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Journalists are worried about freedom in the face of planned media legislation

Despite the fact that representatives of Law and Justice (PiS) explained they only wanted to paragraph the 'stabilization pact' on the air of Radio Maryja and TV Trwam and officially sign it later in the presence of all other media, journalists are more and more skeptical about the future of free media in this country.

One of the draft bills connected with the stabilization pact will establish a national media monitoring center. "It is going to analyze media statements and make judgements of an ethical and strategic kind," explained Wojciech Wierzejski from the Polish Families' League (LPR). Jarosław Kaczyński added that the center is to gauge different media's political inclinations and sympathies, not constituting any form of censorship; "This is not censorship, we are not enemies of freedom." Paweł Kowal, Law and Justice Sejm Deputy and head of its Culture Commission, stated that the center is to conduct research on published or broadcast contents, the ownership structure and legal issues connected with the media. Other stabilization pact bills connected with the media encompass preventing children and young people from being exposed to violence and sex in electronic media (internet, computer games, etc.), on TV and in newspapers.

(WBJ 06.ii.06)

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