One for the road

Philippe Riboton

SOMETIMES magazines disappear like those women that men can’t manage to love the way they should – you only realize how much you valued them after they’re gone. Incidentally, magazines also often disappear just before the summer or Christmas… before summer so that people won’t notice their absence when they come back fresh from holidays in September. Before Christmas so that no one will realize it before they wake up from Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve hangovers. I’m sorry to say that The Prague Tribune will be no exception to that rule, and will vanish with the festivities of December 2005, nearly 13 years after it started in March 1993. We were in our twenties and we were a bunch of journalists making a magazine for readers; trying to be the witnesses of a changing society, talking about a revolution. The Czech Republic was a newly born country, a former writer was president, and everything seemed possible for anyone with an idea (even a bad one) and a bit of energy. Here we are, 119 issues later, now in our thirties and forties – the prime minister is talking about using the label “Czechoslovakia” as a marketing tactic, the Communists are being considered as a possible partner in the next government coalition, and the country is competing with Botswana in the international corruption index. The leading figures of the media scene are no longer entrepreneurs and idealists trying to speak with a different voice, but advertising and media-buying middlemen who purchase editorial content when ordering cheap advertising – with a significant portion of their clients’ money ending up in their own pocket. Those are the people who decide about the fate of the media, like Roman emperors used to determine the fate of gladiators in the public arena – just by putting their thumb up or down. Still, all of us at The Prague Tribune would like to tell you from the bottom of our heart that it gave us great pleasure and pride to inform and entertain you all these years. With undisputed energy and genuine passion we felt honored to provide you with a product that always remained true to itself – to the last note.






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