Czech President Milos Zeman verbally attacks journalists during inauguration speech

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns the verbal attacks on journalists delivered by Czech President Milos Zeman during his inauguration speech on 8 March 2018 in Prague. Mr. Zeman accused the Czech public broadcaster of granting too much coverage to the TOP 09 conservative political party. He further went on to allege a general manipulation by liberal news outlets. Karolina Blinkova, a spokeswoman of Czech Television (CT) dismissed his accusations of biased news coverage in favour of the TOP 09 political party as attacks on the independence of the media: “We absolutely reject any attacks on journalists and independence of…

Czech reporters physically harassed by Presidential supporters

The European Federation of Journalists joined its affiliate in Czech Republic, the Syndikat novinaru Ceske republiky, in condemning the violence against journalists that occurred on 27 January 2018 in Prague, during the re-election of the President Milos Zeman. Last Saturday, supporters of Milos Zeman physically harassed journalists at the president’s election headquarters, where journalists were reporting on the President’s re-election. As captured in this video footage, reporters were pushed, punched and one camera’s reporter was threw to the ground in order to prevent him filming. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, condemned the violence against reporters and urged a…

CEO Conference: Oligarchs, corporate power and democracy in the Czech Republic

Trump has been dominating headlines, but not much has been said about the rise of media moguls and business tycoons here in Europe. Polls show that in the Czech Republic, oligarch and finance minister Andrek Babis’ populist party ‘ANO’ (‘Yes!’) is set to win the legislative elections by a landslide. Babiš is a politically powerful billionaire and owner of media companies and a large agribusiness conglomerate whose authoritarian politics, combined with control over media, would be a serious threat to democracy. Join CEO for a short film screening and discussion to find out about what is happening in Czech Republic…

EBU Conference urges Parliaments to protect PSM independence

Over 100 delegates from 19 countries in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and beyond came together in Prague last week to discuss the need to protect the independence and sustainability of public service media (PSM) in the face of numerous challenges. The conference was hosted by the Czech Parliament in Prague, and organized by the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Czech Television and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Public service broadcasters, Parliamentarians, regulators, diplomats, academics and experts from a range of organisations including the Council of Europe, Venice Commission, OSCE and the European Federation of…

66% of Czech journalists are not unionised

Journalists’ unions in the Czech Republic should improve their recruitment policy. That’s one of the main conclusions of the EFJ-OSNPM survey on journalists’ working conditions in the Czech Republic. In the framework of the EFJ/IFJ Regional Development Fund, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Union of Journalists and Media Workers of the Czech Republic (OSNPM) and the Austrian union GPA-djp organised a survey to investigate the working conditions of Czech journalists and media workers. The online survey was launched on 19 May 2015. Around 2,500 journalists and media workers were invited to participate to the survey. Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ…