Archive for the ‘Media’ Category


Video chat: when Czech pornographers lie

In Internet,Media on January 5, 2012 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged:

Since the global crisis started, students have had big problems finding temporary after-school jobs because companies have been laying off people and if they really do need part-timers, they will offer these jobs either to former employees or to their children. Among the companies which are hiring students on a continuous basis are videochat/livechat studios. Their banners and advertising boards can even be seen at the biggest public transportation intersection in Brno – at the main train station. According to a companies directory at the portal there are about ten of them in Brno, and slightly more in Prague.

There are two interesting things about this type of business.

One, the form of advertising. The banners feature a smiling 20-something girl and a slogan along the lines of “Do you want to make your dreams come true and be independent?” I really do not think that any Czech woman dreams about dirty webcam talk with complete strangers in a foreign country. Evidently the whole concept of independence is based on possible earnings. Some employers claim to offer as much as CZK 50,000 per month (EUR 2,000).

Two, the employers try to convince job applicants that the servers are not accessible from the Czech Republic (e.g.:, which means no friends, family members or neighbors will accidentally meet them during a videochat session. Of course, this can be true. However, videochat girls have their own discussion forum where they voice their concern about privacy, or lack thereof. Some employers often join the discussion and say that working for an American website means that foreign IP addresses are blocked. This issue is particularly important in the case of nude chats.

What the pornographers (not all of them are, let’s say many of them) do not say (and there have been several scandals in the Czech Republic when a certain starlet’s past got revealed this way) is that any session can be recorded and uploaded onto just any server where it can be found by a Czech porn lover. Just like when Czech porn stars work for a foreign producer who claims that the videos are only sold in the United States and not Europe. Of course, American customers like to grab videos from DVD’s or paysites and share them on the Internet with the rest of the world. Several Czech men who are somewhat famous (e.g. a BigBrother contestant or a son of the Mayor of a certain Czech town) found out the hard way because they had worked for a U.S. company and the videos eventually surfaced in the Czech Republic.

The Czech government has recently started amending Czech tax laws in an attempt to improve the state budget income from taxes and the legalization of prostitution was among the issues discussed. Some MP’s of the governing Civic Democrats support it, some don’t. They would like the taxes, but they do not want the state to be the pimp.


Communist TV show on the day of Havel’s funeral?

In Entertainment,Media on December 23, 2011 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: ,

Czech TV station TV Barrandov is known for airing pre-1989 communist TV shows.  In today’s terms, they would be called TV drama series. Usually they tell a story of a prominent communist who has to deal with “everyday problems”, which include people who are not true communists. These shows were produced by an order of the pre-1989 party leadership which controlled everything. Twenty-one years after the Velvet Revolution, some people still live in the past, mistakenly believing that life was better back then. And they watch these programs, even though they glorify injustice, oppression, censorship etc.

On December 23, the day of the late Vaclav Havel’s funeral, the station aired one of the worst examples of the above, a series entitled Muz na radnici (A Man at the City Hall) despite the fact that three days ago Czech PM Petr Necas asked media to alter their program to reflect the three-day national mourning period and the funeral.

True, TV Barrandov did alter their program by observing the minute of silence at noon and by airing a special documentary. These two changes were “proudly” announced in a press release on Wednesday. The management had enough time to plan and implement one more change. It could have been Havel’s favorite movie… or just anything… but the commie show was aired anyway. It is like airing a terrorist flick on a 9/11 anniversary.


Insurance company: the late president was our client

In Internet,Media on December 19, 2011 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged:

Some people in charge of marketing and PR at Vojenska zdravotni pojistovna (V0ZP), one of health insurance companies in the Czech Republic, are idiots. An advertisement in a black frame was posted on the company’s website today included Vaclav Havel’s photo and the words “client of VoZP”, the news server wrote and TV Nova reported today.


Czech Television will assign color codes to reporters

In Media on November 25, 2011 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged:

A new system of employee evaluation has recently been introduced by the Czech Television, Czech Republic public service broadcaster. Based upon this internal system, reporters will be divided into color-coded groups based on their skills, achievements, attitude and the overall quality. The best team (black, according to the TYDEN weekly newsmagazine) will be in charge of the evening news broadcast, Udalosti. Other teams will do the less prestigious work, including the daily update of the CT24 channel, which is the Czech Television’s 24/7 news broadcast.

All news teams everywhere are divided into groups, we just have them color-coded, Czech TV’s spokesman Ladislav Sticha told the Mlada fronta DNES daily. The news department’s management wants to work with the most experienced journalists to create the flagship program. Sticha added that there will be no “wall” between any two teams, meaning that any reporter can be promoted based on their achievements.

According to the newly appointed director of Czech Television Petr Dvorak, the flagship program is intended for viewers who only want their portion of news once a day. In addition, this evening news program should be anchored by one person only (for the time being there is one anchorman and one anchorwoman who “take turns”).

According to a humorous rumor quoted by the TYDEN weekly newsmagazine, there will also be an orange team whose members will wear high visibility jackets while cleaning and collecting garbage around the news department building.


Malkovich promoting the Karlovy Vary festival

In Culture,Media on July 2, 2011 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged:

Several celebrities promote the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The black and white ads are excellent. If you want to see one featuring John Malkovich, click on the headline to see the video posted within the article, as this template does not allow direct sharing within the front page. I wonder if Malkovich is still made about the burglary in his Prague hotel a few weeks back, and whether or not the Prague police have managed to collect some evidence on the suspect, considering the fact that it was a four-star hotel.


