Doctor´s at work, “small” football, and the life of the homeless. Listening to the best news reports ignited a lively discussion
This year´s news report competition category was characterized by thematic variety. The jury chose twelve reports from six different countries and their entire debate was thus conducted in a foreign language. Several news reports raised awareness of social issues and stimulated thoughtful debates. In the end, it was subject matter which the jury focused on the most.
“It´s very difficult to compare reports which we might describe as examples of ‘slow journalism’ with news reports which are made under hectic and unpredictable circumstances,” said Jiří Hošek, last year’s moderator of the news report competition.
Everyone was taken by the emotional storytelling in Ľubomír Smatana’s report. Zina Žantová never knew her father. He was arrested several times and, finally, sent to a Soviet gulag. Information about the location and cause of his death is unavailable. Zita has been searching for answers her entire life. While recording this report, Zita´s wish is fulfilled, at least partially. She obtains a photograph of her father taken shortly before his death. One member of the jury, Natalie Churikova, was deeply moved by this report: “I have to thank you for this. This was a beautiful contribution, which deeply touched me. This subject is very close to my heart.” The jury also pointed out that thousands of people have a similar story because it is almost impossible to access gulag records.
The jury appreciated the excellent sound editing in a report by Agnieszka Czyżewska Jacquemet, who described not only the transformation of the city of Lublin but also society as such through the story of the Kosmas movie theater, founded in 1961. Today, an apartment complex stands in its place. “Kosmos means the union of three things - communism, progress, and the new world.” Jacquemet also pointed out the problem of large movie theaters in malls which have brought smaller, regional movie theaters to ruins. As the competition moderator stated, this is not just a Polish problem, but a problem in the Czech Republic and Central European countries in general, where small-town movie theaters are being destroyed. This problem was one of several discussed during the jury´s debates. “But, despite the excellent use of sound, this was more of a documentary,” juror Eva Gergelyová voiced her reproach.
Tomáš Gerši focused on the problem of underserved communities by setting out to the Pentagon apartment building complex in Bratislava, which has become home to many drug addicts. During the recording process, he became the target of attacks and threats. “I like that this report brought us into concrete situations which allowed us to hear what was really happening there. We usually don´t get the chance to experience a place like that. After hearing this report, I understand more clearly what´s happening there,” added Natalia Churikova. It was controversial situations which the jury placed emphasis on, since it is through them that listeners are able to understand a complex problem more clearly or better imagine a particular region.
Ľubomíra Goljerová´s report deeply resonated with the jury. Her report draws attention to the problem of organizations with questionable backgrounds lecturing at schools and points out that schools do not, in fact, know how to get information about those organizations and do not know whom to turn to for guidance, since there is no legal framework for this issue. “This is an international problem. My wife works in a school as well and they deal with it there, too. It´s important to talk about it,” commented Andrzej Brzoska.
This year, as in others, listeners were joined by the student jury whose task was to choose their own best report. “First and foremost, we considered the subject-matter chosen by the reporter. Then we discussed the technical side, the editing, and the way the reporter conducted him or herself,” explained Eliška Valášková and added that they unanimously agreed on the winner, Jan Herget, whose report focused on the anesthesiology and resuscitation department of the Motol university hospital. „This may be the most welcome feedback, the fact that they judged my work and saw it to be of quality. After all, it’s the students to whom I try to transfer my knowledge. I would like them to make similar reports. I try to give them everything I know and the fact that the student jury acknowledged my work is the best affirmation,” said Herget.
Jan Suchan received the audience award with his report on the phenomenon of small soccer. This report made people laugh, especially when they heard that the main reason for playing the game is drinking beer. Some of the jury members wanted to know if women play this sport as well and Andrzej Brzoska said that he didn´t know of the existence of this sport and that the report was therefore very educational for him. “I cherish this recognition. This is actually the first time I´ve been recognized like this and I was really quite moved by it,” said Jan Suchan.
The jury´s decisions will be announced, as is the tradition, during the closing ceremony on Thursday evening in the Archbishop´s Palace in Olomouc.