Final Word from Monday, May 2, 2005

There's been speculation for years that Mafra, publisher of MF Dnes, has been currying favor with politicians so that it can get a TV license. The speculation reached a new height two months ago when the grand opening of Mafra's new Media Center in Prague 5 turned into a love-in with ODS. Some people argue that MFD's favoritism towards ODS is merely a way to sell more newspapers, given that ODS leads the popularity polls. But Mafra's purchase last week of Óčko music TV station did indeed suggest that there's a link between MFD's political reporting and its business interests. Immediately after the Óčko deal was signed, the station said it would seek a digital-broadcasting license. And for this, political protection is essential. By jumping into bed with politicians, MFD seems to be doing precisely what it so eagerly criticizes others for doing. [Czech Republic Mladá fronta Dnes television press]


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