The prestigious World Press Photo 2008 has opened at its traditional venue, Charles University’s Carolinum in the Prague city centre, with winning photos highlighting major events from last year – from the election of US President Barack Obama to scenes of conflict such as the war between Russia and Georgia. This year the jury choose some 60 winners from 96,000 entries.
Czech parents may well be relieved to know that, if the latest studies are anything to go by, their children are still keen readers. And what are they reading? Well, how about Psycho for Kids and Baby Punk…? Such is the rich new world of Czech children’s writing and publishing, post-1989. It’s a world where poetry, music and visual art have come to overlap with some surprising results. In reaction to four decades of censorship, just about anything goes and there is little nostalgia for the old days. The journalist Kateřina Kadlecová has taken a
Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Michael Kocáb has said he will put forward an amendment aimed at revising the so-called “muzzle law” to the cabinet on Monday. The amendment for example relaxes some of the sanctions and stipulates certain exceptions. The law which bans the Czech media from revealing information such as records of police wiretappings or the identities of victims in criminal cases has come under wide criticism from both the media and media experts in the Czech Republic and abroad, who have said it restricts the freedom of the press. After a meeting with media representatives in May, Prime Minister Jan Fischer entrusted Minister Kocáb with drafting an amendment to the controversial law.
For many Czechs, politics is a world of its own, with its own rules and strange characters. Some back their candidates based on things that have little to do with their actual policies, or their record, and some get their ideas from the media. One of the country’s most respected, and wittiest, political commentators is Bohumil Doležal.
The Czech government has approved a European Union directive governing product placement in films and television serials. Under the regulations, it would have to be made clear in film or serial credits that particular products were being promoted, though such product placement would not be allowed in programmes for children. The Czech lower house is expected to vote on the matter in the next couple of months.
The Czech government on Monday approved a proposal to allow product placement in television programmes, meaning that the names of real-world products can now appear in television serials, films and other programmes, and TV producers can, of course, make money off of it. In one sense it means a new advertising medium, and in another, simply bringing above-board what producers have already been doing for a long time.
The sale of newspapers in the Czech Republic rose in June by 0.5 percent to around 1.4 million papers a day. According to the Czech Publishers Association, who released the data on Monday, the number of papers being sold in this country has decreased year-on-year, however, by 8.5 percent. In June, the tabloid papers Blesk and Aha! both registered a rise in sales, as did the broadsheet Lidové noviny. Sales of financial daily Hospodářské noviny and broadsheet Právo remained around the same, while Mladá fronta’s sales dipped.
Václav Kasík has been dismissed as the director of the public broadcaster Czech Radio (of which Radio Prague is part). He was removed by an extraordinary meeting of the Czech Radio Council, who appointed head of programming Richard Medek as acting head of the station. The council said it had replaced Mr Kasík because renovations of Czech Radio’s historic building on Prague’s Vinohradská St had gone over budget and for hiring a person without the required security clearance to head the station’s “secretariat”. Václav Kasík had headed Czech Radio since July 1999.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czech pop music legend Karel Gott dies at the age of 80
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott