MEDIA OF THE SECOND CIRCULATION

ARTUR STELMASIAK

The integration of independent journalistic environments and a few dozens internet, press, radio and television initiatives – are the main purpose of the assigned Congress of Independent Media.

In the congress which was held in Warsaw on 12 May this year was attended by about 150 journalists representing different initiatives of media from across Poland – associations, newspapers, internet portals, blogs, internet televisions, radio stations and the environment of film-makers. One of the co-organizers of the Congress was the Association of Catholic Journalists and the blessing to its participants was given by the chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference Archbishop Józef Michalik.

In the special video recording the hierarch said that the sign of vitality of our society and people of culture is the fact that they look at the reality critically. – I would like to congratulate that they are brave and often take a risk at the cost of their career but they care about the hierarchy of values, on whose top there is the truth – emphasized Archbishop Michalik.

– This second circulation of the Polish culture coming to existence is extremely important in a situation when in Europe and the world relativism is promoted through a significant majority of the mass media.

A congress of real journalists

During the opening of the Congress there were much more Catholic accents. For the inaugurating lecture was given by the prominent philosopher Fr. Prof. Tadeusz Guz. He said that each human sovereignty is sovereignty given by God. – This reference to the Absolute brings us into the truth about the reality. Do I as a journalist see the real world and create it or do I create the reality? If I am aware of God, I will not try to create the truth – he said.

The Congress was organized in the headquarters of the Association of Polish Journalists. – We are very happy that a new movement comes into existence which will have the same written on its banners what the Association of Polish Journalists has – the independence of media, freedom of speech and caring about providing journalists with the working conditions – emphasized Krzysztof Skowroński – the chairman of the Association of Polish Journalists.

Among guests there was also the MP of the Law and Justice Adam Kwiatkowski, the chairman of the parliamentary team for the freedom of speech. – We are here to declare the cooperation. On the one hand it is bad that this team had to be assigned in the Seym. On the other hand it is good that it is an organ which defends the freedom of speech – said Kwiatkowski. As a close co-operator of Lech Kaczyński he reminded that the late President of the Polish Republic was always an independent man who respected the truth and real journalists. – Therefore I am glad that I can be in the place where so many real journalists have gathered – emphasized Kwiatkowski.

Votes for Czabański

During the inaugurating meeting the authorities of the Congress were elected. Its chairman was Krzysztof Czabański, a former chairman of the Polish Radio and a publicist of ‘Sunday’. – One of our purposes was to unite small and medium enterprises of media scattered today so that they would have a common voice in the public arena in important issues for them – said Czabański.

A requirement of participating in the Congress is the independence and reliability of journalists. Among the invited guests there were independent Catholic media. Among them there was also ‘Sunday’ and Fr. Sławomir Kapitan, the director of the Catholic Radio Podlasie was elected for the presidium of Congress of Independent Media.

The Congress was created for the sake of small and medium initiatives of media for whom the common base is independence. Another common feature is also an attempt of breaking the monopoly of information, the so-called mainstream. Therefore they are often called as media of the second circulation. – It is our distinguishing feature. We want to group media which are searching for the truth about the reality – emphasized Czabański. These big groups of media which have dominated over the Polish market, have their own interests and defend them. he clearly said that we also have the right to be there.

Public hearings

In Poland we are witnesses of an extremely quick development of the civic journalism. A lot of initiatives have appeared especially on Internet – from written portals, radio stations to internet televisions. – This awakening proves that there something not right in our country. Big corporations of media do not meet the expectations of all receivers. People noticed that they are cheated and decided to take the matter into their hands – explained Mateusz Dzieduszycki, a vice-president of the Congress of Independent Media. The Congress was created to judge, see and convince that the defence of the freedom of speech has a sense and the independent media have a perspective of further development.

The Congress was also created to speak with one voice in important matter for the environment. – We all have a bigger force than individually – said Dzieduszycki. In the future giving legal help is planned and also creating a platform of the exchange of information. The chairman of the Congress of Independent Media also wants to introduce the so-called public hearings. – Together with the Association of Polish Journalists and the Catholic Association of Journalists we want to invite the state officials in order to explain them why they have made up such and such decisions. We will also refer to the Act about the access to the public information – explained Czabański.

One of the first decisions of the Congress was the passing of the statement in the matter of the attack by the MP Stefan Niesiołowski on the journalist Ewa Stankiewicz. There was also strong opposition towards depriving the Television Trwam of its concession to broadcasting on the digital multiplex. For it meant the restriction of the freedom of speech and monopolisation of the market of media by the broadcasters favouring the government.
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"Niedziela" 22/2012

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl