Poland's Regulation Plans for Public and Private Media


    WARSAW: The Polish government is working on a bill that would decrease the monopoly of foreign companies in the private media sector and a separate project that will increase the revenues for public media from the citizens.

    The governing Law and Justice party hasn't informed how it wants to achieve a more pluralistic media market yet, but its plans are to introduce the new regulation in 2017.

    "No serious country in Europe would allow that a space as delicate as the media, significant not only for business, but also for the freedom of debate and exchange of ideas, is dominated by foreign capital, as it is presently in Poland. (...) This quasi-monopol needs to change in favor of Polish capital and broadcasters", Jarosław Sellin, the Polish Vice Minister Of Culture said in an official statement.

    At the same time, the government has just finished the project of a bill that is supposed to increase revenues from the public media subscribers and ensure stable funding for public TV and radio broadcasters. TVP President Jacek Kurski informed the media that TVP's income in 2016 was lower than in 2015, but refused to give exact numbers. In 2015 TVP's income was 208.6 m EUR / 902 m PLN and the public broadcaster noted 8.4 m EUR / 36.6 m PLN of netto loss.

    In order to fix the lack of funding, the government plans to tax everyone in Poland with a special payment for public media, even if a citizen doesn't own a TV or a radio and is not a public media user.

    "The bill is ready (...) and we hope that it will allow the Polish TV and radio to receive sufficient funding. They will have to compete on the advertising market, but if they are stronger, their market share should increase." Jarosław Kaczyński, Law and Justice President, said in an official statement.