Czech broadcast regulator: Prima TV's coverage of Iraqi refugees (and itself) broke the law
Last year TV Prima broke the law through its news broadcasting about the integration of refugees from Iraq into the Czech Republic, according to the Council on Radio and Television Broadcasting (Rada pro rozhlasové a televizní vysílání - RRTV). A total of four news reports broadcast in its main news program, "FTV Prima News", were found to have manipulated viewers and to have not been objective.
The Council specifically found fault with TV Prima's reporting about the planned departure of a group of Iraqis from the Czech Republic broadcast on 31 March 2016; with a report about the halting of the project to bring the Iraqis to the Czech Republic, run by the Generation 21 Foundation, broadcast on 1 April 2016; and with two related broadcasts about the departure of the group of Iraqi refugees for Germany on 2 April 2016. "Those broadcasts combined commentary by anchors and reporters with news content," its press release reads.
"The opinion of the station operator was presented to viewers as if it were fact. Viewers were therefore unable to form their own, independent opinion on the basis of the broadcast content, as the biased commentary by the reporters led to just one possible interpretation of the publicized incidents," the RRTV stated.
The law is said to have been broken between 28 March and 17 April 2016. TV Prima alleged that fraudulent accusations were being made against it about its manipulation of news material regarding refugees from Iraq, including one identified as George Batty.
STATEMENTS MADE DURING TV PRIMA NEWS BROADCASTS NOW CRITICIZED BY THE RRTV
"The critics alleged we manipulated the reportage or the statements made by George Batty. Now we see these people actually were 100 % dissatisfied."
"Are we to explain this by saying that when we filmed our reporting the refugees were satisfied and that they did not change their opinion until now? Nobody is able to answer that question for us."
"Our television station has become targeted by attacks from the HateFree initiative and other media outlets after we broadcast our original reports in which we were the first to warn that the refugees were not satisfied with their accommodations in the Czech Republic."
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