Even in the latest version of the MediaRating of the Foundation Fund for Independent Journalism (NFNZ), the daily Echo24 has maintained the best possible rating of A. The fund has been monitoring compliance with journalistic standards in Czech newsrooms for a long time and evaluates individual websites based on this. The evaluation omits media controlled by politically exposed persons, which still includes the editorial office of the Mafra concern. It then divides the news servers into those with original and only downloaded content.
The last update of Mediarating took place in the spring. Even then, Echo24 received the highest possible mark, which it repeated this time as well. According to the NFNZ, in the meantime several media have improved their editorial transparency towards the reader, worked on working with sources or started to more clearly separate advertising from editorial content.
The websites of Czech Television and Czech Radio, Aktuálně.cz, Seznam Zprávy or, for example, Deník N, also received an A grade. Other possibly received grades A-, B+, B, B- to C. The fund also evaluated printed periodicals and television stations.
According to the NFNZ, improving the editorial work and transparency of the Czech media comes at a time when the media in Central Europe are under pressure. While the Czech Republic is in 14th place according to the current ranking of media freedom by Reporters Without Borders, Poland is only in the 50th and Hungary is even in the 70th. Threats to media freedom are also increasing in Slovakia. “It would be a big mistake to be satisfied with the fact that the Czech media are not now under major political pressure. Let’s take it as the fact that after the era of Andrej Babiš, the media was given room to breathe, which it should use to achieve the highest possible quality and transparency. That’s the only way they can withstand bad times. I am glad that the updated MediaRating shows that many media outlets are trying to do this,” says NFNZ Executive Director David Klimeš.