Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Yesterday I received a note from an acquaintance at the Prague Post mentioning "a certain anti-Prague Post vibe" to my blog. Specifically, my acquaintance pointed to my implicit criticism of the Post's ripping off a Mlada fronta story without citing the source. My acquaintance mentioned that picking up stories from the Czech press without attribution is a concern shared by a number of Post staffers.

This practice is indeed somewhat less than meritorious (I had to use a thesauraus to find the right word, lest it come off too strong). But to be fair, it's also widespread among journalists everywhere. International publications are always cribbing stories from the locals without giving credit, for instance. I used to fly into a frenzy about this when I was working for a English-language local publication; now, as a freelancer working for internationals, let's just say I'm a bit more sympathetic. Still, one should always give credit where it's due.

But as regards the "anti-Prague Post vibe," let me say that as far as Prague hacks and newshounds go, I'm actually a staunch defender of the Post. True, it's never been too good at breaking stories, but the writing is solid and professional, the coverage is well-rounded, and at the end of the day, it does what it sets out to do quite well. And compared to other English-language rags in other cities in the region and around the world, it's a downright excellent newspaper. It's an easy target that foreigners living in Prague are often too eager to criticize, which is maybe the result of unrealistically high literary expectations -- the weight of Prague expatica and all that.


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