Czech Radio Celebrates 90th Anniversary

31. květen 2013

On May 18 it was exactly 90 years since the very first regular radio broadcast in the then Czechoslovakia started in 1923 from a scout´s tent in district of Kbely in Prague. Czech Radio celebrates its birthday during various events and projects, such as the traditional Open Doors Day, night at the Vinohrady Theatre or setting the Czech presenters´ record by broadcasting 48 hours of interviews with 90 guests non stop.

On the day of the 90th anniversary Czech Radio started the celebration with Open Doors Day at the main premises of Czech Radio in Prague, Vinohradská and Římská Streets. Groups of visitors had a unique opportunity to see the main buildings of Czech Radio including studios which are otherwise not open to the public. Guides informed visitors about the past and present of radio broadcasting and about the history and development of the Czech Radio site. Listeners could meet people who prepare the programme for them and had the first opportunity to visit the newly reconstructed newsroom of Czech Radio Radiožurnál.

In the evening of the same day, there was arranged vigil dedicated to the victims of fights for the then Czechoslovakian Radio in 1945 and 1968. For the next evening on the 19th of May a gala evening at the Vinohrady Theatre was organized. The event full of music and entertainment was open to public and broadcast live on Czech Radio Dvojka and all regional stations. Viewers could also watch the event via Czech Radio´s YouTube channel. Famous actors and singers remembered interesting moments from the history of Czechoslovakian and later Czech Radio and Director General of Czech Radio Peter Duhan awarded prizes to significant personalities for their merit to Czech Radio.

On May 18 Czech Radio Radiožurnál station started a unique and successful attempt to set the first Czech record in a non-stop series of interviews and broadcasting by a pair of presenters. The project was called “The Magnificent Ninety” and took place in a special studio in the main square of Prague. For 48 hours Lucie Výborná and Jan Pokorný, the main presenters of the station, managed to welcome and interview 90 personalities of the Czech political, cultural and sporting life. The project was broadcast live both by Radiožurnál and Czech Radio´s YouTube channel, where it was watched by 18 thousand viewers.

For the purposes of the 90th anniversary celebration Czech Radio made use of its archives in a unique and original way when a temporary internet station called Radio Retro was established. Its programme consists of a 24-hour selection of the best content from the long history of Czechoslovak and later Czech Radio broadcasting.

Radio Praha, the foreign broadcasting of Czech Radio, prepared a special programme with a group of journalism students at the Anglo-American University in Prague. Students were given the opportunity to choose recordings from the radio archive’s digital catalogue. They listened to the recordings and found out detailed information: who is talking, when, why and in what context. On Saturday, May 18, the station aired a programme with extracts from some of these recordings, combined with the students´ insights and observations. Listeners had the chance to hear Charlotte Masaryk, the American wife of Czechoslovakia’s first president, recalling their friendship or the legendary Czechoslovak Radio correspondent Karel Kyncl talking to the first African American to study at the University of Mississippi in 1963.

Among other projects it should be mentioned an interactive website (The Story of Radio), which is an attractive platform using all possibilities of multimedia to describe the history, present and technology of radio in the Czech context. The contribution of Czech Radio’s publishing house Radioservis to the anniversary is the release of a book called “99 Significant Authors of Radio Documentaries”.

Last but not least, on Saturday, June 1 begins a unique exhibition in the streets of Prague. Texts, photographs and on some spots also archival sound samples will present historical milestones of the 20th century during which Czech Radio played an important role. The exhibition lasts until June 23.

MgA. Jakub Čížek
Communications and External Relations Director

Czech Radio

Phone: +420 221 551 310

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