Czech website:


James L. Greenfield, a member of The New York Times editorial board, and Donald M. Wilson,  publisher of Business News New Jersey established Independent Journalism Foundation in 1991 with the idea to help fellow journalists in post communist countries upgrade their reporting skills and business practices. The Foundation‘s first initiative was the opening of the Center for Independent Journalism in Prague (1991) followed by the establishment of CIJ Bratislava, Slovakia (1993), CIJ Bucharest, Romania (1994) and CIJ Budapest, Hungary (1995). 

During the time of its existence CIJ Prague has developed a regular training program for Czech journalists in print and electronic media tailored to their needs. CIJ offers both long term and short term intensive trainings. Classes are taught in Czech language or in English with Czech translation. Methods of instruction include classroom lectures, workshops, field work, one-on-one consultancies and informal discussion groups. Annually the CIJ training classes are attended by over 800 working journalists and students in the Czech Republic both in Prague and in the region. The number of applicants and those interested in our activities is growing year by year. 

CIJ Prague works closely with local media as well as schools of journalism. CIJ lecturers are recruited among experienced Czech journalists, radio and TV reporters as well as professors from Czech universities. The other group of lecturers are professionals from the USA and Europe (Rhoda Lipton, Professor at Columbia University; Stephanie Nano - AP New York; Patti McCracken - Chicago Tribune; William Snyder - Dallas Morning News, David Ward - The Guardian, Manchester; Jane Price - Manchester Town Hall, Jean Garner and Rebecca Lipkin - ABC TV; Bailey Barash - CNN, Mel Opotowsky - Press Enterprise). 

CIJ organizes Debate Club Nights and Round Table Discussions - forums of expert commentators and public figures to argue major issues. 





What is news? How to gather facts? Where are the sources of information? How to cultivate the sources? How to select stories? What is the structure of the news, comments and opinions? What are the principles of ethics in the media? What are the common mistakes in the use of the Czech language in the media? What is Internet's influence on journalism? These and many other questions will be answered during the four-day Basic Print workshop. Each participant prepares and writes his/her own story during the workshop. The stories will be commented and discussed  the final day of the workshop and the most successful story will be published in the Presence monthly. This workshop is designed for cub reporters.

Number of participants: 15 
Professionals: Libuse Koubska (Presence monthly), Radovan Holub (journalist)
Language: Czech 
Dates: March 23 and 30 and April 6 and 13, 2000


Types of interviews, getting ready for interviews - obtaining the background about the people to be interviewed - and preparing the right questions, principles of the interview, letting the source talk and making the source open up, the ability to sum up.... those and other elements of interviewing techniques will be discussed during the three-day training at the CIJ. The participants are requested to bring samples of their work with them. As an outcome of this training each participant prepares an interview to bring back to his/her media. 

Number of participants: 15 
Professionals: Radovan Holub (journalist), Libuse Koubska (Presence monthly) 
Laguage: Czech 
Dates: April 20 and 27, May 9, 2000


Two-day workshop on Czech language morphology, stylistics and syntax. Special course for journalists working in print media. Participants are asked to send us in advance some of their articles so that the lecturers get the idea what the group needs the most and can comment on participants' mistakes. Lecturers also prepare examples, handouts and some exercises (But don' t be afraid! It is not like to be "back in school again".).

Number of participants: 15 
Professionals: Petra Honzakova (Charles University), Radovan Holub (journalist) 
Language: Czech 
Dates: February 22 and 29, 2000



Would you like to be a radio reporter but do not have any experience with radio? Are you a radio reporter with a short experience and need some help? This three-day course provides you with the basic information about the profession of a radio journalist. First part of the course deals with reporting (basics of radio reporting, how to write the news based on wire service, how to put together a news bulletin, practical excercises, recording the news bulletin in the studio) and interviewing techniques (preparation for an interview, how to ask questions, examples of good and bad interviews). Voice training is an important part of this course, too (breathing techniques, pronunciation, intonation, diction, reading the news in the studio). Technical basics is an integral part of the course (working with tape recorders, microphones and minidiscs, beginners' typical mistakes etc.). At the end of the course the participants will prepare a radio piece for broadcast.

Number of participants: 10
Professionals: Jan Valeska, Eliska Zavodna (Czech Radio), Monika Schmidtova, Tomas Zika 
Language: Czech 
Dates: March 2, 9 and 16, 2000

Radio Studio


As a radio reporter with some experience at the newsdesk you are the right applicant for this two-day workshop. The most important elements of the workshop are: ethics in radio reporting, news writing, use of wire services, specifics of economic and sports reporting, comments on participants' news and news bulletins. What are the radio reporters' nightmares? Long sentences, rythm, style, gramatics, pronunciation of foreign words and names, abbreviations etc. You will spend part of the workshop in the studio and record your news bulletin and discuss it with the lecturer. Is it easy to understand your pronunciation? What is the pace of your reading? Do you know which news should make the headlines? Practice is the core of the workshop and we ask the participants to send us in advance their news items and one news bulletin so that the lecturer gets an idea what the group needs the most. Also each participants writes a short news about a simulated press conference and records a reportage. These will be commented and evaluated at the end of the workshop. The reportages will be ready for broadcast.

