TVP building330

It's with great concern CIRCOM Regional, the association of regional public service media in Europe, is following the current development of the public service media in Poland and the ongoing Polish media legislative process. The development last week and the signed bill that fundamentally changes the circumstances under which public media operates calls for a strong protest from the European public media community. According to the available information and the speed of the changes we fear that the freedom of media, editorial independence and traditions of European public media can be threatened.

CIRCOM Regional has its commitment to strong regional journalism, cultural life and regional growth as priorities of public service audiovisual media organisations in European regions. CIRCOM Regional speaks on behalf of all professional, independent public service regional organisations. Telewizja Polska, TVP is one of the members of CIRCOM Regional, reason why CIRCOM Regional is compelled to react and act against the Polish development.

Regional media is of great importance to the many regional societies that form the countries of Europe. It provides a number of essential safeguards to enable these societies to function properly, and is part of the democratic process itself. In order to fulfil its purpose in a democratic society public media needs editorial freedom and independence from political interference to be able to execute due impartiality and qualitative journalism.

CIRCOM Regional asserts that public service media must remain independent, because they are a fundamental part of the democratic process in our European countries. We ask the Polish government to reconsider its decisions. All public media need to develop and adapt to the new media environment to stay relevant. It is important that changes in a broadcasting system are duly discussed in a transparent manner including all stakeholders with the audience in centre. This, however, does not include a politicising of public media which by any standards is a step back. We desperately hope that Telewizja Polska is not going to be forced to take a step backwards, and that the TVP regions can continue to develop and be the medium which is the closest to the viewers and citizens. TVP's regions have been outstanding in the quality of their content. They have been regular award winners and have a reputation for innovation and excellence which Europe's public service media have been happy to acknowledge in our Prix CIRCOM over many years. This excellence will now be at risk and the losers will be Polish viewers.

CIRCOM Regional will closely follow the situation of TVP in the days to come and dearly wishes that transparency and independence will prevail in the public service media in Poland. If opportunity presents itself CIRCOM Regional is happy to further discuss and give advice on the needs of development within the public media sector.

Our Position: The Importance of Regional Public Service Media