The image of elderly and disabled persons in the media

The disabled and elderly contribute to social life in a variety of professional and family roles, and the promotion of a positive image of such persons in the media serves to eliminate stereotypes. KRRiT’s Regulatory Strategy is consistent in this area with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as with the Long-Term Senior Policy Approach in Poland for 2014-2020.
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The National Broadcasting Council has for a third time asked broadcasters of digital terrestrial television programmes to send information on the promotion of the positive image of disabled persons in their programming. The above-mentioned broadcasters were also invited for a second time to present their procedures for depicting the elderly.

Ten out of 11 broadcasters provided information: Telewizja Polska (TVP1, TVP 2, TVP 3, TVP Info, TVP Regionalna, TVP Kultura, TVP Polonia, TVP Historia, TVP Rozrywka and TVP ABC), Telewizja Polsat (Polsat, Polsat Sport News, TV 4 and TV 6), TVN (TVN and TVN 7), Telewizja Puls (TV Puls, TV Puls 2), Stopklatka (Stopklatka TV), Stavka (TTV), Eska TV (Eska TV), Lemon Records (Polo TV),TV Spektrum (Fokus TV) and ATM Grupa (ATM Rozrywka TV).

For the second time, KRRiT did not receive a reply from the Lux Veritatis Foundation, broadcaster of Telewizja Trwam.

In comparison to those of the previous year, this year’s replies by broadcasters demonstrated a greater awareness of their aim and means of implementation, and the majority included a list of titles, broadcast dates and a short description. They also contained information on the greater diversity of programming genres in which a positive image of the elderly and disabled persons was promoted: news and current affairs (including reportage), series and soap operas, entertainment broadcasts, magazine programmes, documentary and feature films.

Intervention broadcasts continue to outnumber those aiming to combat stereotypes in current terrestrial television programmes, yet more and more broadcasts are depicting the elderly and disabled persons as leading a satisfying life, conducting successful professional activity and as being fully integrated into society.

As in the previous year, the leader of equal opportunity television was Telewizja Polska, which presented the greatest diversity of genres and topics in its programming and ensured its presence in both national and regional television. The broadcaster also pledged to develop and improve the means of presentation, format and topics concerning the elderly and disabled in its broadcasts.
In programmes produced by Telewizja Polska, disabled people were characters in regular broadcasts as well as entertainment and artistic programming, and also sporting events and feature productions. Sub-plots depicting the fate of disabled people were woven into scenarios of the most popular series; eleven social campaigns devoted to disability were also presented.

In their depiction of elderly people, TVP’s priorities included: social, professional and educational activity, access to care services, development of local neighbourhood societies and forms of self-organisation, growth of intergenerational ties and increased feelings of responsibility among the younger generations for the care of the elderly, increased participation by non-governmental organizations in the creation of programmes for the elderly, and creation of the proper conditions for participation of such people in culture and leisure activities.

KRRiT will continue to study the means of presenting the elderly and disabled in the media.

The positive image of elderly and disabled persons in television programmes


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The National Broadcasting Council's Office

Skwer kard. S. Wyszyńskiego 9, 01-015 Warsaw, Poland
tel: ( 48 22) 597 3000, fax (48 22) 597 3180

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