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Poland’s public broadcaster TVP has replied to the internal criticism over whether Poland should take part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in the future.

On 22 September, Polish news portal Gazeta.pl reported that members of the Programme Council of TVP had been critical of the country’s participation in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The Programme Council — which only has the power to advise — questioned whether the Junior Eurovision Song Contest was in line with the Act on Radio and Television of 1992.

According to the Act on Radio and Television, broadcasts which negatively impact the mental well-being and development of minors should be shunned. Owing to the competitive element of the show, the council questioned whether Junior Eurovision can have a negative impact on young people’s mental health.

How did TVP respond to that criticism?

On September 23, TVP responded to the news by issuing a statement on their website, in which they defended their participation in JESC.

TVP points to the Code of Ethics of the contest, saying that the contest provides for a “a safe and morally appropriate environment” for young people and stressing that “all necessary steps are taken to prevent the lack of comfort of children due to their level of skills.”

According to TVP: “Contestants are encouraged to be creative, be friends and share cultural experiences. The event is held in a community-building spirit and the competitive aspect is essentially reduced.”

What did the Programme Council members say in the first place?

One of the council members, former Law and Justice MP Barbara Bubula, told Gazeta.pl:

“[I]t seems to us that [the Junior Eurovision] formula …has little to do with the mission to raise culture. One may wonder if it is in some way contradictory to the Act on Radio and Television.”

Later, she added that participants are “treated as an object of pop culture, like an adult toy.”

Instead of participating in Junior Eurovision, the Programme Council members proposed that TVP should create a local song festival for Polish children.

However, a part of the Programme Council of TVP did not agree with the critique of Junior Eurovision. Some members have said that the criticism stemmed from the influence of the Polish government led by the conservative nationalist party Law and Justice.

A former Polish oppositional MP, Łukasz Abgarowicz, told Gazeta.pl:

“The proposal is part of the Law and Justice educational policy. This is not a festival of religious or patriotic songs, but it opens young people up to “strangers”, the culture of other societies, and builds curiosity and a transnational community of children.”

The official stance of the Programme Council has yet to be released as their meeting with the Board of Executives is scheduled to happen later.

Read all our Poland news here.

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Una
Una
2 months ago

Competition is part of life. Pressure on children to do well in school at least in traditional education system. And compete with each other for better scores to get a place in a good university. So I don’t get that argument. But I do understand that competition in the public eye may be detrimental for children. That’s why I am not a fan at all of children’s competitions. I do understand that they may be detrimental to their mental health. Not all children are made the same and some may be more resilient than others but it doesn’t mean that… Read more »

Kim
Kim
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

I wholeheartedly agree with your comment.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

Yes, this is also how I see it, and it is also how my own life was affected as a child/teenager. I didn’t mind taking part in a local festival, but after I first appeared on TV, the backlash was extremely hurtful; it can definitely contribute to depression if mishandled. The same can also be said about some adults, but the difference there is that adults are able to legally consent.

James
James
2 months ago

…local song festival for Polish children.

TVP did organize a local song festival for young Poles that served as their national selection for JESC until two years ago, Krajowe Eliminacje do Konkursu Piosenki Eurowizji dla Dzieci.

Last edited 2 months ago by James
Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  James

I think that the “competition element” is missing from “local song festival”. Make a song festival and give all children a prize. Done. Everyone wins. No harm.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

Most competitions involving children usually have consolation prizes but the aspect of competition has always been around, from interschool quiz bees, to sports tournaments to neighborhood dance-offs, and to town fiesta singing contests. While t it’s always in the spirit of camaraderie and fun, it encourages kids to be productive in working towards a certain goal.

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  James

I won’t argue that, James 🙂 I found the statement in the article contradictory – how different is a local song festival from JESC other than the scale and the public element? JESC does have a competitive element. A traditional local song festival has a competitive element too. Maybe something was lost in translation or the proposed solution contradictory or missing something.

Neil
Neil
2 months ago

Me vibing to Tarber while reading this article….

TheDrMistery
TheDrMistery
2 months ago

Jacek Kurski, head of TVP, was very visible and gloating during JESC 2019 so I guess it’s not from Law & Justice political party as he’s a part of it.

DGuzz
DGuzz
2 months ago
Reply to  TheDrMistery

Jacek Kurski was directly appointed as head of TVP by Law and Justice (PiS) as far as I know, and he works with them quite closely. He is pretty much despised in Poland by people who oppose PiS as he, and PiS, have turned TVP into a propaganda shitshow, which is quite entertaining to watch sometimes to see what absurd lies they are spreading about Europe and opposition politicians. PiS is extremely conservative and nationalistic and often changes their mind on things when these go out of hand, just to appease people. Their idea of a perfect family and proper… Read more »