Poland

Poland

“Repolonising” means censoring

After consolidating its control of the state broadcast media, the government is pursuing its “repolonisation” of the privately-owned media with the declared goal of influencing their editorial policies or, in other words, censoring them. In the run-up to the presidential election in mid-2020, the state-owned media backed President Andrzej Duda’s successful campaign for reelection and did their best to discredit his main rival. More veteran journalists left the state-owned radio broadcaster, this time after the management tried to censor a song critical of the government. The state-owned TV broadcaster, TVP, participated in a government hate campaign against critics that targeted privately-owned TVN in particular. As part of the “repolonisation” campaign, the state-controlled oil company Orlen announced its acquisition of 20 of the 24 regional newspapers published by the German-owned Polska Press company – newspapers whose websites have 17 million readers. A proposed new tax on advertising revenue, seen as another step in the government’s censorship strategy, prompted a “black screen” protest in which many privately-owned media outlets participated. With their finances already weakened by the pandemic’s economic effects, they fear that the new tax will finish them off. The police repeatedly failed to protect journalists covering protests and used violence and arbitrary arrests to restrict the right to inform. This was the case in the spring of 2020, when two journalists covering anti-government protests were threatened with fines for violating coronavirus regulations and one was briefly arrested. Now that more and more journalists are finding political or economic refuge online – including the former public radio journalists who created the online Radio 357 and those with the weekly Wprost, which has stopped producing a print edition – a politicised regulation of the Internet is now feared.

64
in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

-2

62 in 2020

Global score

+0.19

28.65 in 2020

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2021
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