One month after Hodac departure, still much debate over public broadcasting

A seminar was held on Monday night entitled "The Future of Public Broadcasting" - a particularly sensitive issue here in the Czech Republic, following the huge crisis surrounding the country's public TV network Czech Television. The appointment in December of Jiri Hodac as the General Director of Czech TV led to strikes, marathon debates in parliament and the country's biggest street demonstrations since the 1989 overthrow of Communism. Mr Hodac and his appointees are now gone, but the debate over the role of public broadcasting continues. Speaking at Monday's seminar were Ivo Mathe, Czech Television's first post-Communist Director General, and Einar Forde, the Director of Norwegian Public Television and Radio. Pavla Navratilova spoke to Ivo Mathe about the past and future of public broadcasting in his country...

The Director of Norway's Public Television and Radio network, Einar Forde, described the common goals of the two countries in the field of public broadcasting: Public broadcasting also dominated Friday's seminar on free speech in the Czech Republic, organised by the Czech Helsinki Committee. The seminar was meant to focus on Czech legal protection of free speech, especially in light of the recent Czech TV crisis, but was somewhat hijacked by members of the Civic Democrats, who supported Mr Hodac's appointment and were firmly opposed to attempts by journalists and later the public to have him removed. One Civic Democrat, Katerina Dostalova, claimed the panelists didn't have a thorough understanding of the details of the Czech TV case, which led to a rather heated debate. Pavla Navratilova spoke to Helsinki Committee member Alena Kroupova, and put the criticisms to her.

Author: Pavla Navrátilová
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