Final Word from Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thirty years of freedom and freedom of speech sound impressive, but little has been said during the celebrations about the original media sin. At the beginning was media privatization, or should we say media "grabization." Oskar Krejčí, an adviser to PMs Ladislav Adamec and Marián Čalfa, told Literární noviny that the handover of power from the "truth & love" romantics who first acquired it to the oligarchs who now hold it was similar in each socialist country. As he sees it, he said, the start of this process in Czechoslovakia was the privatization of Mladá fronta newspaper. It took place entirely outside the law, he said, and it was tolerated. And then the same thing happened with other newspapers. The information sources that had served mainly left-leaning readers became mainstream sources of "strange, intolerant liberalism," he said. Another way to look at it is that the very journalists who were supposed to be the watchdogs of democracy had a privatization "crime" of their own that made them blackmailable and morally tarnished. The rest of the grabization then went all that more smoothly. [ Czech Republic Mafra Dnes MFD ]

Glossary of difficult words

to grab - to grasp or seize suddenly and roughly;

watchdog - a person or group that monitors the practices of companies or institutions providing a particular service or utility;

to tarnish - to damage or harm; to make or become less valuable or respected.

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