The protests over the appointment of a new General Director of the country's state-run television network, Czech Television, continue. Thursday saw demonstrations organised by news editors and staff, furious at the hasty appointment of Jiri Hodac, who they accuse of having close links to the right-of-centre Civic Democratic Party. Meanwhile, the leader of the Civic Democrats, Vaclav Klaus, has come up with his own unique solution to the crisis. reports:
On Wednesday, the main evening news show of the public Czech TV Ceska televize broadcast silence for two minutes. A message appeared on TV screens with a proclamation by Czech TV employees, saying that by naming Jiri Hodac to the director's post the Czech Television supervisory board had "directly threatened the independence and functioning of public television". More from :
The sacking of the general director of Czech public television last week, and the search for his replacement, has become a broader issue than just finding the right man for a sensitive job. President Havel has said he does not really understand the reason why Dusan Chmelicek was sacked. A strong lobby within Czech Television itself says the decision was unprofessional - after just ten months in the job, Mr. Chmelicek couldn't possibly prove that he was capable of handling the job. Many believe the issue is purely political. The supervisory body
There have been a series of shock resignations and disputes within Czech public television's news section over the last year, amid accusations of political influence being exerted on the institution. There was a new shock on Friday when the head of Czech TV's news department, Jiri Hodac, tendered his resignation after just four months in the job. Mr Hodac claimed, among other things, that unspecified people outside Czech TV management were enjoying an ever greater influence inside the organization. So what exactly IS going on in Czech public TV?
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