October 1, 2008

President: Public Media a “Major Value”

Text of report in English by Polish national independent news agency PAP

Warsaw, 1 October: Mission-oriented public media for whom profits are at best a side aim and not a main issue are a "major value", president Lech Kaczynski said Wednesday [1 October] on Polish TV's news channel TVP Info commenting government plans to introduce a new media law.

On Tuesday the national daily Rzeczpospolita wrote that the Tusk government was planning changes in media laws and management reshuffles in the public media. According to the paper the government was considering support for a radio and TV act prepared several months ago by the opposing Democratic Left Alliance (SLD).

Later that day PO caucus leader Zbigniew Chlebowski assured there was "no possibility" for his party to back the SLD bill.

Kaczynski stressed today that the existence of honest, non- profiteering public media ran against private broadcaster interests. They (the private media - PAP) certainly don't want such rivalry. Without it they can earn more on advertising and are freer to say whatever reality-distant things they please, Kaczynski said.

Stressing the importance of public media for democracy, Kaczynski also observed that democracy was "pointless if people did not receive honest information".

Asked what he thought about the government's plans to back the SLD media act, Kaczynski said this was a solution he "did not exclude".

Originally published by PAP news agency, Warsaw, in English 1510 1 Oct 08.

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