The chairman of the National Broadcasting Council imposed a fine of PLN 80,000 on TOK FM radio. According to Wirtualnemedia.pl, “the station was punished for a statement by Piotr Maślak comparing the book ‘History and Present’ by Prof. Wojciech Roszkowski to a textbook for Hitlerjugend”. A statement on the matter was issued by the radio broadcaster, Inforadio. “We believe that this is a ruthless attack on the independent media, which is a platform for exchanging opinions in a socially important public debate,” it was written.
National Broadcasting Council informed on Friday that its chairman, Maciej Świrski, decided to impose a fine of PLN 80,000 on TOK FM.
It was reported that “the decision is the result of proceedings in which it was found that Inforadio Sp. z oo violated Article 18(1) of the Broadcasting Act by disseminating the program entitled ‘First breakfast in TOK’ in the TOK FM – – u’, broadcast on June 7, 2022, at 6:40 am, promoting illegal activities, views and attitudes contrary to morality and social good, and containing content inciting hatred and discriminatory content.”
Broadcasts or other messages may not promote activities that are against the law, the Polish raison d’état and attitudes and views contrary to morality and social good, in particular, they may not contain content inciting hatred or violence or discriminating on the grounds of gender, race, skin colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, nationality, belonging to a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation or inciting to commit a terrorist offence.
As we read in the announcement of the National Broadcasting Council, “in the course of the proceedings it was established that the broadcast humiliated and violated the dignity of the victims of World War II, including Jews.” “It contained discriminatory content and incitement to hatred due to political views. Offensive, stigmatizing terms were used against Prof. Wojciech Roszkowski, which violated his constitutionally guaranteed dignity” – added.
“The program was prepared unreliably. It was limited to quoting random fragments of the book, made available on the publishing house’s website before the publication of the manual, and not on a comprehensive analysis of the entire work” – wrote the Council in a communiqué.
“While imposing the penalty, the Authority noted that ‘journalists have the right to describe events that may shock the society. However, there is a requirement that this be done with professional care and diligence in the collection and use of the materials.” – we read further. It was noted that pursuant to Article 53(1) of the aforementioned Act, “if the broadcaster violates the obligation resulting from the provision of Art. 18 sec. 1 of the Act, the Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council shall issue a decision imposing a fine on the broadcaster in the amount of up to 50% of the annual fee for the right to use the frequency intended for program broadcasting, taking into account the scope and degree of harmfulness of the infringement, the broadcaster’s previous activity and its financial capabilities.
Świrski also informed about the punishment on Twitter: “I decided to punish TokFM radio for humiliating the dignity of the victims of World War II, including Jews, and for stigmatizing and insulting Prof. Wojciech Roszkowski (original spelling – ed.)”. A letter with the decision was attached to the entry.
TOK FM broadcaster’s statement. “This is a ruthless attack on an independent media”
The Wirtualnemedia.pl portal noted that the decision on the penalty is not final and the broadcaster TOK FM, which is Inforadio, may appeal to the court in this matter.
“We strongly disagree with the allegations made or the legal basis referred to by the National Broadcasting Council. We believe that this is a ruthless attack on an independent medium, which is a platform for exchanging opinions in a socially important public debate,” the company’s management board said in a statement quoted by Wirtualnemedia. pl.
“Therefore, as the broadcaster of Radio TOK FM, we will take appropriate legal steps so that an independent court decides on the legitimacy of imposing a penalty on the station” – added the statement.
Wirtualnemedia: penalty for Piotr Maślak’s statement
Wirtualnemedia.pl write that “the station was punished for a statement by Piotr Maślak comparing the book ‘History and Present’ by Prof. Wojciech Roszkowski to a textbook for Hitlerjugend”.
It was recalled that on June 7 last year, a radio journalist spoke about the textbook as follows: “It reads like a textbook – sorry for the comparison – for the Hitler Youth. Sometimes, not everywhere.”
The publisher of the textbook prof. Roszkowski is the Biały Kruk publishing house and it was they who filed a complaint with the National Broadcasting Council.
“According to our information, the National Broadcasting Council, already in its new composition, appointed last autumn, decided that the explanations provided by the broadcaster TOK FM in response to the complaint did not end the case,” reported Wirtualnemedia.pl.
Main photo source: KAROLINA MISZTAL/REPORTER/EastNews