Final Word from Monday, May 4, 2015

From the time Zdeněk Bakala took over Respekt in early 2006 and the magazine ended its policy in late 2014 of not writing about him, Bakala and his business partners legally tunneled nearly €2 billion from OKD and its related entities. With its silence, Respekt helped enable this. It's not as easy to calculate how much Andrej Babiš, Petr Kellner, Jaromír Soukup and Daniel Křetínský/Martin Roman have earned thanks to their takeovers, respectively, of Mafra, Czech TV, Týden and Blesk, but few doubt that commercial and political interests are their main motivation. (Marek Dospiva of Penta now talks of media ownership as a "nuclear briefcase.") The oligarchization of the Czech media clearly puts democracy to the test, but it puts individual journalists to the test too. They must decide how much to bend their own rules of journalistic integrity before slamming the door on their oligarch by declaring on Facebook, "Enough is enough!" [Czech Republic Economia Kateřina Šafaříková NWR Television ČT Empresa Ringier Czech News Center]

Glossary of difficult words

to enable - to make possible;

nuclear briefcase - a specially outfitted briefcase used to authorize the deployment of nuclear weapons.

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