began with her years here in the Czech capital in the early 1990s, when she was the BBC’s correspondent in the city.
Experts from Europe and the US met in Prague this week to discuss the hybrid war threat and ways of countering disinformation campaigns against Western countries. In an interview for Czech Radio the head of NATO’s Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, said the Czech Republic underestimates the dangers of the hybrid war waged by Russia.
World Press Freedom Day, marked on May 3rd, is perceived as a change to evaluate press freedom around the world and to defend the media from attacks on their independence. In the Czech Republic it serves as a reminder that all is not well in this field – the country slipped 11 places on the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index this year. I spoke to Adam Černý, chairman of the Czech Syndicate of Journalists about what’s hurting press freedom in the country.
The acting Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, is suing the publishers of
a Slovak newspaper over an interview in which former StB man Ján Sarkocy
said Mr. Babiš had knowingly collaborated with the communist-era secret
police. The Slovak-born ANO leader is seeking EUR 1 million in damages from
Nový Čas, which is the country’s best-selling daily. The Czech PM is
also suing Mr. Sarkocy.
In January a Slovak court rejected an action taken by Mr. Babiš, who said he had been wrongly listed as an agent of the StB in the now archived files of the secret police.
Mr. Sarkocy – who is himself a former StB agent – made headlines earlier this year after claiming to have met the leader of the UK’s Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, while he was stationed at the Czechoslovak Embassy in London in the 1980s.