The Russian Foreign Ministry has denied claims that Czech journalist and commentator Ondřej Soukup was denied a visa extension by the Moscow authorities in a tit-for-tat move after Prague denied two Russian reporters fresh accreditation earlier this year. In a statement published by the TASS news agency the Russian Foreign Ministry says there is no connection in the above cases. “Russia has certain commitments to its partners within the integrated alliances of which it is part. In reviewing visa applications Russia takes into consideration the views of these partners” the statement said. No further details were provided.
One of the Czech Republic’s best-known experts on Russia, journalist and commentator Ondřej Soukup, has been denied a visa extension by the Moscow authorities. The ban is evidently a tit-for-tat move after Prague denied two Russian reporters fresh accreditation earlier this year on the recommendation of the Czech intelligence service. I discussed the situation with Soukup, who writes for Hospodářské noviny.
A journalist from the Czech business daily has been refused a visa to Russia in what the paper said is apparently a retaliation for the Czech foreign ministry’s refusal of accreditation for two Russian reporters, the paper said Thursday. Journalist Ondřej Soukup was refused a visa the day before he was due to fly out. No official reason was given. Accreditation for two Russian reporters was refused in April after a report from the domestic security service BIS that they had been spying for Russian secret services. Their permits to stay in the Czech Republic run till the end of the year and can be renewed.
The film Code Name Holec (Krycí jméno Holec) set against the backdrop of the August 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia will be released in Czech cinemas in September, a spokesperson for the distributors said on Tuesday. The movie is based on a short story by Jan Němec and also takes place in Vienna. A number of scenes were shot around the Czech Radio building in Vinohrady, where some of the most intense fighting took place in 1968.
In the first part of this series two weeks ago, we went back to 1932 with a recording of memories of Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk, the American wife of Czechoslovakia’s first president. A year later the political landscape of Europe and changed completely. Hitler had come to power in Germany, and suddenly Czechoslovakia’s position in Europe seemed perilous. It was in this atmosphere that Radio Prague was launched as the international service of Czechoslovak Radio in 1936. The aim was to counter German propaganda and remind the western democracies
Police in Prague have recommended that charges be pressed against a City Hall official in connection with the Blanka tunnel construction project, Czech Television reported on Thursday. Jan Beránek, the one-time head of a City Hall investments department, is accused of agreeing to an overpriced contract that caused over CZK 30 million of damage to the city. The Blanka tunnel was opened last year, four years behind schedule and around CZK 10 billion over-budget.
Revelations last week that TV Prima management ordered reporters to present refugees in a negative light were a bombshell on the Czech media scene. The story centred on an audio recording posted by the investigative journalism website Hlídací pes, whose editor-in-chief, Robert Břešťan, came into our studios to discuss the scandal. But before we arrived at that subject, I asked Břešťan, who is 37, about his own beginnings in the journalism trade.
The spokesman for President Miloš Zeman, Jiří Ovčáček, says a recently launched video service showing appearances by the head of state are intended as a counterweight to state broadcaster Czech Television, Echo24.cz reported on Saturday. Mr. Ovčáček told the news site that his office had started posting the videos as Czech TV did not carry objective reports about Mr. Zeman’s visits to the country’s regions. In two months such videos have 50,000 views, he said. While they have hitherto been circulated via Twitter they will soon begin appearing on the president’s Facebook page.
Evidence has emerged that Prima TV ordered its journalists to report negatively on refugees. In a recording of an editorial meeting last year, the channel’s head of news is heard telling reporters to present asylum seekers as a threat or consider finding new jobs. The audio file was made public on Tuesday by independent news website HlídacíPes.org and has sparked a debate about journalistic ethics. I asked Hlídací Pes’s founder Robert Břešťan how he had reacted on first hearing the recording.
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