romea - logo
May 24, 2016
romano vodi - předplatné
extended search

Former Czech Green Party candidate owns tabloid publishing anti-Roma articles

Prague, 26.4.2014 20:50, (ROMEA)
Jan Barta in the 2014 documentary film
Jan Barta in the 2014 documentary film "Tabloid Workers" (Dělníci bulváru). (PHOTO: Czech Television)

"If Gypsies beat up a pub owner, I'll write six articles about it and keep on writing them... I'll say it's a Rom no matter what the cost. If whites beat up a white guy, or if a white guy beats up a Rom... then no," the editor-in-chief of the tabloid news server, Pavel Novotný, says of his practices in the recent Czech documentary film "Tabloid Workers" ("Dělníci bulváru").  

Jan Barta, the owner of news server, which publishes untruthful articles that unleash hatred against Romani people and makes big profits in the process, has run as a Green Party (Strana zelených - SZ) candidate in the past. According to Jan Žáček, the SZ party's press spokesperson, Barta does not interfere with the editorial content of the media outlet he owns.

News server has written a great deal about media manipulation in the Czech Republic, reproaching media outlets for their unethical and unprofessional conduct when reporting about Romani people. One of our main points is that the media are divorced from reality and are adapting their news reporting to meet the (real or imagined) demands of their listeners, readers and viewers.    

The driving force behind this lack of ethical behavior is a desire for the greatest possible profits irrespective of what is essential to the craft and mission of journalism. Our point has now been confirmed by the editor-in-chief of one of the most-read tabloids in the Czech Republic. 

Novotný has admitted that his publication intentionally emphasizes Romani ethnicity in its reporting. He says the word "Rom", when used in a negative connotation, increases readership and therefore profits. 

The editor makes the claim in a documentary film by Vít Klusák, "Tabloid Workers" ("Dělníci bulváru"), which has been broadcast by Czech Television as part of its "Czech Journal" (Český žurnál) series. The majority shareholder of news server is Jan Barta, who ran for the lower house in 2013 in 33rd place on the Green Party candidate list.   

"Jan Barta, according to our information, does not interfere editorially with the content of the media outlet he owns," Jan Žáček, the SZ press spokesperson, told "Barta personally supported the combined efforts of the SZ and the Equal Opportunities Party during the lower house elections and the efforts of the SZ to involve Romani people in civic and political life. That interest is one of the main reasons he decided to run for the SZ for the lower house. We are not yet directly collaborating with Mr Barta on the campaign to the European Parliament, but we do not rule out cooperating with him in future. The Green Party condemns all forms of stereotyping on the basis of origin, religious affiliation, or sex and has done so for a very long time."

In an interview for news server, Barta himself said the following of  "I want it to make money. The basis of that is to win an organic readership and I see we are succeeding and that it's rising in a straight line. Every month we have 10 000 more daily visitors. In October, thanks to the election and political ads, we reported record sales."

Editor Novotný has been quoted previously on the harmful effects of tabloid journalism on the celebrities whose lives it targets. When Barta was asked whether an ethical dimension of the tabloid business even exists for him, he responded:  "Naturally I think about it. As far as the business, the enterprise, that's supposed to maximize its revenues, not build playgrounds and schools. As for what I take out of the business for myself, I handle it in exactly the opposite way. It's not possible to mix the two."

In "Tabloid Workers" ("Dělníci bulváru"), Novotný expresses himself in a carefree, open way that involves a certain degree of scorn for his readers. He claims to enjoy such power that he could get away with anything, even breaking the law.  

"We are a nation of racists, absolutely a nation of racists, and we loathe Gypsies. The petty Czechs just loathe them. If Gypsies beat up a pub owner, I'll write six articles about it and keep on writing them... I'll say it's a Rom no matter what the cost. If whites beat up a white guy, or if a white guy beats up a Rom... then no. If a Rom beats someone up, the petty Czechs shit themselves, so if Roma play a role in a story, I go for it. The words 'Facebook' and 'Rom' increase readership by as much as one-fourth. We're the ones that taught this to TV NOVA, to, to all of them. The demand is terrific, 1 700 000 people want to read a tabloid every day," Novotný says in the documentary film.

This approach by toward reporting on Romani people is confirmed by the publication's headlines and subject matter - one example is "How the Roma rampage elsewhere in Europe: In Paris they prefer to steal at ATMs." In the documentary, Novotný claims that always reports the truth, but in reality the media outlet takes no notice of it.

