Disinformation and its role was one of the themes of the latest Czech presidential elections. Re-elected head of state Miloš Zeman was cast as pro-Russian and so it was a question how much stories boosting his chances and smearing the reputations of his opponents would be used during the campaign. The jury appears to be out, though some experts believe home grown disinformation played much more of a role than anything that was imported.
The Czech Syndicate of Journalists has announced it is expelling one of its
members, Karel Slezák, from its ranks for his part in an incident at the
election headquarters of President Miloš Zeman last Saturday.
Slezák physically attacked another journalist for wanting to take pictures of a Zeman supporter who collapsed in the hotel, allegedly after consuming too much alcohol.
The journalist in question lodged a complaint soon after and police are investigating the incident as suspected breach of the peace.
Czech police have said they are investigating a scuffle that broke out
between supporters of re-elected president Miloš Zeman and journalists at
a Prague hotel where the president and fans followed the results.
Police said they are investigating suspected breach of the peace. A
complaint by one journalist was lodged on Sunday evening.
The incident, which was capture on video and made public, appeared to start when a man collapsed and journalists took pictures. Supporters of the president then appeared to intervene with fists flying.
Journalists said organisers of the event at a Prague hotel did nothing to resolve the issue.
An estimated 2.6 million people watched the final televised presidential
debate between current head of state Miloš Zeman and challenger Jiří
Drahoš on public broadcaster Czech Television on Thursday night.
Many commentators reckoned honours were fairly even between the two in a much more subdued setting than the rowdy atmosphere on commercial broadcaster Prima two days earlier.
Questions focused on Zeman’s presidential team and advisors, foreign relations, campaign backers, and the candidates’ stand over outgoing prime minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš, who is facing criminal charges.
The highly-anticipated first televised debate between current Czech president, Miloš Zeman, and his challenger Jiří Drahoš, drew more than two million viewers. Political veteran Zeman dictated much of the tempo and landed more punches but his opponent was seen as holding his own. Most criticised was the discussion format itself, which hamstrung serious debate.
Czech public service television broadcaster, Czech Television, has
confirmed that it will host a debate between second round presidential
candidates Miloš Zeman and Jiří Drahoš and January 25 with Světlana
Witowská as moderator.
The tv debate is the sole one confirmed so far amid a tussle between the candidates about where and how many times they might appear. Zeman, who took part in no debates ahead of the first round, has said he would like four debates with Drahoš maintaining two is sufficient.
Czech Television’s usual moderator for such events is Václav Moravec. He already said on Sunday he would not host any second round debate. Moravec is reported to be disliked by current head of state Zeman and his camp.
Zeman and Drahoš won the most votes in the first round of voting and made it through to the face off second round last Saturday. Voting takes place on January 26 and 27.
The two candidates for the post of Czech president have not yet reached
agreement on the number of television debates they will take part in before
the second round of voting. Incumbent Miloš Zeman has proposed four on-air
discussions, on the stations Nova, Barrandov, Prima and Czech Television.
However, his challenger Jiří Drahoš told Radio Impuls on Tuesday he would only participate in two debates, the number suggested by the president himself after Saturday’s first round vote count. He said he didn’t have time to take part in more because of his campaign schedule.
Mr. Zeman won 38.6 percent of the vote in the opening round, ahead of Mr. Drahoš on 26.6 percent. However, the latter has the backing of a number of defeated first round candidates. The run-off takes place on January 26 and 27.
With over a quarter of a million followers, Jiří Šiftař must be one of the most popular Czechs on Instagram. Going by the name Jeera on the photograph sharing service, he is mainly known for stunning pictures of his adopted home of London. Jiří Šiftař and I met at a restaurant in the city near his workplace at Lloyd’s bank, where he designs web interfaces for customers. I first asked him whether he had been into photography as a child.
Music expert, publicist and radio show host Vojtěch Lindaur, contributing
writer to publications such as iDnes or Revolver Revue, editor-in-chief of
Rock & Pop and the man who snuck 1960/1970s icon and singer Nico into
Czechoslovakia in 1985 for an illegal concert in defiance of the communist
authorities, has died following a long illness. He was 60 years old. The
news was announced by Radio Beat, where he was employed.
On Facebook, his colleagues at Radio Beat wrote that they had lost a close friend who would be dearly missed.
Besides writing, Lindaur produced several albums over the course of his career and had a key role in shaping the Czech TV documentary series Bigbít about the music scene, including "underground" bands, in the former Czechoslovakia.
The documentary Children Online shines a highly revealing light on how the lives of kids in the Czech Republic are increasingly shaped, if not dominated, by the internet. The film shows that for today’s generation YouTube videos have largely supplanted television, to be offline is to be an outsider and cyber-grooming is a genuine threat. I discussed Children Online, which has been screened at 20 festivals, with its director, Kateřina Hager. My first question: What had drawn her to the subject to begin with?