Report about Free Czech Media’s activity from 2015 to 2016
Free Czech Media is an association of journalists set against suppression of press freedom. It was founded in Prague on November 18, 2014 by Pavel Šafr, Tomáš Klvaňa, Barbora Tachecí, Jan Jandourek. „Our goal is to track cases of manipulation by political power, hidden censorship and obvious self-censorship, as these can be seen more and more often with the key Czech media these days,“ said Pavel Šafr, the newly elected chairman of the association, at its constitutive session. The new journalist association was founded (under the legal form called „filed association“) at the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the communist regime. The birth of the association responds to the fact that a quarter of century after the return of the democracy, the level of freedom of speech and media´s independence of the political power in the Czech Republic has become alarmingly low. Through its own website, Free Czech Media aims to monitor the pressure that the political power exerts on journalists and their work; the interconnections between political, economic and medial powers; and the decline of the actual plurality which deteriorates conditions for the fair political competition. The association intends to sound a warning about the risk of corrosion of democratic conditions in the Czech Republic. Free Czech Media further intends to inform international institutions about the state of freedom of speech in our country, as well as to get in touch and cooperate with them in order to help increase professionalism and democratic awareness of the Czech journalists. The Free Czech Media website will also serve to inform the Czech public about cases of violation of the free speech abroad. Since the beginning of 2015, the association has been organizing discussions on the state of press freedom in the Czech Republic. It also runs the news and discussion website called Free Forum. Free Czech Media founders: Pavel Šafr, long-time editor-in-chief of key Prague dailies, former member of Board of Directors of Mafra a.s. publishing house, former Deputy Managing Director of the publishing house Economia and editor-in-chief of the Reflex weekly. Tomáš Klvaňa, university teacher and former presidential spokesman. Jan Jandourek, university teacher and long-time commentator. Barbora Tachecí, TV and radio journalist and presenter as well as former editor-in-chief of the Czech Radio 1 – Radiožurnál.