HOTLINE(050) 447-70-63
We are available 24/7
Leave your contact details
and we contact you
Thank you for reaching out

Or contact us:

[email protected]

(050) 447-70-63

File a complaint

The Wall Street Journal calls Czechia a "small ex-Soviet satellite state"

18.03.2024, 18:11

The American The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) called the Czech Republic "a small ex-Soviet satellite state" in the headline to their article about the country's search for arms for Ukraine.

The article was released on March 17. At first, the headline was as follows: "Small Ex-Soviet Satellite State Goes Hunting for Arms for Ukraine".

Later, the publication changed the headline to "In Central Europe, Czechs Go Hunting for Arms for Ukraine". However, the outlet did not admit that the headline had been fixed or updated. Despite the headline change, the old link remained in the article.

Before / After. Screenshots by the Institute of Mass Information

The WSJ article describes Czechia’s efforts to help Ukraine amid its current war with Russia. It references Czechia’s recent acquisition of 800,000 artillery shells and that the country was “turning to its Cold War contacts” to support Ukraine.

The director of the Institute of Mass Information, Oksana Romaniuk, believes that such by influential newspapers can reinforce colonialist stereotypes and prejudices and cause international misunderstandings.

"The WSJ headline is not only historically incorrect, but also reflects the same problematic colonialist optics that Ukraine constantly faces. The imperialist framework views smaller nations through the lens of larger powers' influence. This devalues their identity and history," she said.

She pointed out that the media should be attentive to the historical and cultural context of the countries they write about.

"Moreover, this case revealed insufficient fact-checking in the preparation of the article, which is crucial for high quality journalism. Correcting the error was the right thing to do on the WSJ's part. But this whole situation highlights that the media should be more attentive to the historical and cultural context of the countries they write about. Because such mistakes can reinforce colonialist stereotypes and prejudices, and can even cause international misunderstandings," said Oksana Romaniuk.

The WSJ article received sharp criticism from politicians and diplomats in Czechia, writes

American Ambassador to Czechia Bijan Sabet posted a screenshot of the headline on X, where he crossed out the offending terms and replaced them with a more respectful description – "a democratic country for more than 30 years and an important NATO ally."

Martin Holub, a representative of the British Embassy's advisory team, rebuked the characterization, asserting: "If 'small' and 'ex-Soviet' is all they come up with, they can go to hell."

Liked the article?
Help us be even more cool!