Parliament adopted dress code for journalists

In Media on June 7, 2011 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged:

Even on hot summer days, journalists entering the building of the Czech Parliament will be required to wear proper clothes. The “relaxed” dress code will no longer be accepted. Instead, the new rule dictates what media representatives must wear in order to be granted access. It is not a surprise that the rule applies almost exclusively to men.

According to a Czech News Agency article published by the Mediar server, the presence of persons wearing sandals, short pants, T-shirts, hats or otherwise unsuitable clothes is offensive. The press department of the Czech Parliament informed media in a press statement that the minimum standard includes long pants, shirt and jacket. (Hmm, if this is “minimum”, what’s left? Tuxedos? -ed.)

Evidently, female journalists care about their appearance more, irrespective of whether or not they expect to visit the Parliament building, so no particular dress code elements for female journalists were named.

Requirements regarding clothes are frequently sent to media on special occasions, such as foreign presidents’ visits, when even cameramen and sound crew are required to dress for the occasion. For example, during the Pope’s visit camera crew had to wear full dark suits with ties.

To be fair, journalists DO mingle in the hallways of the Parliament, so it is not very professional to interview an MP while wearing khaki shorts and T-shirt.


Czech-Slovak Got Talent winner: a duo of gymnasts DaeMen.

In Culture,Entertainment,Media,Music on November 28, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: ,

[VIDEO INSIDE] Normally, the “Got Talent” shows search for talented artists in their respective countries. This country is an exception. TV Prima (Czech Republic) joined forces with TV Joj (Slovakia) in search for “Czechoslovak” (or “Czecho-Slovak”) talent. And the winner is: a duo of gymnasts DaeMen. The other two of the three “top finalists” were magician-entertainer Richard Nedved and operatic pop singer Marian Zazrivy.

Fourteen finalists included solo singers (e.g. daughter of NHL goaltender Dominik Hasek), duets, dance formations or magicians. This time the three judges had no say because the winner was announced based on the highest number of SMS votes sent by TV viewers. The prizes include EUR 100,000 and a contract for some performances in Las Vegas.

The show background is very interesting. TV Nova (the biggest player on the Czech TV market) missed its chance to obtain the license from FremantleMedia, so they immediately came up with the very same concept of their own. They call it Talentmania… and it is broadcast on the same days as Got Talent.


Karel Gott won his 36th annual popularity award

In Culture,Media,Music on November 28, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,

There are several kinds of music awards in the Czech Republic. One of them is based on actual achievements and is awarded by an “academy”. And there is one that is based solely on popularity. It is called The Czech Nightingale (Cesky slavik) and it dates back to the period of communism. This year’s “singer of the year” award went, again, to Karel Gott. It is his 36th award of that name.

Gott is a good singer of his genre and he definitely works hard. On the other hand, he does not produce new albums very often and his actual achievements during this year are not worth mentioning at all. The fact that he keeps winning is that he became, sort of, a legend. He has thousands of die-hard fans among the 45+ audience, not to mention the 60+ audience. In other words, he is “their” singer and he is one of the few certainties some people have left. The fact that they cast their vote for him via SMS is one of the things that keep their worlds from falling apart, as the world around them keeps changing.

The fact that music enthusiasts cannot find anybody else to vote for is interpreted by some critics as “still waters of Czech mentality”, which is sometimes referred to as “musty but warm”.

Having an award show in December just to tell musicians we like them, no matter what they have done during the particular year is strange, of course. But since the award show is broadcast by a commercial TV station, it is possible to wave it off just by saying it is a part of the music business. Plus, when it comes to Karel Gott, no award show is going to make him more or less popular than he is now…  

Photo (c) Denik Sip (


Bus To Bohemia: witty observations by an Englishman in Prague

In Culture,Entertainment,Language,Life,Media,Prague,Travel on November 14, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , , ,

I am a fan of witty books written by foreigners about a country they visit, or about their new (temporary or permanent) homelands. I liked Stephen Clarke’s Merde books and I enjoyed For the Love of Prague by Gene Deitch.

Bus To Bohemia by Posh Parker is another one of these works of art that are, in my opinion, written mainly for the author’s fellow citizens who are less fortunate and have not had the chance to visit a foreign country and dive into its everyday life by attending local bars and communicating with local people, instead of just eating at KFC and shopping like ordinary tourists. Of course, just like most authors of all genres (be it comedy or university textbooks) there are a few very minor cases of jumping to conclusions — but hey, we ALL do it.

Books like this one may also be of interest to Czechs who want to know how the nation is perceived by foreigners and who do not take things personally. Many Czechs do take things personally and any comments and remarks regarding aspects of everyday life result in their unspoken remarks “Go back to (insert country here)”.

Of course, one has to have in mind that books written by the author’s foreign experience are often written from one specific perspective. Had the author arrived as a first-class British Airways passenger and stayed at the Radisson and dined in the Alcron’s La Rotonde, it would be a different — and boring! — perspective. 

The author’s website is here. You can also buy his book.


Palacky University promo clip – a YouTube hit

In Culture,Education & Science,Media on November 6, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,

Palacky University in the city of Olomouc, Czech Republic, needed a promo clip. The management approached a movie art student who had about 45 days to complete this task. See the YouTube video below to find out how he did. As an Olomouc native who had “(news) camera courses”, I must say it looks terrific. The truth is, however, that the key idea of the clip gets old after 2 minutes… and the clip is over four minutes long. Some students who discussed this work of art in discussion forums noted that there are only three editing motifs throughout the picture and that among the “interesting numbers” that are displayed, the most important one is missing “the number of intercourses per night”. AND P.S.: THE MUSIC LYRICS ARE NOT REGULAR CZECH. It is an alternative duo/band who make the words up…kind of like Klingon…

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