Law and Justice published a spot in which a fragment of the journalist’s report from “Fakty” TVN was used. TVN24 stressed in a published statement that “such action undermines the credibility and independence of the media, it is also simply the appropriation of someone else’s property.” Earlier, PiS used fragments of Radio Zet broadcasts for another spot, which was strongly opposed by the management of the Eurozet Group. In similar cases, two journalists filed lawsuits against the ruling party. One of the proceedings was settled by the Supreme Court, but PiS still does not comply with the judgment.
Law and Justice presented an election spot on Wednesday, where it combined recordings from Tuesday’s parade on the occasion of the Polish Army Day with events from, among others, Usnarz Górny in 2021. Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko caused then migration crisis on the borders of Belarus with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, organizing the transfer of large groups of migrants to the vicinity of the territories of these three countries.
In the spot, PiS used a fragment of the reporter of “Fakty” TVN Andrzej Zaucha, who reported on the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border. Zaucha pointed out that the uniformed man did not introduce himself and did not allow him to pass, without giving the reason for restricting access to the border area.
TVN24: We strongly protest
The editorial staff of TVN24 in a statement published on Wednesday “strongly protested against the unlawful use of editorial materials and the image of TVN journalists for PiS party and election propaganda.”
“Such action undermines the credibility and independence of the media, it is also simply the appropriation of someone else’s property” – it was written.
Eurozet: this is a scandalous practice that affects the professional image of our journalists and the political independence of our station
Last week, a similar objection to the use of materials by PiS was voiced by the management of the Eurozet Group. This is due to the publication of the PiS spot, in which it presented the first question in the referendum proposed by the party, which is to be held on October 15, together with elections parliamentary.
The advertisement included a statement by economist Bogusław Grabowski from January, who, when asked on Radio Zet whether the opposition – if it takes power – should reverse the process that is taking place in the case of Orlen and break up Orlen, replied: “Absolutely yes.” “Fuel and energy companies, ports are to be private? Airports? Yes,” said Grabowski.
“We absolutely do not agree that fragments of the program ‘Gość Radio ZET’ or other programs of the station should be used in materials that pursue the political goals of any party. This is an outrageous practice that affects the professional image of our journalists and the political independence of our station. neither side of the political dispute. We expect independent journalism to be treated seriously and respect for our listeners,” said the management board of the Eurozet Group.
Grzegorz Kajdanowicz is suing PiS
Grzegorz Kajdanowicz, a journalist from “Fakty” TVN, sued the party over a series of PiS spots. It is about a video published since June 4 this year, in which the journalist’s image was used without his consent. They concerned the June 4th March and contained excerpts from TVN’s “Fakty” editions led by Kajdanowicz.
On June 29, the journalist, acting through a proxy, sent a request to the PiS party to voluntarily remove the content described in the application, together with a request to publish an apology. On July 10, the attorney’s office received a letter signed by the party’s general secretary, Krzysztof Sobolewski, refusing to meet the demands. Therefore, on July 25, the journalist filed a lawsuit for the protection of personal rights with the District Court in Warsaw.
In the opinion of Grzegorz Kajdanowicz, his personal rights have been violated – including by published content, which, as a result of editing with other fragments of the spot, “suggests the untruth that Kajdanowicz promotes and supports hate speech”. In addition, another video was supposed to “suggest untruth, as a result of its editing with other statements, about the homophobic nature of Kajdanowicz’s statements.
It was noted that the use of a journalist’s image violates his good name, honor and journalistic reputation.
PiS had previously used the image of a journalist. The judgment was issued by the Supreme Court
Earlier, in October 2018, before the local government elections, PiS published a spot focused on migrants, in which it used the image of the then TVP journalist Justyna Śliwowska-Mróz without her consent.
The authors of the film argued that if the Civic Platform won the local government elections, more immigrants would begin to flow to Poland. The spot showed an imaginary situation from 2020, when refugees committed violence, sexual crimes and created “enclaves”.
The fragment with Śliwawska-Mróz came from the TVP Info program, where the journalist no longer worked at that time.
“I am not and have never been a member of any political party. I have never publicly declared my support for any political party or any politician. I have never consented to the use of my image in the press materials of any group,” the journalist wrote at the time. Even then, she announced that she expected an apology and “immediate removal” of her image from the spot.
Śliwowska-Mróz referred the case to court. As noted by Wirtualne Media, in February 2019 “the District Court in Warsaw banned (for a year) the publication of an election spot with the image of a journalist”. “The court found that ‘in the general perception of the spot, it may perpetuate the belief that the journalist publicly identifies with the content presented in it and supports the candidates proposed by the political party'” – it was described.
In turn, in September 2019 – as “Rzeczpospolita” reminded – the same court recognized Justyna Śliwowska-Mróz’s argument in the dispute against PiS and ordered that the statement be posted on the party’s website for 30 days and the payment of ten thousand zlotys for the social goal indicated by the journalist – for the St. Francis “Help the animals, our little brothers”.
In December 2020, the Warsaw Court of Appeal dismissed PiS’s appeal. The party later demanded that the execution of the sentence be suspended pending the consideration of the cassation appeal, but the court agreed to this only to the extent of publishing the apology. PiS therefore transferred the designated amount to the indicated foundation.
May 25 this year Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Law and Justice. In the justification, he wrote, among other things, that “the use of her image as a journalist was also an interference with her personal and professional part, the good name of a person in general and the good name of a professional”.
“The political party used a few seconds of my work and placed it in a blatant context. It turned into a hate-filled political spot,” the journalist herself described in an Instagram post published on July 20 this year, in which she noted that the party had still not executed the sentence.
Therefore, the case may end up in Strasbourg. As “Rzeczpospolita” informed, lawyer Maciej Ślusarek, representing the journalist, announced that he was planning to take further legal steps due to the lack of response from the party.
– We will start an enforcement procedure aimed at forcing the party to comply with the sentence. This may mean imposing fines on it by the court, for example. If this does not bring results, we will file a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, quotes a lawyer from “Rz”.
tvn24.pl, Virtual Media, Rzeczpospolita
Main photo source: Darek Delmanowicz/PAP