20 years of the Broadcasting Act

25.09.2013
On 17th June, the Royal Castle in Warsaw hosted the ceremony of the 20th anniversary of adopting the Broadcasting Act. The National Broadcasting Council has started its operation twenty years ago.

The main highlight of the ceremony was the conference organised by the Council under the slogan “The Media and Democracy - 20 Years of the Broadcasting Act”, the invited delegates being, amongst others, politicians, media law creators, experts and broadcasters.

The first part of the Conference was devoted to the National Broadcasting Council – i.e. conclusions drawn from the twenty years of experience of the system-creating role of that regulatory body within the political, business and cultural reality. The introductory lecture was delivered by dr hab. Ryszard Chruściak. Jan Dworak, the Council’s Chairman, acted as panel moderator.

The panel participants, Iwona Śledzińśka-Katarasińska, Danuta Waniek, Juliusz Braun, Marek Jurek, Witold Kołodziejski, Ryszard Bender, Marek Markiewicz and Stanisław Piątek, were recalling the atmosphere that accompanied the Broadcasting Act creation. The discussion focused on the successes and difficulties in the Regulator’s operation over the past twenty years. The participants jointly agreed that the Council was facing substantial challenges resulting from the dynamic development of technology and the media market. In this context, the necessary legislation changes were being considered too.

“Formation of the media market during the past twenty years” was the subject of the second part of the Conference. The introductory lecture was delivered by prof. Tadeusz Kowalski, with Witold Graboś, Council’s Deputy Chairman, acting as discussion moderator.

The following TV broadcasters’ representatives participated in the panel: Dominik Lesage, Andrzej Muras, Andrzej Ostrowski, Zygmunt Solorz and Mariusz Walter as well as representatives of radio broadcasters: Alina Strześniewska, Kazimierz Gródek, Bartosz Hojka, Michał Konieczny, Leszek Kozioł and Andrzej Siezieniewski.

The discussion focused on reflecting on the twenty years of the media activity by the radio and television broadcasters. They were recalling the first TV licencing process in 1993. The broadcasters jointly agreed that the period of building the media market was subjected to many uncertainties and large risks. They also shared their observations regarding the Council’s role and activity both in the past and at present.

The anniversary was also the occasion to present certain persons who had contributed to the Polish media market with State distinctions and special honours: radio and television authors, broadcasters, producers and long-term Council employees.

List of persons presented with distinctions by the Polish President

List of persons presented with distinctions by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage

List of persons presented with honours and the Council’s Chairman’s Diploma

Aleksander Kwaśniewski, the former Polish President, extended a letter in which he paid his warmest respects to the Conference delegates. In his letter Aleksander Kwaśniewski congratulated the Council and extended his wishes of persistence in the efforts to build free and high-quality media. (download document)

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its existence, the National Broadcasting Council received also letters with congratulations from RDC Polskie Radio, Radio Opole as well as the Jagiellonian University in Cracow.

***
The history of the National Broadcast Council goes back to 29 December 1992. It was then that the Sejm adopted the broadcasting act, which came into force as of 1 March 1993.

The Act instituted the National Broadcasting Council as a State body competent for radio and television broadcasting affairs. A draft of Constitution amendments had been prepared earlier, which provided for the Council to be included in the fundamental law.

The Council commenced its activity on 28 April 1993. Until December 2005, it consisted of nine members representing various social and political circles. Four of them were appointed by the Sejm, two by the Senate and three by the President. The term of each Council member lasted six years. 1/3 of the Council’s composition was renewed every two years.

Since 2005, the Council has consisted of five members (two are appointed by the Polish President, two are elected by the Polish Sejm and one - by the Polish Senate), who are elected for a 6-year term. The Chairman is appointed by the Council from among its members.

 


 

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