Our license expires on November 3, and if by then the National Broadcasting Council has not made a decision to extend our license, we will have to turn off the transmitters – said Kamila Ceran, editor-in-chief of TOK FM radio in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24. The editor-in-chief of Onet, Bartosz Węglarczyk, assessed that PiS uses “salami tactics” in the case of free media. He added that “the ultimate goal is to make it like in Hungary.”
Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council Maciej Świrski at the end of April imposed a penalty on TOK FM radio in the amount of PLN 80 thousand. The case concerns statements regarding the book “History and Present” by Professor Wojciech Roszkowski.
In the broadcast of June 7, 2022, radio journalist Piotr Maślak, talking to a guest, a teacher of history and social studies, spoke about the textbook as follows: “It reads like a textbook, I’m sorry for the comparison, for the Hitlerjugend a little bit, sometimes not everywhere but sometimes. This statement was preceded by quoting specific quotes from the book. The radio reported that the fragment of Maślak’s statement quoted in the media was an attempt to clarify the guest’s statement about the intentions of the authors of the book.
Ceran: if the National Broadcasting Council does not decide to extend the license, we will have to turn off the transmitters
Kamila Ceran, editor-in-chief of TOK FM radio, was asked on Monday in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24 whether PiS’s plan was to close the station. – It is difficult for me to say whether this is PiS’s plan. Perhaps this is the plan of the chairman of the National Council, but it is also difficult for me to assess it directly. I’m not in his head, she replied.
She added that there is a danger that TOK FM will cease to exist. – Our license expires on November 3, and if by then the National Council has not taken a decision to extend our license, we will have to turn off the transmitters – she noted.
Węglarczyk: The ultimate goal is to make it like in Hungary
– This is a salami tactic that Law and Justice activists learned in the United States. This is exactly what happened with the abortion law in America. Now it is happening in the case of free media in Poland. We cut off a small piece – judged the editor-in-chief of Onet, Bartosz Węglarczyk.
He added that “the ultimate goal is to keep it as it is Hungarywhere the media subordinated to power play a decisively dominant role.
In his opinion, TOK FM will eventually receive the concession. – But even if he gets it this time, in a moment there will be a problem with another medium that needs to be licensed, and at some point someone will not get this license. And if the first medium does not get this license, it will fly later – said Węglarczyk.
Węglarczyk: The chilling effect is already taking place in small media
The guests of “Fakty po Faktach” were asked whether, taking into account the fact that parliamentary elections will take place in a few months, this is a deliberate action to intensify the fight against free media, to cause a chilling effect.
– If expressing an opinion is to be a personal insult to Professor Roszkowski, about whom a lot of good was said in this broadcast, plus the statement that Professor Roszkowski was a PiS MEP is offensive and, in addition, in some mysterious way insults PiS party and all their constituents, then I’m a little helpless. I really don’t know how to explain it,” Ceran replied.
– Of course it is intentional, of course it distracts the media, because TOK FM and all of us now have to save the radio instead of talking about other things – assessed Węglarczyk.
– If the authorities do not change after the elections, I guarantee that the concessions will be taken away, because then nothing will stop Mr. Świrski – he said.
Referring to the issue of causing a chilling effect, Węglarczyk said that “this will not succeed, because behind us there are big publishers and large companies that can afford to hire a large army of lawyers who have to fight all this.” – On the other hand, in small media, the chilling effect is already taking place. Local media have largely stopped reporting abuses of local power because they cannot afford it. I understand perfectly well. There, a fine of five thousand zlotys can overturn the media – he noted.
Main photo source: TVN24