Professor Marcin Matczak from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw spoke about lex TVN and the joint statement of the American senators on the amendment to the media law in “Fakty po Faktach”. – The situation is very serious and it is very sad that such voices have to appear. Such voices of reflection – he commented.
Professor Marcin Matczak from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw spoke in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24 about a draft amendment to the media law, called TVN lex, submitted by PiS, which undermines TVN’s independence.
In connection with the draft of the novel the joint statement was released on Wednesday by US Democratic and Republican senators. “This law, combined with Poland’s refusal to renew the TVN license, is another step in the direction that threatens Polish democracy,” they assessed, among others. They also wrote that if the project were “passed and became law, it would discriminate against companies outside the European Union and would probably lead to the exit of a serious American investor from Poland.”
Professor Marcin Matczak about lex TVN
Matczak agreed on TVN24 that lex TVN “is a step threatening Polish democracy”. – Americans for whom freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the media is almost the highest, almost absolute value, must simply hold their heads looking at the country that was the leader of democratic changes in Central and Eastern Europe, and now suddenly, after several decades , wants to close a certain voice, which is an important voice in the pluralism of the media in Poland, he commented.
In his opinion, “the only thing left to do is nod your head sadly that it has come to this, that such speeches must take place.” – Freedom of speech and freedom of the media, access to information, exchange of information are absolutely fundamental, fundamental values. Without this value, nothing else makes sense in a democracy, he pointed out.
Matczak also argued that “democracy always dies from restricting freedom of expression”. – The situation is very serious and it is very sad that such voices have to appear. Such voices of reflection – he added.
The case of lex TVN and the license for TVN24
On July 7, a group of Law and Justice deputies submitted to the Sejm a draft amendment to the Broadcasting Act. “The will of the legislator is that companies based in Poland cannot be controlled by entities outside the European Economic Area” – it was written in the justification. Commentators agree that the changes are aimed at TVN’s independence. TVN24 is still waiting for the National Broadcasting Council to extend its license, which expires on September 26. An application for its extension was submitted in February 2020. KRRiT claims that the problem lies in the “ownership situation” of the TVN group.
The station’s management wrote in a statement that in 2015 the National Broadcasting Council accepted the entry of American capital into TVN. Since 2016 – under the same ownership conditions – KRRiT has already issued licenses for TVN24 BiS, TTV and TVN International West. On the license for TVN24 took place on Thursday, July 22, two votes at the National Broadcasting Council. However, no decisions were made.
Parliamentary committee on culture and media On July 27, it adopted a draft amendment to the media law with amendments and sent it for further work.
TVN is owned by Discovery through its subsidiary Polish Television Holding BV in the Netherlands, and thus belonging to the European Economic Area.
Main photo source: TVN24