Press Review

In a comment on the latest developments at Czech TV, LIDOVE NOVINY writes that the new head of news, Jana Bobosikova, stopped broadcasting news prepared by the so called "legal" TV team. Although it might look like a landslide victory for the rebel journalists, the situation is not that simple, says the paper. Bobosikova remains in her post, and continues to try to assert her power over the rebels who have been ignoring her since the moment of her appointment.

While broadcasting "official" news, Bobosikova was able to use the excuse of having a distinct lack of personnel and technical equipment. However, the rebel journalists cannot afford to use the same excuse, writes LIDOVE NOVINY. Each license paying viewer now expects balanced newsreels, free of any kind of self righteous comment. That means, as of now, Czech TV newsreels will come under stricter public scrutiny, and those who prepare them will have to prove that they are capable of up-to-scratch public TV broadcasts - otherwise they will only prove that their critics were right, says the paper.

In the wake of a recent blackmail attempt on the Prime Minister Milos Zeman, whose 7-year-old daughter was threatened with kidnapping, today's PRAVO carries an extensive article entitled "Should Czech politicians be scared of their children being kidnapped?" The criminal service director at police headquarters, Ladislav Kaderabek told PRAVO that classic child kidnappings where a ransom is demanded were rather rare in the Czech Republic. Experts say that such cases occur on average only three times a year. But the paper reports on several blackmail cases when Czech politicians and their family members have had to use bodyguards, one of which includes the prime minister's family.

MLADA FRONTA DNES writes that even with the arrival of the new millenium, Czech car owners have not change their buying habits. Like during the 1990s, they have keep continued to favour cheap and small cars. Last year they showed greatest interest in the Czech-made Skoda Felicia. The Felicia still out sells its younger sister the Skoda Fabia. But - the paper writes - generally speaking, Czechs buy far less new cars than motorists in EU countries. In the Czech Republic, the majority of new customers buy cars that cost between 200,000 and 300,000 crowns, that's just over 7000 US dollars, while only a few splash out on more expensive vehicles.

And finally, ZEMSKE NOVINY features a photo of a lady from South Moravia, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday. Mrs Marie Povolna told the paper that it was only two years ago, she had climbed a cherry tree in her garden to get at her favourite fruit. In addition to good health, the old lady has also remained in high spirits and perfect memory. At the celebration she sang a song she had remembered from first grade of primary school.