The independence of the public media is absolutely crucial for protecting democracy in the Czech Republic. Therefore the political pressure mounted on the Czech Television not only threatens its sovereignty but also the democracy of the country. The association Milion Moments for Democracy therefore decided to organize a happening and an outdoor press conference on November 24, the day before the meeting of the Czech Television Council. The events will take place from 5 pm in front of the Czech Television building in the Kavci hory. Journalists and photographers are warmly welcome and at the end of the happening, there will be room for questions.
The association Million Moments for Democracy is closely following the situation regarding the Czech Television Council and its actions. Therefore the press conference will be held the day before its next meeting at 1062 Na Hřebenech II Street. Benjamin Roll, the chairman of the Milion Moments association, as well as Olga Sommerova, a filmmaker and co-initiator of An Open Letter to Andrej Babis, will deliver a speech. In the letter a number of eminent figures call on the prime minister to promote the independence of the public media. One of the letter's signatories, astrophysicist Jiri Grygar, will also speak at the press conference. Along with the conference, the creative happening titled ‘No free media - no free elections’ will take place. The happening is a part of the Year of Change campaign launched by the Million Moments during its online demonstration on November 16, 2020.
The event is organised in cooperation with other initiatives that support Czech Television: An Open Letter to Andrej Babis, Reconstruction of the State, Vraťte nám stát (Return the State to Us) and Svobodu médiím! (Freedom for Media!).
Benjamin Roll, the president and spokesman of the Milion Moments association: “The Czech Television Council makes important decisions without proper discussion and furthermore fails to even try to justify its actions. That raises serious doubts concerning not only the competence of some councillors, but also their political independence."
Jiri-Jakub Zevl, the vice-president and spokesman of the Milion Moments association: "Twenty years on, again at the end of the year, Czech TV is under political pressure. And in the background, we see the same names once again: Bobosikova, Klaus and their ‘delightful’ institutes. Fortunately, we have a civil society that will always fiercely defend the independence of the public media. That being said, we urge all the upstanding councillors not to bend their backs under the political pressure and not to associate their names with the behavior of this kind."
Vaclav Nemec, the Vraťte nám stát (Return the State to Us) initiation: “These days we are witnessing a kind of 'chronicle of the pre-announced death of the Czech Television.' In the spring the Chamber of Deputies elected to the Czech Television Council candidates whose main qualification is loyalty to politicians and political parties which are openly hostile to the public media. It was only a matter of time for these councilors to begin to fulfill their political orders. Their current steps obviously do not aim to better the functioning of the Czech Television or increase the transparency of its management. Moreover, they limit its independence and subordinate the Czech Television to those political forces to which the independent public media are being a thorn in the side."
Benjamin Roll, president and spokesman of the Milion Moments association
Jiri-Jakub Zevl, the vice-president and spokesman of the Milion Moments association, [email protected]