On 31 August, 2011, it will have been 75 years since the Czechoslovak company Radiojournal launched its regular shortwave broadcast. That’s considered to be the beginning of Radio Prague. To mark the anniversary, Radio Prague will be doing some special programmes and is preparing various events.
An exhibit covering the past and present of Radio Prague has been set up on the ground floor of the Czech Radio building on Rímská 13, Prague 2, since 23 June.
A press conference on the current state of international broadcasting will be held for Czech and foreign journalists in the Czech Radio building on 31 August. Journalists will have the opportunity to see the 75 Years of Radio Prague exhibit and visit the international broadcasting workspaces.
For more information visit the special page on the Radio Prague website.
(Source: Radio Prague)
Andy Sennitt adds: Radio Prague was the first international broadcaster I ever heard, on mediumwave 1295 kHz. I listened to them during the Prague Spring, and remember Oldrich Cip (known on air as Peter Skala) getting excited at being able to hear Radio Caroline at night in Prague. I vividly remember the shock and sadness I felt when Warsaw Pact forces invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, and my respect and admiration for the broadcasters who managed to stay on the air from a secret location for several days after the invasion.
For a very brief time there were two Radio Pragues on the air. I think I heard the final broadcast of the clandestine one. The English announcer signed off and told listeners that his German colleague would take over. He didn’t, and shortly afterwards the transmitter went off the air.
When I went to university I was fortunate enough to be able to take Czechoslovak studies as one of my courses. Radio Prague had sparked a deep interest in the country. My tutor was Sir Cecil Parrott, who had been the British ambassador in Prague from 1960-66. Pravda later named him as “one of the brains behind the Prague Spring.”
I was thrilled to finally meet Oldrich Cip at a DXers conference, and later at a meeting of HFCC - he was the driving force behind the setting up of these twice-yearly frequency coordination meetings. Sadly Radio Prague is no longer on shortwave, but HFCC is going strong. My colleagues at Radio Prague helped shaped my life and career in international broadcasting, so it is with a specially warm feeling that I wish them a happy 75th birthday. The question is - will Radio Netherlands Worldwide manage to reach that milestone?