Poland: media law against anti-government coverage

In a surprise move, Poland's parliament passed a new broadcasting law on Friday which protects the country's TV stations from takeovers by non-European countries. Currently, the only TV station with owners outside the EU is TVN, which belongs to the US group Discovery and is critical of the Polish government in its reporting. The new legislation prompted protests in over 100 cities on Sunday.

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Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

All about protecting PiS interests

The editor-in-chief of Rzeczpospolita, Bogusław Chrabota, describes his personal disappointment with the PiS:

“The so-called Lex TVN, which was suddenly passed on Friday in disregard of normal parliamentary procedures, is a good example of the worst traits of the ruling party's politics: it is not guided by reasons of state but exclusively by party interests, it ignores the state's strategic interests, it acts unexpectedly and supported by the perfect obedience of its parliamentary majority, which it has turned into a spineless voting machine. ... And finally, a note of personal bitterness: where are you today, my former friends of the PiS from the times when we dreamed together of a strong, democratic, astute and important Polish state in Europe? What did you sell this vision for - and for whom?”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

When friends aren't looking

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is shocked to see Poland damaging its relations with the US and the EU by attacking media freedom:

“This comes at the very moment when the danger of a Russian invasion of Poland's neighbour to the east, Ukraine, is greater than it has been since 2014. ... Is Warsaw hoping that in view of the huge challenge posed by Putin, America and the other Europeans will have neither the time nor the nerves to deal with a small attack on media freedom in the largest EU and Nato member in Eastern and Central Europe?”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

State television manipulating millions

Gazeta Wyborcza is shocked by the state television's disinformation policy:

“Not a word about the demonstrations all over Poland in defence of TVN. And not a word about the fact that after 7 p.m. on Sunday there were already more than 1.2 million signatures under an appeal to defend TVN. What this means is that the country's main TV channel TVP1 deliberately and intentionally misinforms its viewers. This channel is watched by an average of 2.88 million people. Each of them has the right to feel manipulated.”