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Respekt in English

Public TV heading for better times

Czech Television (ČT) is again seeking independence from political power. It is the same old song, but this time it sounds more interesting than ever before.

Fotografie: They are new in parlament. And they want changes. (Kateřina Jacques) - Autor: Tomki Němec • Autor: Respekt
Fotografie: They are new in parlament. And they want changes. (Kateřina Jacques) - Autor: Tomki Němec • Autor: Respekt

Czech Television (ČT) is again seeking independence from political power. It is the same old song, but this time it sounds more interesting than ever before. Seven years after a TV crisis the fight has reached a new phase. An increasing number of politicians say that public television effectively under the supervision of political matadors is an unsustainable anachronism.

We have a deal

At first it appeared completely routine. The empty seats on the Czech Television Council were to be filled, as usual, by people appointed by political parties who would supervise public TV in the interests of those parties. Namely, the ČSSD, together with its ODS allies, tried to put forward Miroslav Kučera, former communist censor and later an MP, and Jitka Kupčová, one of the most loyal ČSSD members.

But strange things started to happen. After a heated debate, some of the politicians refused to accept these deals. „The council must start to comprise respected personalities who will not merely represent their parties' interests,“ says Kateřina Jacques, chair of the Green Party MP group and one of the rebellion leaders.

"It is necessary to redesign the whole system of appointments. Some of our colleagues may think it is beneficial to have representatives on the council who will promote their worldviews. But television under political influence distorts reality and makes it…

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