In connection with the work on lex TVN, as well as limiting the possibility of conducting relations at the border with Belarus, the organization Reporters Without Borders announced in Poland “a state of emergency for the freedom of the press”. The statement noted that since Law and Justice took power in 2015, Poland has fallen 46 places in the World Press Freedom Ranking and is now ranked 64 out of 180 countries.
The Reporters Without Borders organization has declared “a state of emergency for the freedom of the press” in Poland. As it was announced in the statement, this decision is related, inter alia, to legislative work on lex TVN – the amendment to the Act on the National Broadcasting Council, which, according to the organization, “threatens TVN, the leading independent media group in the country”.
Reporters Without Borders also criticized the restriction of press freedom “introduced by the Polish government under the state of emergency along the border with Belarus.” The RBG delegation, which visited Warsaw on September 9 and 10, appealed to the Seym and President Andrzej Duda to reject lex TVN.
The statement noted that the president suggested vetoing the “current version” of the amendmentbut has not yet actively confirmed it. It was noted that after rejection of the bill by the Senate The Sejm controlled by PiS may approve the amendment later this week.
“PiS is pushing for an amendment whose goal is clear: first to weaken and then take control of the country’s biggest source of independent news,” said Pavol Szalai, head of the European Union and Balkan Reporters Without Borders department. “The attack on TVN means an attack on press freedom in Europe,” he added. He also supported the extension of TVN24 of the Polish broadcasting license and explained to the head of the National Broadcasting Council, Witold Kołodziejski, the position of Reporters Without Borders.
“The offensive against the TVN group is the last stage of the government’s ‘repolonization’ of the media this year, in which the declared goal of combating foreign interference in the public debate is a cover for efforts to take over the editorial policy by the ruling party, thanks to which it could count on greater support” – said in a statement.
Ban on journalistic relations near the border with Belarus
Reporters Without Borders pointed out that TVN may face a similar fate as the Polska Press group, the country’s largest network of regional media. “The transformation of public media into government propaganda centers ended at the same time in a series of arbitrary dismissals,” it was underlined.
“The latest evidence of the deteriorating state of press freedom in Poland is the ban on journalistic reports near the border with Belarus, even in cases of reporting on topics that clearly serve the public interest,” the statement noted. Reporters Without Borders emphasized that since Law and Justice took power in 2015, Poland has fallen 46 places in the World Press Freedom Ranking and is currently ranked 64 out of 180 countries.
Main photo source: Piotr Nowak / PAP