Czech head of state Miloš Zeman is known for his controversial statements that keep him in the public eye. And this week he stirred up a strong response after suggesting that public service television broadcaster Czech Television be nationalized because it is, he alleges, a mouthpiece for one political party alone. And the president appears willing to follow up his words with action.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has come under fire for suggesting that public service television broadcaster Czech Television be nationalised and no longer financed by license payments. Zeman made the comments in replies to a website. And his spokesman on Thursday said that the president is seeking to have talks with Minister of Finance and ANO leader Andrej Babiš about such a move. Babiš sadi that the financing of the broadcaster was not transparent and that the influence of politicians should be removed from it. The director of Czech Television said the state financed model of public service television belonged better to states to the east of the Czech Republic.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, says that public broadcaster Czech Television should be nationalised and financed directly from the state budget instead of via a license fee. Responding to users questions on the website Parlamentní listy, he also said that the station was a mouthpiece for the right-wing party TOP 09. Its chairman Miroslav Kalousek denied the assertion and said that Mr. Zeman and those around him were attacking Czech Television as they did not regard free speech as important.
Could you be happy without alcohol? Have you ever had sex with a stranger? Would you participate in an uprising against those in power? These are just some of the nearly 150 questions covering a large range of subjects given to people aged 18 to 34 across Europe within a project called Generation What. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union along with national broadcasters, the aim of project is to offer a unique look into the mind-set and realities of life of young Europeans today. For the first time this year, the Czech Republic joined as
Russian journalist Alexander Kuranov, a Czech correspondent of the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, who has been denied accreditation in the Czech Republic, has written a letter to Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, asking him to review his case. Mr Kuranov, who has lived in the Czech Republic for nearly 30 years, says he regards the country as his home and claims he has never written anything that would harm its interests. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has refused to extend accreditation to Mr Kuranova and another Russian journalist, allegedly because they are considered a security risk to the country by the Czech counter-intelligence, BIS.
The tabloid Blesk remains the most-read Czech daily newspaper, with over one million readers in the last quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, according to fresh data released by the publishers’ union on Thursday. The daily Mladá fronta Dnes came in second with 631,000 readers, followed by the daily Sport with 286,000 readers, which has overtaken the left-leaning daily Právo. The survey also found that 64 percent of people aged between 12 and 79 read at least one daily newspaper over a two-week period.
Among the winners of the Czech Journalism Prize for 2015 were Hospodářské noviny columnist Petr Honzejk, Martin Veselovský of online debate show DVTV and Magdalena Sodomková from Lidové noviny. Thirteen journalists received awards at Tuesday evening’s presentation ceremony in Prague. The Journalism Prize is bestowed by the Open Society Fund Prague. Jury members said a high number of the 360 pieces of journalism they had considered concerned the migrant crisis.
Moscow will not renew accreditation to two Czech journalists in Russia in retaliation against a similar move when Prague denied accreditation to two Russian journalists in the Czech Republic. The decision was announced on Thursday by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, the news agency RIA Novosti informed on its website. There are currently three Czech journalists accredited in Moscow; Miroslav Karas of Czech Television, Martin Dorazín of Czech Radio and Jiří Just of the news website Aktuálně.cz. It is not yet clear which of them will be denied accreditation.
The Czech Republic has fallen in an international ranking of press freedom carried out by the non-governmental agency Reporters Without Borders. While in the Press Freedom Index for 2014 the country ranked 12th in the world, in the freshly published ranking for 2015 it places 21st. The annual index looks at factors such as media legislation, plurality of opinion, media ownership and violence against journalists in 180 states.
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