Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with plans for a new channel


    WARSAW: Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is planning to create a new channel for Polish communities abroad which would replace TVP Polonia, due to dissatisfaction with the current channel.

    Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, the vice-minister of Foreign Affairs (MSZ), said that more funding will be assigned for the production of media for Poles living abroad. "It is important, however, that these funds are used to achieve a certain goal. The Ministry is not officially obligated to finance TVP Polonia, but in general to support channels that are created for Poles living abroad. These programs should represent the highest quality and be in accordance with priority goal of Polish policies. Presently, TVP Polonia is not meeting these requirements," she said.

    The Ministry's funding for the Polish citizens living in other countries was 8 m PLN in 2013 and was decreased to 6.5 m PLN in 2014. "We could hold an open tender, but we decided to work with the public broadcaster TVP because of its official public mission and our previous co-operation. We are expecting a specific programme offer, but so far TVP has fallen short," said  the vice-minister.

    The Ministry announced that it plans to create a new channel called TVP Polska with a planned programming budget of 25 m PLN. The decrease in funding for TVP Polonia and these new plans met with objections from TVP Polonia's Programme Board.

    "Maybe we should start with smaller reforms, perhaps 2 m PLN for a show that would teach the Polish language so Polish kids living abroad could be educated in a modern way," said Joanna Fabisiak, a member of the Board. The Board had also expressed a worry for the very existence and mission of TVP Polonia, holding 0.75 of the market. "The station has been very diligent in fulfilling its mission specified in the Radio and Television Act. It is a brand, carrying out its mission - informing Poles abroad about events in Poland and showcasing Polish TV shows and film productions. What is the reason for this revolution?" Fabisiak added.