Polish Law on Public Service Broadcasting Removes Guarantees of Independence

Update: 07 Jan 2016 No reply yet
Year 04 Jan 2016 Country Poland Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner AEJ , Article 19 , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
04 Jan 2016 Poland E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State AEJ , Article 19 , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 2
No reply yet

The law on Public Service Media governance which has been hurriedly adopted by the Polish parliament proposes the removal of guarantees for the independence of public service TV (TVP) and Radio (PR), in breach of Council of Europe norms and of the mandate given by the Polish constitution to the independent broadcasting authority (KRRiT) to uphold the broad public interest in broadcasting. The legislation gives a government minister exclusive powers to appoint and dismiss all members of the Supervisory and Management Boards of TVP and PR, making them wholly dependent on the goodwill and favour of the government The proposed arrangements represent a shift to direct government control over the strategic and editorial stance of the public broadcasters which is wholly unacceptable in a genuine democracy. The fundamental and drastic changes proposed were put before parliament to be voted on without the necessary inclusive public debate and in spite of strong objections by the KRRiT and many concerned bodies in Poland and abroad. The Polish government's plans directly contradict the commitments made by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in its 2012 Declaration on Public Service Media Governance; that Declaration stated that PSM must remain independent of political or economic interference, and should be accountable and transparent as they have the obligation to serve the public in all its diversity. The organisations submitting this Alert call on the Polish ruling party to abandon the proposed legislation at once.


New 07 Jan 2016 : On the 7 January 2016, the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, signed the act on public service media governance into a law.


New 06 Jan 2016 : OSCE Media Freedom Representative urges Poland’s government to withdraw proposed changes to the selection of management in public service broadcasters
New 05 Jan 2016 : Coe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland expresses his particular concern with regard to the new Polish law on public service broadcasting and the impact it may have on the integrity and independence of public service media.
New 05 Jan 2016 : Call by the CoE Commissioner for Human Rights on Polish President not to sign new Media Law
follow us follow us
Follow-ups to alerts Follow-ups to alerts
Twitter feed Twitter feed
Partners Partners
Thematic factsheets Thematic factsheets