Czech Radio’s youth and alternative station Radio Wave has just begun broadcasting from a glass-fronted studio right on Vinohradská St. that allows it extremely close contact with the public. What’s more, the futuristic-looking studio will be launched with a free street party on the adjacent Balbínova St. this coming Saturday. As preparations for it were being finalised, I asked Wave’s director of programming, Robert Candra, how the public had been reacting to such proximity to the station’s studio.
Public broadcaster Czech TV has defended the rights of musicians who voiced criticism of President Miloš Zeman in a live broadcast on Saturday of the annual Anděl music awards. Ahead of her performance, respected singer Lenka Dusilová lashed out at the president over his recent support of China, accusing him of “groveling before regimes which suppressed freedom and democracy”. Her words were echoed by fellow performers David Koller and Klára Vytisková. The president’s spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, reacted by calling the criticism of Mr Zeman about “as brave as artists on Czechoslovak television in 1977 pledging support for socialism”. He suggested the opposition voiced by one of the artists was fueled by frustration that their alleged man, Karel Schwarzenberg, lost to Mr Zeman in the presidential election.
In this week’s Czech Life, we talk to Manfred Strnad, the editor-in-chief of the Czech edition of Mountain Bike Action (MBA). Discussed in our interview is the decades-old debate on the best frame material, if and how to get your child started in competitive cycling, and some of the best spots to ride in the Czech Republic.
Details have been released of the visit to the Czech Republic by Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 28 and 29, the first by a Chinese head of state. The Chinese president will visit his Czech counterpart Miloš Zeman at both Prague Castle and the Lány residence outside Prague. A business forum will also be attended by Xi Jinping a large delegation of accompanying businessmen. Czech Television reported that the president will also have a working breakfast with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. President Zeman has suggested the Chinese are ready to invest around 45 billion crowns and sign around 20 agreements during the visit which is the only European stopover on a trip to the United States.
Days after a Prague court ruled that President Miloš Zeman should apologise for comments suggesting that the renowned Czech journalist Ferdinand Peroutka wrote an article in which he described Adolf Hitler as a gentleman, the head of state insisted the article exists. Speaking on a TV debate programme on TV Prima on Sunday, Mr Zeman said he remembered being shocked by the headline; he added that former culture minister Pavel Dostál, who died in 2005, referred to the article in 2002. A thorough search of archives by the president’s staff over the course of a year, however, failed to uncover the article or find evidence of its existence. The president’s office said it will appeal the court ruling and made clear it was ready to take the matter all the way to the Constitutional Court. The call for an apology was brought by Mr Peroutka’s descendants.
March 1st marks the 3rd anniversary of the launch of public broadcaster Czech Radio’s Rádio Junior, aimed at young listeners as well as, for example, elementary schools. Through digital broadcasting the platform is available to listeners across the Czech Republic. Along with programmes for children, Rádio Junior operates a free line where listeners can leave messages or request songs. Schools are also able to contact the station with specific requests.
Miners’ unions on Friday decided to widen their strike alert from the Paskov mine, which is slated for closure before the end of the year, to the whole of the OKD mining company, the head of the association of mining unions Jaromír Pytlík told the Czech Television on Friday. The unions are threating to strike over the lack of a social programme to help laid-off miners. They also complain about the lack of information from the management. Paskov belongs to the OKD mining company which is in severe financial difficulties and has announced the planned closure of three mines.
Czech artist and animator Zdeněk Smetana, author of popular television bedtime stories, died on Thursday at the age of 90. Mr Smetana started working for the famous Bratři v triku studio founded by artist Jiří Trnka in 1946. In the 1970s and 1980s he focused on creating animated series for Czechoslovak Television’s evening childrens’ programme Večerníček. He is best known for his series Křemílek a Vochomůrka and Rákosníček, which have become classics of their kind. Mr Smetana made over 400 animated cartoons, winning a number of awards in Cannes, Venice and other festivals.
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.
Olga Lomová: Western misconceptions could let China export much of its system and ultimately contribute to our enslavement
Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott