Poland’s Conservative Government Puts Curbs on State TV News

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At least 163 other people, including the most prominent news anchors and reporters in Poland, have either been fired or quit state broadcasting, according to the Journalists’ Association, one of the two main organizations representing Polish journalists.

“They did not want to participate in political pacification of the media,” the group says on its website.

The departures are evidence of how swiftly and firmly the Law and Justice Party of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the government’s de facto ruler, has moved to control state broadcasters and offer up what critics call a conservative, nationalist message to match the worldview of Mr. Kaczynski, 67, and his allies.

And they have intensified concerns among journalists and proponents of civil liberties about the effects of the authoritarian drift of governments in Poland and other Eastern and Central European countries, with potential risks to freedom of expression and dissent.

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2 Comments

  1. Witold Liliental on

    Up until the time that J. Kurski took over TVP, I have always watched a balanced newscast, with air time given to both sides of any political issue. Today, we have a mockery of TV news and no wonder that viewership has dropped by more than 20% and still dropping. The new, “national” TV publishes outright lies. Example: Pres. Obama slammed the Polish government for the situation with the Constitutional tribunal and uttered this clearly at the joint press conference. Everybody who understands English heard this. But the “national” TVP said not even one word about this. When American media wrote about withholding this news from the public, the TVP newscast admitted that pres. Obama did say a few words but gave a totally made up story, about how he was “absolutely happy with how the Polish government was handling the constitutional crisis”. Of course, most of PiS supporters, who do not watch any other TV channels and do not speak any other language but Polish, have no possibility of comparing and knowing the truth. Another pathetic example: The venue of the NATO summit had a small exhibition of Poland joining NATO. It displayed only its present leaders who had nothing to do with Poland signing in to NATO, and not even one photo of those who really accomplished it. Walesa fought for it, Geremek negotiated, Kwasniewski finally signed it into law. They may have been on the other side of the political spectrum from today’s authorities, but in a true democracy, that should play no role. It was they who accomplished this for Poland and they must be given the credit.
    Use of the f**** word in the above post rather speaks of its author’s very poor level of culture.

  2. Ohhh… these poor journalists, let’s try and maybe gather some financial donations for them. Yes I’m so very much concerned about people like Tomasz Lis and the other “honest” jurnalists.
    “risks to freedom of expression and dissent” – stop joking. Where were you for the last 25 years?
    Mind your own f****** business New York Times !

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