- March 12, 2013
PL DELFI: We’ve been with you for a year
A year ago, one day after the celebration of the Day of Independence in Lithuania, PL DELFI, a new news website written in the Polish language, was launched.
Despite “kind-hearted” predictions and analyses made by some “media experts”, saying that at best we would survive until the Autumn election, we still exist, we develop and we are determined to continue our work and to inform or readers (there are more and more of them) about the most important events from Lithuania, the Vilnius region and the world.
For sure, 2012 was a crucial year for the Polish community in Lithuania. It was difficult, but also really interesting. A week after we launched our website, there was a huge demonstration in Vilnius, in which thousands of people participated; Lithuanian Poles protested against an amendment to the Act on Education. For a few years, there had been, as some political scientists have named it, “cold peace” between Vilnius and Warsaw. There were the matters of bilingual street names notices, original spelling of last names or re-privatisation of land, which were unresolved for years, and they kept delaying the improvement of the relation between the two countries. Sometime later the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania announced that it is not a minorities’ party anymore and that is considers economic matters to be its priority. It activated the electorate and won the Parliamentary election. Later it joined the new ruling coalition.
We wrote about all these problems and events – very often we were doing it as the first ones – and we will write, still, making our website accessible to people of different political views and different attitudes. Because we have believed and we still believe in intelligence of our readers, who, having access to broad and varied information will be able to make their own, objective opinion on every topic.
We have been often criticised for this attitude, by public persons and anonymous Internet users. Part of them attacked us even before we launched the website. We would like to thank them all, especially if the critique was substantial, because we believe that it is the freedom of speech that characterises democratic societies. Therefore, even offensive or, in our opinion, groundless critique, has the right to exist.
In 1994, then then chief editor of “Rzeczpospolita” and one of the people who started the weekly magazine “Słowo Wileńskie”, the late Dariusz Fikus wrote: “The history has divided us, business may bring us together.” Unfortunately, time has shown that the famous Polish journalist and editor was not quite right. Economic cooperation between Lithuania and Poland is almost exemplary. However, economy does not have as big influence on political or cultural affairs as one could expect.
We hope, and it has been our goal, that PL DELFI – which in the course of a year has become the biggest news website written in the Polish language in Lithuania, the website to which Lithuanian and foreign journalists and politicians refer – may become another bridge, leading to cooperation of Lithuania and Poland, cooperation between the countries and between local Poles and Lithuanians. Because only through a dialogue, even if it is sometimes painful and difficult to talk, one can find a compromise and resolve problems. Lack of conversation leads nowhere.
A year ago, in an opening article, I wrote “At the very beginning we separate ourselves from all parties and political options, from national leaders and spiritual ones. Our website is open for everyone. The only criterion we have is up-to-dateness of the news and the concerns of our readers. The only limitations that we impose on people who would like to express their opinion in PL FELFI come from common sense and the obligation to respect the laws of the Republic of Lithuania.” After a year, I can still sign these words with my name. We are still open to cooperation with anyone. We do not and will not turn to propaganda, we do not intend to indoctrinate, convert or agitate. Our mission is to inform. We give you information and commentaries of specialists, politicians, journalists. You have to draw the conclusions. Read in Polish and think for yourselves!
I am perfectly aware of the fact that we still have many flaws. Our small team still needs to work on the quality of texts, the ideas, the promotion, overcoming stereotypes that were so carefully spread by our opponents. Today, however, similarly as a year ago, I think that it makes sense for PL DELFI to exist. It has found its reader and its place on the market and it won’t give up this place easily. So, see you next year, on 12th March!
Tłumaczenie Emilia Zawieracz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Emilia Zawieracz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.