Polish public broadcaster TVP has appointed its new president Jacek Kurski. This decision is a consequence of the controversial new media law in Poland, and might have a direct influence on the Eurovision selection.
Kurski is a former politician for the right-winged SP-party. His predecessor, the former TVP president Juliusz Braun, was said to have a great influence on the Polish Eurovision entries of the past two years. It is to be expected that Kurski will now have a say in the entry choice for Stockholm.
This will however not be the first time Kurski is affiliated with the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2014, he reached the Eurovision news when he condemned Conchita Wurst’s victory, stating it was “cultural aggression from the west”. He made these statements in a talkshow led by the famous Polish presenter Tomasz Lis, who has recently resigned from TVP as a protest against the new media law.
Along with Jacek Kurski, Jan Pawlicki was appointed as channel director for TVP1, the channel that broadcasts Eurovision in Poland.
Earlier in the season, TVP confirmed that Poland will once again use an internal selection for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. It is generally believed that the choice will be revealed in the popular tv-show Świat się kręci later this year. Speculations on the Polish entry for 2016 can be found in this editorial.
The appointing of Kurski and Pawlicki is a result of the controversial media law that was passed last month. The law allows the current Polish government to appoint key positions within the public broadcaster TVP. The law has led to political turmoil in Poland as well as within the European Union, who have threatened to sanction Poland when the law would indeed be executed.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has also appealed to the Polish president to reject the new media law. “To preserve the integrity and independence of public service media as a symbol of a free and democratic country, we ask you in the strongest possible terms not to sign this measure into law,” said Ingrid Deltenre, EBU Director General, in her letter.
Poland also has several commercial tv-channels which will remain independent despite the new media law. However, according to research done by the BBC, these channels have a combined market share of less than 10%.