Velvet ether (1989)

1. leden 2016

The communist regime was well aware that public opinion is best swayed using mass media, and therefore held them with a stern grip.

In the second half of 1989, it became very apparent that due to incompetent leadership, the rule of the Bolsheviks is coming to an end.

The police forces, boasting the ironic name of “Public safeguard” brutally suppressed a student demonstration taking place in Prague on November 17. The crackdown became the fuse which ignited the Velvet Revolution.

In the upcoming days the public expressed their distaste for the state and content of the broadcasting right outside of the building of Czechoslovakian Radio. And so, for the first time since 1968, live, free and unbiased journalism returned to air.

Czechoslovakian Radio joined in the nationwide strike of university student on December 11, 1989. The jingle of the main news casting segment based on “Kupředu, leva!” (Forward, by the left!), a patriotic Soviet song, symbolically fell silent three days later. Instead of censored content, the radio station aired forbidden authors. The station was no longer a tool for tyrants, but a medium of public service and objective information. Let us hope it stays that way.

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