Final Word from Wednesday, November 8, 2017



When a journalist or other public figure has a conflict of interest, whose responsibility is it to divulge it, his or her own, or that of the medium he or she appears in? When Czech TV invites journalist Bohumil Pečinka to comment on the presidential candidacy of Mirek Topolánek, who should declare Pečinka's conflict of interest? Clearly the bigger burden is on the public TV station, because it has a legal requirement. Yet it has seemingly put an embargo on mentioning the name of Topolánek's employer, Daniel Křetínský of EPH. Křetínský is also Pečinka's employer, as one of the official owners of Reflex magazine. So Pečinka was commenting last night on his own colleague's entry into politics, and did it in glowing terms, but not a word was said of the conflict of interest. It would be so much more honest for ČT to say it needs to help install Topolánek as president before Andrej Babiš can use his new executive powers to turn the station into his own mouthpiece. [Czech Republic Czech News Center Television]

Glossary of difficult words

to divulge - to make known (private or sensitive information);

burden - the main responsibility for achieving a specified aim or task;

glowing - expressing great praise;

mouthpiece - a person or organization who speaks on behalf of another person or organization.

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