Final Word from Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This past year has been the pits for Czech journalists. And not just because sales are slumping and oligarchs are signing Czech scribes into vassalage. Even worse is that not a single Czech journalist was enough of an island of positive deviation in the past 12 months to deserve a medal of honor from Pres. Miloš Zeman. Last year, medals went to two commentators (though not journalists) from Právo, Václav Bělohradský and Jan Keller. This year people in the media sector had to shoot propaganda films to catch the president's eye (Filip Renč, Robert Sedláček). By this criterion, Petr Dvořák of Czech TV should have also received a medal for service to Zeman's election campaign, but propriety requires that this wait a few more years. Journalists themselves still have a chance to get into line for 2015, but it will require them to accept that their feudal media lords and their president are diligently working toward the same virtuous goals. [Czech Republic journalism oligarchy]

Glossary of difficult words

the pits - (informal) extremely bad, the worst, hell;

to slump - to undergo a prolonged fall in the price, value or amount of something;

scribe - (often humorous) a writer, esp. a journalist;

propriety - the state or quality of conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behavior or morals;

to get into line - (used here in a double meaning) to line up; to start observing the rules of behavior.

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