Listener in US: Radio Prague gives an insight into the life in the Czech Republic

English team of Radio Prague

August 31st is a very special day for Radio Prague. Exactly 70 years ago, in 1936, Radio Prague made its first ever broadcast in English. But radio is not only about interviews and reports. The main reason we are here, are you, the listeners, in the case of Radio Prague scattered all around the globe.

These days, thanks to e-mail, we can get your instant responses to our programmes and as more and more people have access to the internet, they can let us know they are out there and what they think about our broadcasts. We know that some of you listen exclusively on shortwave, others combine shortwave and the internet and others have a chance to tune in to our broadcasts on local FM stations.

Over the last few years we also had a chance to speak to a number of our listeners in the flesh as they stopped by here in the Czech Radio building in Prague or took part in international meetings of shortwave enthusiasts. Although from the mail we get, most of Radio Prague's listeners seem to be men, we do have lady listeners, too, and one of them is Gina Cenkl from the United States.

"Well I live in Boston and with my husband we've been listening and following it for many years, at least ten, I think. It was always on in our house and in the last I think three years we got this really big computer that we put in the kitchen. It was always on when I came home from work. Right now I am a little too busy so I just read and I read everything, every day actually, I never skip. I also read other things but there is just no comparison between this and that.

"Of course, I always read Magazine and Mailbox, obviously and I've been participating in the monthly quizzes. I remember some months that I complained it's a little bit too easy and someone answered that [other listeners are] mostly foreigners and really don't know all that much. Anyway, I enjoy that very much.

"I also like Spotlight which is wonderful. I always read it. I think last year I found a person being interviewed there that I haven't talked to for maybe 20 years and I used to be friends with and that put us together again so that was great. And at the text part of this I like all the virtual things. I always show my friends the virtual Prague and now all the other towns that are possible to see.

"I do remember celebrating the 65 years, that was nice. My sons who are still fluent in Czech but not as fluent that they should be maybe, so I send them the language ABC's all the time and Czech Books I follow constantly and they make wonderful Christmas presents for the family."

Is there anything you would like to see or hear on Radio Prague which you think is missing now?

"All I want for the text form - I always wish that was done more often. Because I'm always looking and I've already read this last week and there is nothing new so I'm looking for new things. But I know you can't do it every day. The news are every day obviously but some of the interesting things - that just doesn't come in often enough because I'm really looking forward to reading it every day."

"In the text form I also meant to say that I like to useful information how to live in the Czech Republic and I actually got some use out of it sending friends from here over there and then one of my sons (it didn't work out) but he was getting ready to be there on Fulbright and so he used some of that information, too. A lot of very informative stuff that I could not live without. I read [the Czech internet newspapers] Lidovky and I read Novinky and it's more for like fun things and the 'dirty' politics stuff but this really gives you an insight into the life. Like here you have some of the radios and then there is the national public radio which is what I listen to and you get a whole different outlook on things."