Radio Prague is on Wednesday celebrating the 80th anniversary of its first, shortwave broadcast, which was from outside Pardubice in East Bohemia on 31 August 1936. In connection with the anniversary the Foreign Czech of the Year Award, selected by Radio Prague and fellow Czech Radio station Vltava, was presented to doctor Karel Pacák. Radio Prague has six language sections, each of which produce a half-hour programme daily.
Radio Prague is today celebrating the 80th anniversary of its first, shortwave broadcast. Obviously the medium of radio has changed enormously since 31 August 1936, particularly in recent times with the advent of the internet. To look at where radio is at today, and where it may be headed in the future, I spoke to Graham Dixon, a former managing editor at BBC Radio 3 who is now head of radio at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in Geneva. My first question concerned the biggest changes Mr. Dixon has seen in his three decades-plus in the radio
The management of public broadcaster Czech TV this week marked the third anniversary of its 'D' channel, which offers extensive programming for toddlers, older children and teens. On the occasion, the broadcaster confirmed that it had premiered more than 3,500 hours of original programmes for children since the end of August 2013. The head of the station, Petr Dvořák, said that the channel offered an environment where children felt safe. Czech TV is currently preparing new shows, including 39 episodes of the much-loved bumbling D-I-Y duo Pat and Mat.
A memorial service at the Czech Radio building on Prague’s Vinohradská St. on Sunday morning commemorated the 48th invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet-led Warsaw Pact troops. The then Czechoslovak Radio building saw some of the bloodiest clashes after tanks rolled into the country on the night of August 20 and 21 1968 to quell the Prague Spring reform movement. Among the speakers at Sunday’s ceremony was MP Karel Schwarzenberg, who said it was not only important to honour the fallen heroes of that time – it was necessary to fight for the freedom of speech in all eras. Other participants included the ministers of human rights and culture, Jiří Dienstbier and Daniel Herman. Mr. Dienstbier said Russia today was pursuing a policy of limiting the sovereignty of other states and that the 1968 invasion showed that the best route for a country like the Czech Republic was cooperation within Europe.
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
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