A celebrity cast of top Czech writers and actors has taken a high profile public stand against the practices of the Czech tabloid press. Around a dozen top names have signed a petition denouncing what they describe as the publications’ dirty practices. And they have called on counterparts in the arts world to join their star boycott.
Czech dailies on Saturday published an open letter to US President Barack Obama and European Union leaders, protesting a recently introduced law they say restricts press freedom. The law, which took effect April 1 prohibits the publication of police wiretappings and bans media from naming the victims of crimes. Sentences for breaking the legislation dubbed "muzzle law" run to five years behind bars and fines of up to five million crowns (225,000 dollars). The dailies said they’d published the open letter in order to highlight the problem and trigger a discussion on the necessity of freedom of speech.
A stringent new media law has just taken effect in the Czech Republic, restricting the use of official information, including telephone wire-taps. Media owners, editors and journalists are united in their opposition to what has been dubbed the “muzzling law”: they say it is an unprecedented break with the country’s liberal press rules.
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.
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