Heads begin to roll at Czech Television but rebel reporters stand firm

27-12-2000

So, as you've just heard in the news, it's been an extraordinary Christmas for the country's public TV network, Czech Television. For the last five days the station's newsroom has been occupied by journalists opposed to the appointment of new Director General Jiri Hodac. The journalists, who are supported by leading producers, actors and film directors, the unions, several cabinet ministers, most daily newspapers and a large part of the general public, continue to produce news bulletins which can only be seen via satellite.

duties. But even that failed to move them, as the newly-appointed head of news, Jana Bobosikova, discovered to her cost when she attempted to deliver their notices of dismissal in person.

Crying 'freedom' and launching into Christmas carols and other melodies, the journalists refused to accept the dismissals, and so technically remain employees of Czech Television. But will the rebels stay united? Foreign news reporter Jan Molacek says the answer is 'yes':
We made several attempts to speak to Mr Hodac and Mrs Bobosikova this morning, but neither of them was available for comment. And we were informed that Czech Television's new spokesperson, who was appointed by Mr Hodac last week, resigned on Saturday.