Final Word from Monday, October 20, 2014

It's too early for a final analysis, but newspapers appear to have played their smallest role ever in the recent Czech elections. Billboards, the internet and specifically social networks played an increased role by capturing the most ads and eyeballs. The decline in the influence of newspapers seems to have two main causes. First, sales of newspapers are falling. Since the parliamentary elections a year ago, newsstand and subscription sales of the five major papers have shrunk by 12%, to a daily total of only 525,000 copies. Second, there's reason to believe that part of this drop in sales is due to the deterioration in the perceived credibility of the newspapers, as the oligarchs take them all over. As a result, MFD's conveniently timed lead article on Sat. linking Roman Janoušek to KDU-ČSL's chief sponsor, Luděk Sekyra, didn't prevent KDU from scoring a big win in the Senate elections. On the other hand, Blesk proved with its compromising page-five photo of TOP 09's Jiří Vávra that the newspapers, if used wickedly cleverly, can still turn an election. [Czech Republic Blesk, HN, LN, MFD, Právo press]

Glossary of difficult words

eyeballs - (in this context) readers or viewers;

five major papers - Blesk, HN, LN, MFD, Právo;

deterioration - the state of becoming progressively worse;

conveniently timed - timed in such a way as to achieve a desired result;

to turn (an election, game, etc.) - to bring about a different outcome from the one that would have otherwise occurred.

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