Journalists Call for Professional Solution to Czech TV Crisis

The International Federation of Journalists, the world's largest journalists' group, today called for an end to political wrangling over the future of Czech TV.

"Public Service Broadcasting must always be a cornerstone of editorial independence," said Gustl Glattfelder, Chairman of the European Federation of Journalists, "and the dispute at Czech TV raises the question of attempts to exert political influence on news broadcasting."

The IFJ is fully supporting the Czech Journalists' Syndicate in its efforts to find a professional solution to the confrontation at Czech TV in Prague, where journalists and media workers are disputing the appointment of a new administration.

The IFJ and its regional organisation, the EFJ have launched a major campaign to support public service broadcasting. "Public service broadcasting must maintain the highest standard of independent reporting," says the IFJ "the role of politicians must be to create a transparent and accountable system of administration and not do anything that will be seen as attempting to manipulate the news agenda."

A major conference of journalist leaders from throughout Eastern and Central Europe confirmed standards for public service broadcasting in Zagreb last year. "These standards are in line with the highest levels of professionalism in all the democracies of Europe. The people of the Czech Republic and other countries of the region have a right to expect that their public service channels will not be subject to direct political influence," said Glattfelder.

The IFJ and EFJ have pledged to do all it can to support the Czech Syndicate of journalists in its efforts for the creation of a genuine public service system.