Revised Polish media bill in the works

By Katarzyna Grynienko
    In response to the President's veto of the recent Polish media bill, a committee of renowned Polish film professionals was formed to draft a new plan for media reform in Poland.
    The Citizens Public Media Committee was formed during the Polish Culture Congres, which took place September 23-25, 2009, in Cracow with the state of the contemporary Polish media as a key topic. The committee includes most important representatives of the Polish film: Andrzej Wajda, Wojciech Kilar, Krzysztof Zanussi, Agnieszka Holland, Krzysztof Krauze, Krystyna Janda, Allan Starski Nobel Prize winner in literature Wisława Szymborska, composer Krzysztof Penderecki, and journalists Jacek Żakowski and Kazimiera Szczuka.

    The committee vowed to free public television and radio from political influence and introduce an independent government supported financing system based on the European model.

    Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk voiced his support of the plan. The new media bill was vetoed by the Polish President Lech Kaczyński in July. The veto launched a debate about the future direction of public media split along party lines. The Seym accepted the President's veto on September 12, turning down the project which included the elimination of the tv fees as the main source of public media funding, a change in government financing and distribution of the money, and major changes in the structure of the Polish Public Television (www.tvp.pl).

    The new bill should be finalized in the beggining of 2010.