The previous government barricaded itself in the editorial offices, the current government is taking radical steps – this is how the foreign press briefly describes what is happening around public media in Poland. Journalists emphasize the propaganda carried out by TVP during the PiS era, but also report doubts and even accusations about the way of repairing it.
No one is surprised that the ultraconservative Law and Justice party is clinging to power so as not to lose control over the Polish public media, which have served it as a propaganda tool for eight years – this is how a journalist from the Spanish daily “El País” begins her comment on the situation in Poland. , but – as he adds – there have been many changes in this matter. “No one expected that PiS would take over the headquarters of these media and barricade itself in them for a few days to prevent the new bosses from accessing their offices,” the journalist points out.
Foreign media openly talk about a battle, or even a political war, over public media in Poland. – Poland’s new, pro-EU government took radical steps to free state media from the political oppression imposed by eight years of Law and Justice rule, but this triggered a political war with the previous ruling party – we read in “Politico”.
Journalists also remind that during the PiS government, public media were used as “an aggressive propaganda tool, attacking Tusk and the opposition, as well as promoting the Eurosceptic views of the ruling party.” – During its rule, PiS manipulated procedures and circumvented the constitution to take control of media supervisory bodies and create a special government agency responsible for key nominations, which enabled the party to tighten control over public broadcasters – they emphasize.
The recovery of public media is underway in Poland. The new Minister of Culture announced on Wednesday that public radio, television and the Polish Press Agency would be liquidated – Euronews reports. In turn, this move – as the BBC points out – on the one hand, the new government fulfills its promises to restore the impartiality of state media in Poland, but on the other hand, it also causes a number of controversies.
“Legal organizations questioned the method of dismissal of the current management boards. The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights stated that public media require urgent reform because under the PiS rule they have become a “propaganda spokesman for the ruling camp” (…). “However, it cannot be ignored that The way in which changes in public media will be initiated raises serious doubts, the foundation said,” write BBC journalists.
The showdown between Tusk’s coalition and President Duda
French media quote the opinion of another organization that clearly assesses the condition of Polish public media under the rule of Law and Justice. – During the eight years in power of the populist nationalist party, public media have become the government’s relay. In its 2020 report, the Reporters Without Borders organization emphasized that “biased statements and incitement to hatred are still the rule in Polish public media, which have transformed into a mouthpiece for government propaganda,” we read in “Le Figaro.”
In turn, the German media point to the Reporters Without Borders report. – In their 2023 report, Reporters Without Borders noted that the PiS government is increasingly trying to control private media, they remind.
The “Tagesschau” daily explains why the Law and Justice authorities want to maintain control over state radio and television. “Commentators stated that the PiS party hopes to maintain control over the state media and use them to spread its message before next year’s local government and European Parliament elections,” we read.
That’s why “Der Spiegiel” writes about the drastic steps that the new Polish government has taken in this matter, and “Die Welt” suggests that the political game between Donald Tusk’s pro-European coalition and President Andrzej Duda is entering a new round.
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