Media freedom and pluralism in jeopardy
Just weeks after winning the 2015 parliamentary elections, the conservative Law and Justice party passed a media law in December 2015 giving the government direct control over public broadcasting. It immediately used this power to dismiss those running the state radio and TV stations. After turning the state media into propaganda tools, the government tried to financially throttle several independent print media outlets (including Gazeta Wyborcza, Polityka and Newsweek Polska) by ordering all state agencies to cancel their subscriptions. In December 2016, the government had to abandon plans to restrict media access to parliament after thousands of people took to the streets in a show of concern about media freedom. Concern is now focused on a proposed law to “re-Polishize” the country’s press by setting a limit on the level of foreign capital in Polish media companies. Alarmed to see a European Union member flouting fundamental EU values, the European Commission launched a procedure in January 2016 that is designed to ensure respect for the rule of law. In response to the grave and repeated violations of media freedom and pluralism, RSF issued a call to the EU in October 2016 to impose sanctions on Poland, including financial sanctions.
47 in 2016
23.89 in 2016