Media bill under the influence of the Treaty of Lisbon

Marian Miszalski

The more we learn about the project of the new media bill, worked out by the Citizen’s Platform and the Democratic Left Alliance, the more convinced we are that this ‘gag bill’ (as it is called now) has been prepared having in mind ‘the new media order’ influenced by the Treaty of Lisbon, that liquidates Poland’s sovereignty. First of all, this bill does not stop the subordination of the public media to political powers, on the contrary it deepens this subordination: in the enlarged National Radio and Television Broadcasting Council more members will have bigger political nomination of the Parliament than now… One should treat the regulations that ‘artists’ organisations’ of ‘people of culture’ can propose their candidates from among whom the Parliament is to select, as resorting to contrivance. ‘People of culture’ have their own political views and one can hardly imagine that the parties in the present Parliament, designating members of the National Radio and Television Broadcasting Council, are not interested in their views. One can have great fears that this regulation will not depoliticize the members of the National Radio and Television Broadcasting Council but will actually politicise cultural life itself to a greater extent: caring for the favour of the parliamentary majority nominating candidates, ‘people of culture’ will try to win the favour of that majority. This happens in those European countries that have accepted similar solutions and where ‘political correctness’ (i.e. post-Marxist ideology) is poured into culture exactly through the media that have been politicised in this way. A specific feedback: ‘creators of culture’ show their political correctness in arts before the political power and then being nominated to oversee the public media they spread this ideology via them. Polish culture will lose. The project of the alliance between the Citizen’s Platform and the Polish Peasant Party, the greatest advocates of the Treaty of Lisbon, which means advocates of Poland losing its sovereignty, issues another threat. It assumes that the regional television stations are to focus on ‘local life.’ This is a return to the information structure of the famous Radio Committee during the communist times. The information logic of that Radio Committee was that only the central television station in Warsaw could inform about the important national matters and the regional stations had to report only about local problems. Thus the very structure of the Radio Committee deprived the local public opinion of the possibility to express their views on the matters that were important to the whole of Poland! This structure reflects the communist understanding of society according to which ‘the wisest are in the Warsaw centre’ and the more locally you get the deeper ‘ignorance’ you face, unworthy to discuss national, European and international matters. It was the understanding of society in accordance with Lenin’s ‘democratic centralism’, despising the nation. We worry about the personnel purge that has begun in the public television (for example, we notice that the journalists of ‘Rzeczpospolita’ are less and less frequently invited to TV programmes and people associated with the left wing appear there quite often), but the real purge is going to start with the new media bill (the possibility of total change of the personnel in the regional stations on the basis of political preferences). The alarming thing is the dependence of these regional centres on the local governments in which as the result of wrong legislation allowing a wide possibility of the local governments interfering in economic life – nepotism is as common as on the central level… Looking at this project of the media bill in a wide context and perspective you have no illusions: it is an attempt to harness the public media to the propaganda of the Treaty of Lisbon by the Citizen’s Platform and the Polish Peasant Party and then to fix its ‘benefits’ in social awareness. Let us add another thing: the proposal to replace the licence fee (tax on having a TV set or a radio) by a special additional budget fund does not weaken but strengthens the political control over the public media and breaks this weak, and even dubious, but still existing bond between broadcasters and receivers that has existed so far. These receivers who have liked the programme offer of the public television and radio so far could express that paying the licence fee. According to the project of the new media bill, only political parties having the biggest representations in the Parliament will decide about the budget of the public media… Therefore, this means returning to the communist rule that what is public belongs to parties. We do no have to share this understanding of ‘audience’ and we do not share it at all.

"Niedziela" 13/2009

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: