The Czechlist

Posted on 8th March 2016

February 2016 saw a group of Media students visit the historic and vibrant city of Prague.

The third of our annual international study trips (last year students visited Berlin and the year before Brussels) as usual offered an event-packed itinerary, with trips to the Czech parliament, to famous film studios, to a newspaper office and to TV and radio stations, as well as opportunities to see such sights as St Vitus Cathedral and the Charles Bridge.

Third year student Katy Gilroy commented: “The trip was well organised - having a guide meant that we could get from A to B with ease. The organisations we visited were really interesting and relevant too!”

Third year student Katy Moore said: “It was my third media trip abroad and it has to be one of the best. Although it was an educational trip, you had plenty of time to go about and explore the city yourself. The film studios was my favourite part of the trip. Our tour guide gave us access backstage to the collection of costume and props as well as entry to each film stage, where they made films such as Hannibal, The Matrix, Casino Royale and Shanghai Knights. Not only do you have the freedom to explore these places, but you also have access to areas that aren't open to the general public!”

Journalism programme leader Ato Erzan-Essien added: “Prague is a beautiful city which belies its fascinating media history. The opportunity to visit organisations that in their very different ways powerfully reflect the rapidly changing media landscape in Europe, such as the Barrandov Studios, Czech Televize, RESPECT newspaper and Radio Free Europe was very much appreciated by the students.”

Music Journalism programme leader Simon Morrison said: “The Media Department trip to Prague offered the perfect balance of self-directed sight-seeing and organised trips. One of the key visits was to Radio Free Europe. It was fascinating to learn how the station was initially funded by the CIA as way to respond to the perceived communist threat, and to see how global politics and the media mix. The station continues to be funded by the American Congress, and continues to support dissident voices. We met with Franak Viacorka, a Belarussian journalist imprisoned for his anti-Government beliefs and willingness to use media, specifically new media, to broadcast those opinions. Both staff and students found this meeting, and the tour of the station particularly insightful and enlightening.”