Jana Kománková runs Proti šedi (which translates as “against the grey”), a highly useful one-stop website for anybody interested in arts events in Prague. She has been a well-known name in local alternative music circles since the early 1990s, as a deejay with Radio 1 and a critic with numerous magazines and newspapers. Remarkably the Prague-born Kománková began reviewing concerts for Rock & Pop at only 17. When we met at a café, I asked her how she’d managed to launch her career at such an early age.
During WWII, the London-based Czechoslovak government in exile had only one method of communicating regularly with its people at home: over the airwaves of the BBC. To discuss the content of these programmes, ministers’ broadcasting skills, coded messages to the resistance and much more, I recently caught up with academic Erica Harrison, who has conducted ground-breaking research into the subject. My first question: How much broadcasting did the exile government actually do?
The Czech Radio Council has elected René Zavoral to head the public broadcaster. Mr Zavoral, who has until now served as deputy head for programming, was chosen from a shortlist of five candidates, receiving seven out of nine votes in the second round of the election. Zavoral, 39, who has worked for the public broadcaster since 2001, said he wanted Czech Radio to be regarded as a reliable media source, which is open to the public. Czech Radio’s previous director, Peter Duhan, resigned from his post in October last year. He was accused of having violated the rules of the Czech Radio’s supervisory council by employing his son Andrej at the radio station.
The Czech Radio station Wave is today celebrating a major landmark; the youth and alternative station has now been delivering challenging music and all manner of arts and lifestyle reports for exactly a decade. To find out about Radio Wave’s big day and future plans, I spoke to its director of programming, Robert Candra. But I first asked him whether Wave’s removal from FM and conversion to an internet station two years after its 2006 launch had felt like a limitation.
After removing the page of We Don’t Want Islam in the Czech Republic, Facebook has also frozen the page of Martin Konvička, who was behind the group and is also the head of Block Against Islam. Mr. Konvička told Lidovky.cz that there had to be considerable interest to bring about the blocking of a large page but it would take only one hostile person to cause the freezing of a personal page; however, the two may be connected, he said. The controversial campaigner is under investigation for hate speech.
Facebook has blocked the page of the group Block Against Islam, the group's representatives said on Monday, protesting against what they call censorship and an attack on freedom of speech. The group has been accused of extremism and xenophobia. Its leader Martin Konvička was charged with hate speech late last year on the grounds of statements made on Facebook in 2011 and 2014. The Block Against Islam claims the charges are politically motivated.
On a working visit to Prague, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski defended the controversial new law on public media introduced by the new conservative government in Poland, saying it would open the media to all political parties.At a joint press briefing with his Polish counterpart Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said he believed freedom of speech would be preserved in Poland.The Czech-Polish talks focussed on bilateral ties, cooperation within the Visegrad group states, the migrant crisis and the fight against terrorism. In connection with the visit the Czech media have speculated on the possible impact of the new Polish government on cooperation within the Visegrad group states and its relations with the EU.
As Czech Radio’s correspondent in London, Jiří Hošek is for many of his compatriots one of their main sources of news from Great Britain. When we met recently at the bustling St Pancras train station, our conversation took in everything from listeners’ perceptions of the UK to the challenges of working alone. But I first asked Hošek – who has been in London for three years – what kind of stories his editors in Prague were typically interested in.
Czech Radio’s Plus channel will broadcast a live interview with President Miloš Zeman on Monday. It will be his first such appearance on the public broadcaster since November 2014, when Mr. Zeman used a number of expletives in an episode of an occasional series of interviews. The president rejected a plan to pre-record the shows and subsequently began appearing on a similar slot on a commercial channel. Monday’s interview is due to focus on foreign policy.
Vladimír Fišer, the legendary radio announcer who in 1968 announced the news of the Russian-led invasion of Czechoslovakia has died at the age of 81. A popular radio personality Fišer excelled as a talk show host, a presenter of radio plays and a dubber artist, but in the minds of the Czech people he will always be remembered at “the voice of 1968”.
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
Czech rock climber Adam Ondra knocked out of World Cup in Japan
Czech foreign ministry reports record number of visa applications
New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic
Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib on tourism, China, Taiwan – and city’s two tanks