Freedom of the Press 2008 - Czech Republic
|Publication Date||29 April 2008|
|Cite as||Freedom House, Freedom of the Press 2008 - Czech Republic, 29 April 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4871f5fd5.html [accessed 20 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Legal Environment: 4 (of 30)
Political Environment: 7 (of 40)
Economic Environment: 7 (of 30)
Total Score: 18 (of 100)
(Lower scores = freer)
Freedom of the press is constitutionally guaranteed, though the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms prohibits speech that might infringe on national security, individual rights, public health, or morality, or that may evoke hatred based on race, ethnicity, or national origin. Libel remains a criminal offense, but prosecutions are rare. The Press Law provides a sound basis for independent journalism, and media protections were later bolstered by Constitutional Court and other institutional rulings reinforcing journalistic freedoms.
No major changes took place in 2007, though high government officials did call for stricter regulation of the media. Media freedom advocates have noted a growing number of articles written to serve the needs of commercial interests. While press freedom has long been secure in the Czech Republic, observers continue to raise concerns over the quality and depth of reporting, as well as weak accountability in particular of the tabloids.
Most electronic and print media outlets are privately owned, and they generally represent diverse views without fear of government or partisan pressure. Media advocates point out that while public media are widely respected, their financial sustainability has been undermined by stricter control of public resources and by increasing restrictions on advertising. As a result, recent years have seen a gradual migration of resources from public-sector media to commercial media outlets. The Internet continues to develop rapidly, with over 50 percent of the population enjoying regular and unrestricted access.