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Czech Republic: Media System

Barbara Köpplová and Jan Jirák


The Czech Republic is located in the central part of Europe, with over 10 million inhabitants, Czech as the main official language, and a two-chamber parliamentary system. The state was founded after the split of former Czechoslovakia in 1993, which had belonged to the Soviet bloc after World War II. The current media system, established and developing since 1989, can be characterized as a liberal, pluralistic system operating within the framework of constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression. The media in the country operate in a market-driven environment with no or very limited regulation regarding both content and ownership. Audiovisual media operate within a dual system of both public-service media and private (mostly commercial) broadcasting. The system is close to the so-called “democratic corporatist model” ( Hallin & Mancini 2004 ). The typical characteristics of the system are a high level of both horizontal and vertical concentration of ownership, with wide influence of foreign owners, especially in print media (→ Concentration in Media Systems ); a strong tendency toward commercialization (with a remarkable shift toward → tabloidization and → infotainment ); a comparatively weak and politically dependent position of public-service media; and dynamic development of Internet media. The media system of the Czech Republic is based upon developments and changes ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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