Final Word from Thursday, April 3, 2003

Several readers told us that if Czech TV stations are biased against the Iraq war, U.S. stations - esp. CNN and Fox - are just as biased in the other direction. Somewhere in between is the BBC, which strives to be balanced and impartial and faces criticism at home for not being patriotic enough. In Prague, the BBC has 30 people for its Czech radio service and certainly doesn't wrap itself in a local flag. It challenges Czech politicians, esp. in its daily interview program, and often creates the news with the uncomfortable questions it asks. The Czech BBC has a relatively small audience - 6.5% of the adult population per week in Dec. 2001, compared to three times more per day for Czech Radio - but the listeners are influential. To reach them, politicians are willing to tolerate the tough questions. Václav Klaus sought out the BBC for his first radio interview as president. Nova


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