A NEW QUALITY IN THE POLISH TELEVISION
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
The decision of the Polish National Broadcasting Council about granting the concession to the Television Trwam, for the ground-based broadcasting, met with a feeling of a relief from the Foundation Lux Veritatis, which is the owner of this Television, but, first of all, it was accepted by the Polish society with great joy, because over 2.5 million of signatures collected and sent to the National Broadcasting Council means something. People got happy, that after so many attempts, the consent to the presence of the Television Trwam in the digital multiplex was given. And, by the way, who wanted all this 'turmoil'? After all, the conditions required for this concession had been met, the credibility of the institution had been checked, and there was no need to get engaged in collecting millions of signatures or organizing occasional marches in over 170 towns in Poland. So, the whole matter of the decision of the National Broadcasting Council astonishes and it does not positively present those who are responsible for some events in Poland and who give particular permissions.
The exceptional, big crowd of people supports the television station and its radio form. And these are ordinary receivers of these media, for whom they have been a great gift for years; thanks to these media, the social consciousness of people grew, as well as their criticism towards various kinds of actions by the government, and, first of all, a big crowd of people - especially the lonely ones - found their worthiness in the community of faith and prayer.
The new situation of the Television Trwam sets new challenges for it. So far its recipients have been only those who had suitable devices and could use its program on proper parameters. When it is transferred onto the digital program, first of all, the number of its viewers will increase, and its recipients will also be people who are critical towards it, and who will set various demands towards it. There will appear recipients with a new look and evaluation, surely also those who will not share the attitude presented by it. After all, the marches, protests and actions of collecting signatures for the Television Trwam were attended also by those who have not had an access to this television so far and are expecting to start the program with a remote control, which has appeared in their imagination. It will also be necessary to face up with various cultural and political trends. The Television Trwam presents its option of the Catholic ethics, but there are people who express different view about the world and they will want to take part in discussions. Certainly, this will surely enrich the Polish social space. Probably - paraphrasing the title of the novel by Antoni Gołubiew 'The new was coming' - the new is coming, because people live by mass media. However, it requires suitable people and means.
I also think that accessibility of the Television Trwam - like the presence of a priest or a nun in a teachers' room - will cause a situation when owners of other stations will have to respect the fact what they promote and what they teach viewers, because too controversial programs are facing criticism and rejection.
So, from the point of view of the Church, it is a blessed situation, because we need a factual discussion, a mature thought, a good-mannered way of conducting conversations. The Television Trwam on the multiplex is a good contribution for the Polish thinking scene, in which there should not be any place for pride, ridicule, bad entertainment, humiliation of others, among the others, the Church and the Catholics. Now it will be possible to express one's: No generally.
Looking more objectively, the public television which seems non-governmental today, will have to revise its attitude now. Surely, he society will demand more transparency, the truthfulness and objectivity. It is a kind of contribution to democracy, which is so abused today, to normality.
Therefore, I congratulate the Television Trwam on sailing out onto wide waters, and the society - that it could express such an evident and determined attitude in support for normality in the social life and the value of the truth.