Number of participants: 10
Professional: Jan Valeska
Language: Czech
Dates: March 28 and April 4, 2000


You feel uncertain in front of the microphone. You are not breathing well when you are speaking. You speak very fast or slow. You know that your pronunciation is bad. But you want to be a good radio reporter or moderator. The three-day Voice Training course is here to help. The trainer will tell you about the principles of speech. You will do many exercises, try tongue twisters and practice the placing of the right accent in a sentence. You will learn what to do with your voice when you have to broadcast early in the morning. You will be trained in the studio. 

Number of participants: 10
Professional: Jirina Hurkova (Prague Drama Academy) 
Language: Czech 
Dates: March 6, 13 and 20, 2000


CIJ offers on-site voice trainings to regional radio stations organized on weekends at request. The training can be tailored to the needs of each station. We suggest that you send us in advance recorded air-checks of all the reporters and moderators that will take part in the training. The lecturer can prepare the training for groups of beginners or for advanced reporters and also can provide individual consultations.

Professional: Monika Schmidtova
Language: Czech 
Dates: February - June 2000 (provided at request - call for information) 


One-day workshop on Czech language morphology, stylistics and syntax organized for journalists working in regional radio stations. Participants are asked to send us in advance scripts of some of their news and news bulletins so that the trainer gets the idea what the group needs the most and can comment on participants' mistakes. 

Number of participants: 15 
Professional: Petra Honzakova (Charles University)
Language: Czech 
Date: March 7, 2000



Videojournalism is a new trend in TV reporting (a one-man show). Technical equipment (digital videocamera and digital editing laptop) enables TV reporters to shoot and edit their stories themselves - without any help of a cameraman and/or a editor in the studio. Atmosphere, authenticity, informality and different style have the news recorded by small but very efficient videocameras. Based on their idea reporters can put together a story themselves without the TV staff. TV reporters with some audiovisual experience or print journalists who intend to present their stories not only in print media but also on TV or Internet should be participants of the course. They learn how to use the camera, how the light affects the picture, how to compose and how to edit recorded stories etc. They spend a lot of time shooting and editing their news. At the end of the course each participant presents one story ready fro broadcast.

Number of participants: 6 
Professional: Martin Loksik (Charles University)
Language: Czech 
Dates: one-week intensive course - call for information 
(1st training: February 7 - 11, 2000, 2nd training: April 3 - 7, 2000)

Basics of Videojournalism course was introduced in 1999 and met with a great response. Among the first to have this opportunity were well-known reporters from the Czech public TV. This is what they had to say about the course:
Jiri Janecek: "This was a great contribution to my work. To be able to get acquinted with the DV technology gives me greater chances for my future work."
Anna Starkova: "This was a superb opportunity for me. I learned the basics of camera work, the composition of pictures and editing. For my work of  a reporter this was outstanding help."

Videojournalism Training


Reporters who have passed the Basics of Videojournalism course are invited to apply for this one-week course. Participants will prepare 5 minute stories in advance. At the beginning of the course they will discuss their stories with the lecturer and then they start shooting. The goal is to enable each participant prepare a 5 minute story (shoot, edit, record a commentary, add the music etc.). The reportages should be ready for presentation in TV broadcasting.

Number of participants: 6 
Professional: Martin Loksik (Charles University)
Language: Czech 
Dates: one-week intensive course - call for information



Knowledge of the Press Law and important parts of other laws (Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, Civic Code - protection of personality, conflict of interests, copyright etc.) is essential for every journalist. This one-day workshop helps participants resume their knowledge and be better informed about the latest laws (e.g. Information Act). Practical examples of judicial cases are presented. Journalists should understand the power of the media, the importance of presumption of innocence which is one of the main principles of Czech legal system, and should be accountable.

Number of participants: 15 
Professional: Helena Chaloupkova (lawyer) 
Language: Czech 
Date: to be specified (May 18, 2000)


We live in a "digital world". Journalists are expected to be familiar with new technologies. Internet is one of the main sources of information. Being tailored to journalists' previous experience and needs the individual consultation helps with their orientation in this important source.

Professional: Marek Vild (CIJ Library) 
Language: Czech 
Dates: February - June, 2000 (organized at request - call for information) 


There is a number of worthnoting projects within our society carried out by NGOs. However, does the public know about them? Are media interested in  positive news? CIJ will hold a series of three workshops entitled "Media and a Civil Society". The workshops are designed for 20 journalists and representatives of the NGO sector. One or two interesting projects will be selected and introduced to the participants. As part of a case study the trainer will show how a project like that could be perceived by the media, what techniques to choose, etc. At the same time the NGO representatives will learn how to communicate with the media, how to summarize all the essential facts.
The first workshop will be held in Prague on January 24, 2000.
The second workshop will be held in February 2000 in Olomouc, in cooperation with the Guardian Foundation. The dates of second and third workshops are yet to be determined.
This project is supported by the Westminster Foundation through their Czech partner, the VIA foundation.

