Vienna, 30 December 2015 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed its disapproval of a new bill proposal in Poland regarding media freedom. On 29 December, the majority party introduced the bill rather suddenly, claiming that it was the first stage of a public media reform.
Under consideration for immediate adoption by the government, the bill proposal would transfer control over management and supervisory board member appointments at the public broadcaster from the National Broadcasting Council to the Minister of the Treasury.
If the bill is passed, it will be effective immediately and all current management would be dismissed.
“The proposed changes seem to be a powerful weapon for the government. Unfortunately, I have little faith that politicians want to increase the power and freedom of media. Usually bills like this are a blatant attempt to diminish freedom of speech and curb critical journalism. We call on authorities in Poland to revoke this proposal and focus more on other issues”, SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East and Central Europe. SEEMO’s press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.