Final Word from Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Culture Minister Pavel Dostál, a defender of public TV and radio, told privately owned F1 radio this week that he'd support a new tax for funding public media. The problem, he said, is that it wouldn't win support in Parliament. When radio host Ondřej Hejma surprised Dostál by asking why there aren't also public newspapers, the minister was at a loss for words. Instead of talking about the government's desire to exercise control over scarce frequencies and the impracticality of transferring this control to the fragmented print media, he finally stated simply that public newspapers wouldn't work. He was right, of course, but readers tired of the tabloidization of Czech newspapers might be willing to consider the idea. That is, if they could get the same kind of quality from a public paper that they're now getting from Czech TV, Czech Radio and the Czech BBC. Television Frekvence jedna


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