Poland: we are outraged by the abolition of safeguards for pluralism and independence in public service media
The undersigned press freedom and media organisations – European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Association of European Journalists (AEJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Index on Censorship – are outraged by the proposed bill, hastily introduced by the majority party in Poland yesterday (29 December) for immediate adoption, without any consultation, abolishing the existing safeguards for pluralism and independence of public service media governance in Poland.
The introduction of a system whereby a government minister can appoint and dismiss at its own discretion the supervisory and management boards goes against basic principles and established standards of public service media governance throughout Europe. If the Polish Parliament passes these measures, which may happen today (30 December), Poland will create a regressive regime which will be without precedent in any other EU country.
We consider that the proposed measures will represent a retrograde step making more political, and thus less independent, the appointment of those in charge of the governance of public service media in Poland.
We urge the Polish authorities to resist any temptation to strengthen political control over the media.
To date, Poland can boast an excellent track record in terms of freedom of the media, which ranks in the top category in the Reporters without Borders World Press Freedom Index 2015 as well as in the 2015 Freedom House report on political rights and civil liberties.
TVP reaches more than 90% of the Polish population every week and had about 30% of the TV broadcasting market in Poland in 2014, which is higher than in the case of most public TV channels in Central and Eastern Europe.
Co-signers: European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Association of European Journalists (AEJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Index on Censorship
- EBU urges Polish government to ensure independence of public broadcasting system
- EFJ concerned over new Polish media reform
- AEJ Open Letter asks Polish ministers to shelve ‘hasty’ plans for government control over public broadcasting
- EBU Letter to Polish Parliament (29 December 2015)
I was on @rtbf evening news: "#Poland is threatened by the return of state propaganda" https://t.co/iEeYqR5l4b pic.twitter.com/5b5PYT5kMA
— Ricardo Gutiérrez (@Molenews1) January 3, 2016
Media & entertainment unions support the action of @EBU_HQ and @EFJEUROPE to defend #PublicServiceMedia in Poland. https://t.co/n7KvQuAsFD
— UNI MEI Global Union (@unimei) January 4, 2016
EFJ in the news on this issue
- EU Observer – Free press groups raise ‘alert’ on Polish media law (05.01.2016)
- Spiegel – Neues Mediengesetz: Journalistenverbände legen Beschwerde gegen Polen ein (04.01.2016)
- RTBF – Liberté de la presse remise en question en Pologne (video) (03.01.2016)
- Articolo 21 – Polonia, una “legge purga” per i media / I direttori dei della tv pubblica si dimettono (03.01.2016)
- Le Monde – Tour de vis dans les médias publics en Pologne (01.01.2016)
- EUObserver – Poland passes media law, ignores EU again (31.12.2015)
- Sputnik – Poland on EU Collision Course Over New Media Reforms (31.12.2015)
- Prague Post – Pending Polish media law draws criticism (31.12.2015)
- AFP – Polish government takes control of public media with new law (30.12.2015)
- Time – A Media Bill in Poland Sparks Concern Over Press Freedom (30.12.2015)
- Deutsche Welle – Polish government moves to control public media (30.12.2015)
- Broadband TV News – EBU “outraged” as Poland amends law (30.12.2015)
- BBC – Polish media bill triggers concern for freedom (30.12.2015)
- Politico – 2015, an awful year for Europe’s free media (30.12.2015)
- L’Humanité – C’est la liberté de la presse qu’Erdogan assassine (29.12.2015)
- Russia Today – Ankara urged to conduct full, impartial investigation of Syrian journo’s murder (28.12.2015)
- Russia Today – Le journaliste syrien qui avait révélé les atrocités de Daesh a été tué en Turquie (28.12.2015)
- Russia Today – Syrian journalist & filmmaker who exposed ISIS Aleppo atrocities assassinated in Turkey (28.12.2015)
- Biznes w Interia – Joanna Lichocka: W tym miesiącu projekt nowej ustawy medialnej (16.12.2015)
- Radio Poland – European journalists concerned at Polish media law (16.12.2015)
(Picture credit: Janek Skarzynski / AFP)