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Currently the largest radio station in Poland is RMF FM. For a number of years, RMF has operated a system where songs will be tried and tested before being given airplay in very much the same way as food is tested before landing on supermarket shelves. If a number of ‘consumers’ deem a song to be not to their taste, the song will not be on RMF’s playlist. As a commercial radio station, RMF depends on income from advertisers, hence a falling number of listeners would be considered highly detrimental to future revenue from advertising. Any interference from some secretive Masonic organisation from the west in order to influence RMF’s playlist therefore seems unlikely, though one does have to wonder how the hell Lady Gaga is played so frequently!

The second largest radio station is Radio Zet. Radio Zet operates according to a more “human” approach, less scientifically maybe than RMF but with the same key factor governing their decisions – maximising revenue from adverts and sponsors. Ultimately the music director, Wojciech Jagielski, is responsible for what is played and what isn’t. Whether he has gone over to the dark side and sold his soul to unscrupulous members of the illuminati, only he knows, though I suspect his decisions are based more on meeting what he sees as the demand of his listeners rather than any anti-Polish prejudice.

Finally, Polskie Radio 3 (Trójka), is worthy of attention. They have a panel of presenters who together vote on what will be on their playlist, this panel is referred to as their “collegium”. Some members of this collegium include, Piotr Metz, Grzegorz Hoffman, Piotr Stelmach, Marek Niedżwiedzki. Failure to gain approval from this panel does not necessarily mean that an artist will never have their song played on Trójka - individual presenters are free to play the songs and the music that they want. As a state-owned radio, journalists have a certain amount of freedom to play songs that they see as of ‘artistic value’ without having to feel the need to keep one eye on reaching a mass audience. As far as I know Grzegorz Hoffman et al are not about to be burnt on the cross as heretics as they have promoted a vast amount of new Polish music over the years, including artists such as Muchy, Nosowska, the Lollipops, Kamp and ahem Neo Retros!

It is hard to judge what sways the opinion of the decision-makers in all radio stations, in commercial radios, the deciding factor is of course the bottom line, reaching as many people as possible – satisfying the demand of the listeners. I don’t believe that any rational Polish listener would prefer to listen to a song in a foreign language unless the song gave some extra value. In the case of British and US songs, unfortunately I believe that this ‘extra value’ lies in its higher quality of production – not the composition nor the lyrics – merely the song’s production. Why is this the case? Because in the US and the UK, artists such as the Killers, Coldplay, Rihanna, Foo Fighters have Producers, Co-Producers, Sound Engineers, separate people responsible for mastering, mixing etc and all of these are specialists working on a far higher budget. In Poland, most bands unfortunately will find themselves working on a shoestring budget and often having to produce their own albums. Yes, the record labels – predominately western ones after all – grant Polish artists a significantly lower budget for recording plus promotion than their Western counterparts, but can you blame them? In a country where CD sales are in a state of terminal decline, the only way to balance the books is by making sure you take the minimum risk – i.e. paying very little as you expect to earn very little.

Therefore, I would argue that the reason for radio stations favouring English language songs over Polish is purely down to quality. Polish production suffers as a direct consequence of the lack of money floating around the Polish music market and not due to radio stations being overtly anti-Polish. Hence, the 50% “Play Polish” quota is a shoddy idea as it blames the non-culpable party – laying the guilt at the door of radio stations who are simply meeting what they see as the demand of their listeners.