||« Various topics
Humanist media in PolandAuthor of this text: Adam Cioch
Poland we have about five percent of non-believers, which is about two million
people. Moreover, we have a handful of humanist and freethinker organizations as
well as some magazines. The biggest of them appears in about two thousand copies
every second month. The magazines are: a periodical „Bez Dogmatu" (Without a dogma) (one of the editors, Andrzej Dominiczak, is present at this conference),
the biggest periodical „Res Humana" and „Forum Myśli Wolnej" (Forum of
free thought). Polish humanists do not have any access to public radio and TV
and no private radio or TV stations see any interest in broadcasting humanist
activists have also created websites. The most successful is racjonalista.pl
(The Rationalist), visited by about fifteen thousand people daily. This makes
the website racjonalista.pl
the biggest humanist medium in Poland. It provides information and
articles on humanist values and purposes, philosophical topics, religion and
churches as well as on science and human rights. It is also a forum for
discussion on different life stances and points of view. Racjonalista is also
the biggest humanist virtual library in the Polish language. This website,
started six years ago by Mariusz Agnosiewicz, in that time student of law, makes an
important contribution to the propagation of humanist values in Polish society.
It is also a virtual place where Polish humanists can meet other non-believers.
In this way they can receive support and break isolation, which is often a big
problem for those who live in the countryside and small towns.
humanist activists and journalists find also other ways to popularize our points
of view and values. Three left-wing magazines collaborate with humanist
associations or media.
them is the 15-year old magazine „Nie" (No) with about a hundred thousand
copies sold every week. It is a satirical anticlerical political weekly with a strong presence of human rights subjects, created mostly by non-believers in
collaboration with some humanist authors and journalists.
also another weekly, „Przegląd" (Review), with thirty thousand sold copies,
which several months ago started a close collaboration with the editorial staff
of the aforementioned humanist quarterly „Bez dogmatu" (Without a dogma).
They not only give free publicity to this humanist review, but also invite its
authors to write articles and make interviews with humanist activists and
philosophers. As far as I know, a group of journalists will soon produce a special supplement with humanist subjects for „Przegląd".
finally, the last example of collaboration of large-circulation newspapers with
humanist circles: it is the „Fakty i Mity" (Facts and myths) weekly, for
which I work as the coordinator in the editorial staff. We sell about seventy
thousand copies. In this political and anticlerical review there is a permanent
presence of humanist subjects. We have a permanent humanist series of articles,
interviews or columns. For example, until recently, for over three years we had a small weekly interview with professor Maria Szyszkowska, a humanist
philosopher, author and politician. She is probably the most publicly known
figure in the humanist circles in Poland. For the last three years we also have
had a column „Life after religion", which presents the subject of life
stances and rationalist critique of religions. Two years ago our review invited
professor Joanna Senyszyn, a left-wing openly atheist politician involved in
promoting the respect of human rights in Poland, and she writes an interesting
column every week. I highlight „open atheist" here because in Polish public
life it is not easy to admit one is a non-believer.
„Fakty i Mity" also has a permanent presence of Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender
subjects, probably the most intensive one among Polish large-circulation
reviews. We stared the battle for LGBT rights five years ago, when the subject
was not popular in the media and when even left-wing big media did not offer
clear support to sexual minorities.
As a small conclusion I can state that — in my opinion — effective and well-tried
ways to make humanist subjects and points of views visible are the Internet and
collaboration with friendly large-circulation magazines. I hope our Polish
experience can be a source of ideas how to reach a bigger public.
1st Baltic Humanist Conference — Stockholm (10-12 November 2006) organised by Humanisterna (Swedish Humanist Association), in cooperation with the Norwegian Humanist
« Various topics (Published: 20-11-2006 Last change: 11-02-2007)
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