Post-Communist Media and Society: Opportunities and Challenges
Date: December 10, 2014 – December 20, 2014
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
For the third year running, TOL hosted students and faculty from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) for a study abroad visit, this time an 11-day course in December 2014. During this course, called “Post-Communist Media and Society: Opportunities and Challenges,” students learned about the basic historical, political, and cultural background of the Czech Republic and post-communist Europe. Specifically, they analyzed the role of the media and communication industries and how they facilitate and cope with new opportunities and challenges.
Some questions discussed during the course were: Has the media transitioned to a fully democratic media that plays a positive role in the new democracy? Have advertising agencies targeted post-communist citizens differently than those in Western European countries? Have public relations companies helped to ease the transition to a capitalist society or rather confused people disoriented by a rapidly changing world?
During their stay, students met with prominent experts on the media and marketing industries and visited media organizations, such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Czech Television, where they viewed a live showing of Hyde Park, Czech TV’s ground-breaking, social-media-driven nightly talk show.
The CUHK students also spent a considerable part of the time conducting interviews and gathering material for stories based on their trip, investigating topics such as the vibrant Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic, the transformation of the Skoda car company following 1989, and the Kung Fu business.
From Prague, the group headed on to the beautiful city of Cesky Krumlov in southern Bohemia before making their way on to Vienna, where they spent several days before flying back to Hong Kong.