For example, in the article "Slovak Roma terrorizing British town of Sheffield! Reportedly eating cats and selling their own children", wrote:  "Police officers also have a wealth of experience with the Roma community. Cases are known of Romani immigrants allegedly doing their best to sell a child for 250 pounds (approximately CZK 8 000) and complaints are also multiplying that Romani people are eating cats. Police say none of these complaints have been confirmed. Yet."

That word, "yet", has no business being used in news reporting, as it predicts or presumes that something has actually happened for which evidence is about to appear. News reporting is supposed to inform the reader of what is actually happening, what journalists really succeeded in finding out, not to make forecasts - something might have actually taken place differently than it seems to a reporter at a certain moment in time because the reporter does not have enough relevant information.

In that particular report the editors of released some of the news reported by the Czech News Agency, namely, that the British police "emphasized that they have thoroughly investigated the speculation regarding the sale of a child but found no evidence that any child in the Page Hall area has disappeared. According to the police spokesperson, such speculation could have been a 'deplorable joke.' "

In their reporting, left out that information. They did not report the most essential thing (that no trafficking in a child was confirmed) in order to accommodate the "petty Czech racists" (to use editor Novotný's words) who read 

In the article "Attack in Krásné Březno:  Assaulted 16-year-old boy fears he has hepatitis!", and other media outlets published the claims of just one party to an incident as the truth in order to emphasize the supposed treachery of a Romani man who allegedly assaulted a "white" boy, Dušan S. It was later determined that everything took place completely differently, as has been ascertained for similar articles published throughout the Czech media many times - other media outlets here, including the allegedly non-tabloid ones, do not shy away from the methods used by  

"An investigation by police officers in Krásné Březno determined that Dušan S. is not the innocent he is pretending to be and he is said to have initiated the assault through his own behavior. Deník has learned that the socially vulnerable man is currently serving a sentence for a property crime," news server Dení was ultimately forced to write as a follow-up. That daily news outlet first unleashed the entire distasteful case through an article of its own that was full of untruths. 

Zdeněk Ryšavý, František Kostlán, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
Views: 867x

Related articles:


Bulvár, Média, Strana zelených, Anticiganismus


--ilustrační foto--

Czech Culture Minister: Govt, stockholders of pig farm negotiating to remove it from Romani Holocaust site

23.5.2016 17:06
The Czech weekly RESPEKT has published an interview by Kateřina Šafaříková with Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman today. The former Catholic priest, MP for the Christian Democrats and director of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes discusses the topic of the pig farm on the site of the WWII-era camp for Romani prisoners at Lety by Písek, the issue of refugees, and his long personal friendships with military official Jiří Komorous and musician Daniel Landa.
 full story

--ilustrační foto--

Romani hockey player listed in Czech edition of Forbes "30 under 30"

23.5.2016 9:12
Dominik Lakatoš, the 18-year-old hockey talent, has been chosen by the Czech edition of Forbes magazine as one of 30 young people who have reached the top of their professions before the age of 30. "At the age of two his parents put a football and a hockey stick in front of Dominik Lakatoš, he reached for the hockey stick and began his career in Kolín. In the seventh grade he began a series of big steps: Joining Liberec, playing as an adult, and his White Tigers uniform marked another jump to playing as one of the best forwards, thanks to which Liberec dominated the extraliga. Possibly the most important such advance happened at the end of last year, when the 18-year-old became the first Romani man on the Czech Republic's hockey team and played in the World Junior Championship for those 20 and younger in Finland," the Czech edition of Forbes writes about the young Romani hockey player.
 full story

--ilustrační foto--

Čeněk Růžička: Relatives of the Romani victims of Nazism and survivors disagree with anti-refugee sentiment

20.5.2016 13:26
Čeněk Růžička, chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust in the Czech Republic (VPORH), has criticized the absence of any systematic research into the causes and consequences of what happened to Romani and Sinti people during Nazism and the sharing of such information with the public. "For example: How did the arrest of the Romani families by the individual stations of the gendarmerie take place during the Protectorate era? What exactly was confiscated from each family, never to be returned? How did the collaboration of the Czech Protectorate’s Interior Ministry with the Nazis work when it came to the persecution of the Roma?" he asked during last week's commemorative ceremony, during which he also clearly spoke out against xenophobic populists.
 full story


Každý diskutující musí dodržovat PRAVIDLA DISKUZE SERVERU Moderátoři serveru si vyhrazují právo bez předchozího upozornění skrýt nevhodné příspěvky z diskuse na Ty pak budou viditelné jen pro vás a vaše přátele na Facebooku. Při opakovaném porušení pravidel mohou moderátoři zablokovat zobrazování vašich příspěvků v diskusích na ostatním uživatelům.

More articles from category

Romano voďi

Romano voďi 12/2013

romea - logo