Why the Czech media does not have great journalistic personas?

24. 2. 2010 / Ivo Šebestík

Our middle and older generations have an understanding of journalism and journalistic practices lightly coloured by the traditional image of a good and decent craft found somewhere in the anteroom of literary creations. Stately men over a typewriter under incandescent lamps and with pipes on their mouths quickly and only by pen writing their essays. Messengers running around them with fresh proof copies of their newspaper pages and the latest handwritting with which in a short while they will fly to the typesetter, from whom sweat flows out by the Linotype. And keeping ward the whole thing is the eye of the Editor-in-Chief, honourable persona, whose word holds as if had been sculpted into stone.

A Czech version of this article is in CLICK in Britske listy HERE

That Old World has been long gone and the journalistic craft changed immensely. Time passed around not only engaged journalism from Swift, Havlíček-Borovský, Gogol, Heine or Marx, but even analytic, intelectual, refined but still also engaged journalism from Peroutka, Sartre, Camus and other personalities, who as powerful bolts connected journalism with literary creation and phylosophy.

Our present doesn't require from intelectuals any engagement. That word is taken as discredited. In the East as well as in the West. Nobody wants to have anything to do with whatever battle for some higher ideals, because it is generally judged that ideals are ridiculous. That they have no market value, are not exchangeable, are not convertible into bombs, are then basically for nothing. Current writers refuse engagement as they would typhus or leprosy. They are supposedly in it for the work in itself, not to do politics. They are responsible only for that what and how they write, not for whether their writing advance the development of something better and defend morality.


Obsah vydání | Pátek 26.2. 2010