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Government pressure on free media. Kamila Ceran and Andrzej Andrysiak comment

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Representatives of the government, not journalists, are responsible for representing the line of the government – said the editor-in-chief of TOK FM Kamila Ceran, referring to the recent information about the pressure of the authorities on independent media. The editor of “Gazeta Radomszczańska”, a member of the Association of Local Newspapers, Andrzej Andrysiak, assessed that “the authorities are convinced that they are anointed, therefore they are some kind of possessor of the truth”. – If she is the owner of the truth, there is no need for someone who will look at her hands – he added.

Last week Paweł Kapusta, editor-in-chief of Wirtualna Polska described that the ruling camp wanted to influence the portal in various ways. A few days earlier Bartosz Węglarczyk, editor-in-chief of the Onet portalwrote that a person associated with PIS she suggested to him what relations between the editorial office and the authorities should be like. According to his account, this person mentioned the appointment of someone to the post of deputy editor-in-chief who would be responsible for ensuring that the editorial office “represented the point of view of the government”.

ALSO CHECK: Declaration of editors-in-chief on media independence

“It’s up to government officials to represent the line of government, not journalists”

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The editor-in-chief of TOK FM Kamila Ceran and the publisher of “Gazeta Radomszczańska”, Andrzej Andrysiak, a member of the Association of Local Newspapers, spoke about the pressure on free media in Poland in “You get up and know” on TVN24.

– The representatives of the government, not journalists, are responsible for representing the line of the government. For example, spokesmen, ministers, prime minister, party bosses. Opposition leaders, opposition leaders or opposition politicians are responsible for representing the opposition line. Journalists are about being asked questions. Equally one or the other, Ceran said.

>> Pressure on free media. “I cannot remain silent, this must be spoken out loud” <<

Andrysiak assessed that if someone representing the line of power became vice-chief, “it could probably end up with a newspaper, portal or television being the government’s propaganda tube, not an independent medium that looks at the hands of the authorities.”

– I am a bit surprised by this situation related to Onet and Wirtualna Polska, because while such attempts and pressure at the local level are almost everyday, at the national level it seemed to me that it was some sort of barrier – partly psychological, partly political – that the authorities do not try such things. But as it turned out, he tries. I hope that in the case of any editorial office it will not have any effect – he said.

SEE ALSO: “We’re seeing a series of legal, economic and other pressures on the media.” Jessica White from Freedom House in an interview with TVN24 BiS

Government pressure on free media. The whole conversation with Kamila Ceran and Andrzej AndrysiakTVN24

Andrysiak: the authorities are convinced that they are some kind of holder of the truth

Ceran – talking about the situation of WP and Onet – also assessed that “the selection of media in which this visit took place, with whom this conversation took place, is interesting.” – I can’t imagine anyone coming to TVN or Agora, which owns TOK FM radio – she admitted. And she added: – However, apparently it was recognized there that it was possible to put so much pressure on business to convince to, let’s call it, cooperation.

In turn, the publisher of “Gazeta Radomszczańska” talked about the everyday life of the local media. – I can tell you about a story from just a few days ago, from the south of Poland. A minister from the government has a meeting with local government officials in his region. (…) There is also a publisher of one or the other title and behind the scenes, but in such a semi-public conversation this minister says: I would like it and it seems to me that it should be so that media such as yours – that is, independent local media – at all it should not be. For the residents to be informed, the local government media and the city hall media are enough – reported the TVN24 guest.

– A local government official who is associated with the opposition is listening to this conversation and is protesting, although the newspaper in question also looks at his hands – he continued.

Andrysiak pointed out that “this is the thinking of the authorities and it seems to me that it has two aspects”. – The first is that the authorities are convinced that they are anointed, that therefore they are some kind of possessor of the truth. As he is the owner of the truth, there is no need for someone who will look at his hands. And the second is so strictly pragmatic. We pay little attention to this, but when Orlen took over Polska Press, it was very proud that it would have access to customers and residents of local Poland, and since then it has already liquidated 100 local weeklies, the journalist reported.

Main photo source: PAP/Radek Pietruszka



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