Diaspora is a term that I’ve never come across in my years of studying the media. Yet when I learned that it refers to a cultural group of people who have scattered from their original geographic homeland, I immediately lit up. My whole life I’ve been exposed to diasporic media, thanks to my family’s strong Polish cultural ties.
In particular, I remember growing up with the sights and sounds of TV Polonia, an international television station servicing Polish people living outside of Poland. Delivered alongside the myriad of international television stations offered by cheap satellite TV companies, TVP is a station that caters to one of the world’s largest diasporic populations.
With between 15-20 million people of Polish descent living outside of Poland (MSZ, 2014), it comes as no surprise that a station dedicated to this group exists. TVP, and its radio subsidiary, report primarily on key Polish issues often ignored by the media within Australia.
In today’s internet age, the importance of a dedicated diasporic station such as this may have arguably diminished. Yet for the less computer-savvy amongst our population (my grandparents included), TVP was, and continues to be, a key source of Polish news and entertainment in an otherwise very Australia- and US-centric media landscape.
In a nation that prides itself on multiculturalism (at least ostensibly), diasporic media such as TVP plays a pivotal role in allowing our diverse population to maintain a cultural link to their old homeland.