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‘National media bill’ to be announced soon

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 05.01.2016 18:02
The mission of national broadcasters is to cultivate national traditions and patriotic values, says a new media bill, the PAP news agency reported on Tuesday.
The TVP headquarters in Warsaw. Photo: Wikimedia CommonsThe TVP headquarters in Warsaw. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

All of the public media’s employees will also see their job contracts expire automatically three months after the new law enters into force.

“The mission of national broadcasters is to cultivate national traditions and patriotic values.. and to meet the spiritual needs of listeners and viewers, [by offering content based on] pluralism, independence and quality,” the bill reads.

The legislation, proposed by the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, will change the functioning of the public media and the rules for their financing.

The bill will transform public television station TVP, Polish Radio, and the Polish Press Agency, into national institutions managed by a national media council, with the aim to promote national interests.

Until now the three have been commercial institutions run by the state.

The council will consist of five members appointed by the lower and higher chambers of parliament and the president for a six-year term of office.

“The bill transforming the public media into national institutions is almost ready,” PiS MP Joanna Lichocka told Polish Radio on Tuesday.

The PiS MP stressed that the bill defines the major aim of the public media as serving the public interest.

“Regardless of political views, we all expect reliable information, pluralistic journalism, a good level of entertainment, excellent documentaries, films, journalistic reports and TV series from the public media," Lichocka said.

A 'media muzzle'

The bill has already been criticised by the opposition, including Grzegorz Furgo of the Modern (Nowoczesna) party, who called the measures “a muzzle for the media”.

The deputy Speaker of the lower house of parliament, Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, said the bill is “focused too much on the personnel issues instead of the media’s financing or mission”. (ał/rg)

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