1st workshop: January 24, 2000 (Prague)
Number of participants: 20
Guests: Helena Ackermanova (Donor' s Forum Director), Hana Fristenska (Secretary of the Czech Government Council for NGOs), Jolyon Naegele (Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reporter), Marek Salek (TYDEN weekly reporter)
Moderator: Ivan Hoffman (Czech public Radio)
Language: Czech

2nd workshop: February 29, 2000  (Olomouc)
Number of participants: 20
Professional: David Ward (The Guardian, Great Britain), representatives of local NGOs
Language: English with Czech translation

3rd workshop: date to be specified (March - April, 2000)


Two-day workshop organized in cooperation with The Guardian Foundation for journalists working in economic and financial sections of the Czech media. Class versus style (Financial journalism in the UK and the USA - comparisons of the style and content of British and American newspapers and periodicals). Remember: You are not a policeman (How to interpret press releases? How to uncover the "real" story?). Financial reporting: Who cares? (Company reports. Interpreting facts & figures.). Interviewing techniques - a practical demonstration. Buy the mystery, sell the history - the role of the analyst (Working with official and unofficial sources. When the rumours become news? What kind of information should be treated as confidential?). Lies, damned lies and some exclusives (How the political issues affect economics? How are markets influenced?). Evaluations and conclusions.

Number of participants: 15
Professionals: Mark Milner (Deputy Financial Editor, The Guardian), Larry Elliot (Economic Editor, The Guardian), Nick Parsons (Currency Analyst, Commerzbank, London)
Dates: February 18 and 19, 2000


(ten-day intensive course)

For the third time in a row the Center for Independent Journalism is hosting the summer high school journalism program. The summer school, which is taught both by American and Czech lecturers, is designed for high school students, who publish or contribute to their school papers. Throughout the 10 day workshop the students will get to know the basics of journalism including the work with facts, information, verifying the information, writing the news and commentaries, doing interviews, newspaper graphic design, etc. At the end of the program the students will publish their own paper.
The course is sponsored by the Open Society Fund Prague.

Number of participants:
Professionals: American and Czech lecturers
Language: English with Czech translation
Date: to be determined (July, 2000)

(once a week for the period of 16 weeks)

The Center for Independent Journalism would like to give the students an opportunity to take part in a journalism course throughout the year. So, if you are in the first to third grade and work in a student magazine or intend to start one, send us your application. The workshop will take place once a week from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. The goal is to help you understand the media and give you the basics of  journalism. The workshop will be hands-on oriented, i.e. you will test your gained knowledge through writing news items, commentaries, doing interviews, etc. Visits to some Czech media are also part of the workshop.
The course is sponsored by the Open Society Fund Prague.

Number of participants: 15
Professional: Katherine Reed (Hollins University, USA)
Language: English with Czech translation
Dates: February 16 - May 24, 2000 


Forums of expert commentators and public figures meet to argue major issues. (Language: Czech) 

Roundtable Discussion


CIJ Library offers: 

1) A unique collection of books on journalism in English language including encyclopedia, vocabularies, etc. 2) A CD-ROM database of The New York Times (since 1981), The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The USA Today (since 1990). 

2) Bloomberg multimedia news computer. The Bloomberg provides 24-hour, instant, accurate and current financial, economical and political information covering all market sectors (in English language). 

3) The Internet. (Visitors are kindly asked to call the library and reserve a computer in advance.)

4) Video library. English language films can be viewed at CIJ. A list of videos is available on request. Visitors can choose any film on the list and reserve time for viewing it at the Center anytime during CIJ hours. 


Our courses and workshops are organized for Czech working journalists from all kind of media (print, radio, TV), and for Czech students of journalism and other students who started to work as journalists (they publish in school newspapers, work in radio stations etc.). Unless stated otherwise all the courses and workshops are held in Czech. If the interest surpasses capacity of individual courses these may be repeated.

Participants in our courses and workshops pay symbolic registration fees (students pay 50% of the fee). 


Center for Independent Journalism 
Vaclavske nam. 18
110 00 Praha 1
TEL: 4202 9624 9284 (6-9) 
FAX: 4202 9624 9285


When ever possible, our Centers send experts to newspapers, T.V. and radio stations for one-on-one, concentrated assistance. Our experts from the U.S. and Europe -- often spend days (and sometimes even weeks) at a single newspaper, radio and T.V. station screening all aspects of the operation and, through consultation and written reports, comparatively tackle the existing problems. These can, of course, involve problems either on the news or business side, or both.