The name Jan Valeška will be familiar to very long-term listeners of Radio Prague. After a stint at the station’s African service that began in the early 1970s, he returned to head the English department in the initial years after the Velvet Revolution. Valeška subsequently worked as a translator and two years ago published a huge dictionary of English phrasal verbs, as in act on, act up, act out, etc. Before we discussed the book, which was three decades in the making, I first asked him what language Radio Prague’s erstwhile African section broadcast
This spring I worked on a project to explore the Czech Radio archives with a group of international undergraduate students, studying at the Anglo-American University in Prague. This followed up on a similar project last year to mark the radio’s 90th birthday. Czech Radio has one of the biggest radio archives anywhere in the world, going way back to the late 1920s and it includes several hundred recordings in English, most of them from the radio’s international broadcasts. Working in groups, the students spent time delving into the archives and they
Czech Radio is marking 91 years since the start of regular radio broadcasting in the country. The country’s first radio operator Radiojurnal went on air on May 18th, 1923, broadcasting from a military tent in Prague’s Kbely district. At first the long-wave broadcasts lasted for just one hour a day and consisted of a brief lead-in and a concert. The country's broadcasting pioneers were journalist Miloš Čtrnáctý, businessman Eduard Svoboda, and Ladislav Šourek, director of Radioslavia – a company that distributed radio receivers. In December 1924 Radiojournal moved from the tent in Kbely to a building on today's Vinohradská Street in the centre of Prague. Czechoslovakia was the second European country after the UK to have regular radio broadcasting.
Wednesday marks the 45th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the armies of the Soviet Union and other communist countries. The invasion shocked the nation, and ushered in a long period of political and moral decline. More than a hundred people died during the invasion, some of whom were killed in defence of Czechoslovak Radio. On Wednesday, several Czech top officials, witnesses and dozens of guests marked the anniversary outside the Czech Radio building in central Prague.
Today in Mailbox: Listeners’ response to Radio Prague’s special 90th anniversary broadcast; Bohemian crown jewels; listeners’ quiz question. Listeners quoted: Stephen Mason, Iain Cameron, Bernard Grondin, Jayanta Chakrabarty, Alf Persson, Henrik Klemetz, Ted Schuerzinger, Henk Poortvliet, David Eldridge, Hans Verner Lollike, Ian Morrison, and Mary Lou Krenek.
Saturday is the 90th anniversary of the first regular broadcast by Czechoslovak, later Czech, Radio. An open day with free guided tours was held at the station’s back-to-back buildings on Vinohradská and Římská streets in central Prague from 9:00 to 17:00 as part of a series of events held to mark the moment at 20:15 on May 18, 1923 when the station launched regular broadcasts from a tent in the city’s Kbely district. Czech Radio’s flagship station Radiožurnál is set to interview 90 special guests in a special broadcast live from Wenceslas Square that begins at 20:15 on Saturday and runs for 48 hours.
It is exactly 90 years since the very first regular radio broadcasts in Czechoslovakia began on 18 May 1923. These were humble beginnings, starting in a borrowed scouts’ tent on the edge of Prague. But within just a few years, radio became central to the lives of millions of Czechoslovaks and over the decades the archives here in the Czech Radio headquarters have become an Aladdin’s Cave of sound, a living audio source for anyone wanting to research into twentieth century Czechoslovak history. For our 90th birthday, we joined forces with a group
This weekend we’ll be celebrating 90 years since the first regular radio broadcasts in Czechoslovakia, and we’ll be bringing you a special programme. David Vaughan has been working with a group of Prague journalism students, to discover some of the forgotten gems hidden in the radio archive. He tells us more about Saturday’s special programme.
A collection of interviews with the great Czech actor and writer Jan Werich is set for release later this month, a spokesperson for the label Supraphon said on Friday. The interviews were conducted by his daughter Jana in 1969, when Werich was in his mid 60s, and broadcast in a weekly series on Czechoslovak Radio entitled Táto, povídej! (Talk, Dad!). His colourful stories, which also take in a period he spent living in the United States in the early 1940s, will come out in an eight-CD box set.
For a few weeks just after the fall of communism, Radio Prague went silent. Its days as a tool in the Cold War were over. After huge staff cuts, and with the old communist managers gone, Radio Prague went back on air early in 1990. A new era began for the English Section, and with so many sweeping social and economic changes under way, there was plenty to report about.
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