OSCE media freedom representative urges Poland’s government to withdraw proposed changes to the selection of management in public service broadcasters
VIENNA, 30 December 2015 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today expressed deep concern about a proposed law in Poland that gives the government direct control over management positions in the public service broadcasters, Polskie Radio and Telewizja Polska (TVP).
“It is vital that public service broadcasters are guarded against any attempts of political or commercial influence. I fear the hastily introduced changes will endanger the basic conditions of independence, objectivity and impartiality of public service broadcasters,” Mijatović said.
The bill, now under consideration in the parliament, gives the Treasury Minister the power to appoint and dismiss members of the broadcasters’ management and supervisory boards. Currently, members are selected by the National Broadcasting Council.
The bill, which would go into effect immediately, also ends the terms of the current management of the national broadcasters.
The proposed changes were explained as the first phase of a public media reform; previously, the government announced plans to transform the public broadcasters into state institutions.
“I have noted the sharp criticism from civil society to these plans, including from the Helsinki Foundation and, most recently, in a joint statement from European Federation of Journalists, the European Broadcasting Union, the Association of European Journalists and Reporters Without Borders,” Mijatović said. “I urge the Polish government to withdraw the proposal.”
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.