The President of Press Club Polska addressed a letter to the chairman of the National Broadcasting Council, Witold Kołodziejski, regarding the extension of the TVN24 license. “The delay in taking a decision without any significant and justified reasons not only raises deep doubts as to the intentions of the members of the National Broadcasting Council, but may also constitute grounds for criminal liability described in Article 231 of the Criminal Code – abuse of power” – he wrote.
TVN24 is still waiting for its license extension. The application in this matter was submitted to the National Broadcasting Council in February last year, i.e. 18 months ago. Until today, no decision has been made.
Letter to the head of the National Broadcasting Council
Marcin Lewicki, president of the board of Press Club Polska, addressed this matter with a letter to the chairman of the National Broadcasting Council, Witold Kołodziejski, dated August 12.
He wrote that “due to the completely incomprehensible and at the same time unprecedentedly long delay in issuing the decision on the extension of the broadcasting license for the TVN24 television station,” he is asking “to take immediate and effective steps to take a decision in this case.”
He noted that the broadcaster applied for a license extension several months ago, and “the legislator decided that the application for a license for the next period should be submitted no later than 12 months before the expiry of the license held”.
“In other words, it was considered that 12 months is a sufficient period to analyze the application and issue a decision. Therefore, even assuming the maximum statutory period, the President should issue a decision on this matter no later than five months ago” – we read in the letter.
Lewicki: I have the impression that the chairman and other members of the National Broadcasting Council are not guided by substantive issues
“Following the events related to the above-described matter, including the curious votes of the National Broadcasting Council, as a result of which ‘the license was neither granted nor refused’, I have the impression bordering on certainty that the Chairman and other members of the National Broadcasting Council are not guided by substantive issues, forgetting about the wording of Article 6.1 of the Broadcasting Act: ‘The National Council safeguards the freedom of speech in radio and television, the independence of media service providers and the interests of recipients, and ensures the open and pluralistic nature of broadcasting,’ wrote the president of the board of the Press Club Poland.
“In each licensing process, you have to make a specific and unambiguous decision: either the applicant meets the legal criteria for granting the license and then it must be granted, or it does not meet – and then it must be refused. deep doubts as to the intentions of members of the National Broadcasting Council, but also may constitute the basis for criminal liability described in Article 231 of the Criminal Code – abuse of power “- he concluded.
The matter of the license for TVN24
In a statement, the management of the station recalled that in 2015 the National Broadcasting Council approved 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. Two votes were held in the National Broadcasting Council on the TVN24 license on 22nd July. However, no decisions were made.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, the Sejm adopted an amendment to the Broadcasting Act known as the anti-TVN act. The bill was supported by 228 MPs, with 216 votes against and 10 abstentions. In the opinion of commentators, the PiS project targets the independence of TVN. Many journalists, politicians and institutions protested against the changes in the media law.
“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.
TVN is owned by Discovery, through its subsidiary Polish Television Holding BV in the Netherlands, and thus belonging to the EEA.
Main photo source: TVN Krzysztof Dubiel