There are concerns about the increasing pressure threatening the independence of Czech Television. This was stated on Friday in a press release from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which brings together public service media in Europe. The association, which is based in Switzerland, commented on the current worrying situation, which prevails especially in "its supervisory council, the Czech Television council". According to the EBU, the council is to be politicized this year, the year of parliamentary elections.
Main entrance of CT building (Source: Česká Televize)
“The independence of Czech Television is under threat. In recent months, we've seen the increasing politicization of its governing body and attempts to challenge and undermine the senior management team.” writes in the report from the EBU.
Later in the report from 9th April, the EBU is concerned about the new elections to the Czech Television Council. Most of the candidates probably will be connected to the political party of current czech prime minister Andrej Babiš (ANO). Now we know that most of the twelve candidates, four of whom will be elected by the House of Commons, are mostly people who are publicly criticizing the current management of the Czech Television.
"Choosing from these names can't turn out well," said opposition politician Pavel Blažek
(ODS) to Czech Radio
Electing new CT council members should have taken place on the 13th of April but was postponed by the opposition to next week (20th of April) but it is possible it will be postponed again. The reason for this is possible law violation by one of the current members of the CT Council Hana
Lipovská. Ms. Lipovská was elected into the CT council last year and her work in the council is highly controversial.
“A member of the CT Council Lipovská has signed under letters sent to deputies and senators. Her appearance in a political institute is therefore in direct conflict with the Czech Television Law.” said opposition deputy Jan Bartošek (KDU-ČSL) on Twitter, who initiated the postponement of the election to the CT Council.
If it turns out that Ms. Lipovská did break the law, the Chamber of Deputies should remove her from the CT Council, according to Mr. Bartošek.
Hana Lipovská is one of the biggest critics of the current management of Czech Television and director Petr Dvořák. (Source: iROZHLAS)
According to Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford, Czech Television is the most viewed news brand in the Czech Republic, with 60% of everyone in the country using the service at least weekly. CT is also trusted by more Czechs than any other news brand.
Czech Television broadcasts investigative reports and informs viewers about topics that are often unpleasant to high-ranking government officials. The work of Czech Television is mostly criticized by prime minister Andrej Babiš, president Miloš Zeman and far-right party leaders like Tomio Okamura (SPD).