Renáta Sedláková, Ph.D., is a Senior Researcher on the project “Sinophone Borderlands: Interaction at the Edges” at the Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Palacký University in the Czech Republic. She specialises in the methodology of media studies, sociology of media, media representations and news discourse.
Marek Lapčík, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Pedagogical and Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Public Policy, Silesian University at the University of Opava in Czech Republic. He previously worked at the Department of Media and Cultural Studies and Journalism, Faculty of Arts, Palacký University. His research interests include the theory of discourse, discursive analysis and current forms of news in the Czech Republic.
This article examines the representation of Agent Skripal’s poisoning on the public service broadcasting channel Czech Television (CT) in the first half of 2018, using content, discourse and semiotic analyses. We analysed the representation of this event on the following five television news programmes: Events (Události), Events and Commentaries (Události komentáře), News at 23 (Zprávy ve 23), Horizon CT24 (Horizont ČT24) and 90’ CT24 (90’ ČT24). The event’s representation was based on the presentation of aspects of the event and statements by individual actors. The article shows naturalisation of the British explanation of the event in the Czech television broadcasts. This so-called ‘British narrative’ was the prevailing framing of the event. Differences in the representation of various opinions and in the proportionality of the time devoted to the individual actors were present. However, significant systematic intentional implications, obvious evaluations or identifiable authorial signposting was not evident in the researched sample. We argue that the television coverage of the Skripal case represents a habitual form of the news reporting by the Czech public service broadcaster within the applicable law.