TV dramas in the Czech Republic often aren’t bad, but occasionally something comes along which is a head above the rest. Last autumn, it was a dramatic series on commercial broadcaster Nova, entitled Soukromé pasti (Private Traps). 12 separate stories centering on characters in everyday dilemmas - which critics praised for excellent writing, acting and psychological depth. The project was overseen by filmmaker Tereza Kopáčová, one of the best-known names in the Czech TV business. Her work and Soukromé pasti are the subject of this Panorama.
US film, television and print media giant Time Warner has bought itself a prime part in the Czech commercial television market. Time Warner has taken a 31 percent stake in Central European Media Enterprises (CME), which owns the country’s most watched tv station, Nova. But what does the latest turn in the Nova ownership saga and US acquisition mean?
The US media giant Time Warner will acquire a 31-percent stake in CME, a media corporation that owns the Czech Republic’s largest commercial station TV Nova, according to a statement issued by CME on Monday. Time Warner will pay over USD 241 million for the share. CME’s founder Ronald Lauder said that the alliance with Time Warner would accelerate CME’s development. Apart from the Nova in the Czech Republic, CME owns TV stations in Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Rumania and Ukraine.
The One World festival was launched in Prague on Wednesday night with a powerful documentary called Burma VJ, highlighting the work of brave journalists who secretly film human rights abuses in the country. With foreign media banned, theirs was the only footage of the turmoil in Burma during the huge protests of 2007 that became known as the Saffron Revolution.
Nora Fridrichová is one of the Czech Republic’s leading broadcast journalists. On Czech Television, she is the host of her own news program, 168 Hours. When I met her recently in a Czech TV studio, we talked about her bold reporting style, love of dark humor, and future career goals. But first, Nora Fridrichová discussed how her show has changed and evolved in the three years it has been running.
An unlikely war of words has erupted between the editor-in-chief of the left-leaning Právo newspaper and the opposition Social Democrats. Editor-in-chief Zdeněk Porybný claimed in an editorial published in Právo this week that he had received repeated warnings that if he continued to publish critical articles about the Social Democrats, he would see advertisers from the state sector begin to desert him.
Several respected newspapers and magazines such as The Economist and the Financial Times have in recent weeks reported on the severe economic problems facing Eastern Europe without properly distinguishing between the region’s individual states. The Czech National bank on Tuesday voiced strong objections to what it described as “misleading and inaccurate” coverage of the state of the Czech Republic’s economy by the foreign media; coverage they say is harming the country.
Gordon Lovitt has an unusual position in that he is an Englishman who is director of programming at one of the Czech Republic’s four main TV channels, the commercial station Prima. A decade ago he held the same post at state broadcaster Czech Television. And before that he was a professional actor; indeed, a visit to Zlín (or Gottwaldov as it was in those communist times) with a student drama group in the 1980s was Gordon Lovitt’s first experience of the country he now calls home.
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