TVP World is expanding into new markets and is available free-to-air in Estonia since late June. TVP World interviewed Mateusz Matyszkowicz, a Member of TVP’s Managing Board, about the importance of the news channel’s expansion in the region.
TVP World recently became available in Estonia. Mr Matyszkowicz, who met with Estonian government officials and representatives of the country’s public broadcaster (ETV), explained the reason behind the interest of TVP, Poland’s public broadcaster, in the region of the Baltic States.
One reason, of course, is that the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are all located on NATO’s eastern flank, and therefore share many common interests with Poland. But what is also important are the historical and cultural ties. TVP is involved in promoting works of Estonian culture, e.g. at the Heart of Europe festival. And Estonians in turn can learn about Polish culture during this year’s Saaremaa Opera Festival, which will heavily feature performers from the Silesian Opera in Bytom.
In addition to that, economic cooperation is a factor that makes Estonia an important player in the region. The country is a leader in terms of energy transformation and digital services. Later in the interview, Mr Matyszkowicz reiterated the importance of close collaboration between the countries of the Three Seas region in the fields of politics, economy, and culture, something TVP World can be essential in fostering.
Both TVP and ETV collaborate within the European Broadcasters’ Union (EBU) and with one another. They produce media content together, e.g. documentaries, and are involved in news exchange. Close collaboration and presenting the point of view of countries of Central and Eastern Europe is important to a country such as Estonia, and that is exactly TVP World’s mission. As Mr Matyszkowicz said BBC and France 24 have a strong presence in the Baltic States, but they are based in London in Paris. TVP World, based in Warsaw, is closer in perspective to Tallinn than either the BBC or France 24 can be.
Apart from presenting a regional point of view to the world, it is also important to counteract the Kremlin propaganda machine. And not just internationally: there is a strong presence of the Russian minority in the Baltic States, who are strongly influenced by Russian propaganda. TVP, whose subsidiary Belsat is broadcasting in Belarusian and Russian, has experience in combatting Moscow’s propaganda. Mr Matyszkowicz says it is important to communicate with the Russian minority in the Baltic, not to let them fall prey to the disinformation spread by Russian state media.
Mr Matyszkowicz Estonia can also benefit from close co-operation with Poland, its public broadcaster, and TVP World specifically. Estonia is a very modern country and innovative country. Estonian startups can go global more easily by first expanding into Poland. And Baltic States have a lot to offer in terms of natural beauty and historical monuments, something that TVP World can increase awareness of among western viewers.