Polish media under fire. A great transformation, or a standard changing of the guard?

The overall transformation from public to national media seems to be an indispensable part of PiS’ “conservative revolution”. But Europe looks with worry upon the new Polish government’s introducing new laws, purging the public media and attempting to smother criticism. Changes have never been conducted with such great momentum, on such a scale and with so great a disregard for the opposition.

Photo: CreativeCommons/ Piotr Drabik


The ruling party, Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS, Law and Justice), explains its actions by “the need to return the media to Poles”. They claim that Polish commercial media are owned by foreigners, and as such are feeding Poles Western propaganda. Jarosław Kaczyński believes that “the Polish media system is sick” and his subordinates call for the “re-Polonization of the media”. 1 As for public TV, PiS claims that it doesn´t “provide cover for Polish raison d’etat, but leans toward opinions hostile to Poland”. 2

Has PiS launched a profound, irrevocable transformation of the Polish media landscape that could threaten Polish democracy? Or are we witnessing a standard changing of the guard where media serves as a battleground for political parties, the logic of “winner-take-all” is applied, and the changes will be reversed after the next elections? As Polish journalist Igor Janke puts it, “The Polish public media has always been under the tutelage of the ruling party, which has sacked uncomfortable journalists. The only change is that PiS has taken over the media openly.” 3

Media ownership

One of the main PiS arguments for its transformation of the Polish media landscape is the influence of foreign powers on what the Polish media talks about and in what way. Is that really so? According to the European Journalism Centre, foreign owners are in control of approximately 80 percent of the Polish media market. 4 But we must be careful about this general number and instead look at each media segment. Then the picture looks rather different.

There are several hundred TV channels, but 90 percent of the market is dominated by 18 entities, with three TV channels – Polish TV, TVN and Cyfrowy Polsat – accounting for almost 70 percent. 5 The two most popular Polish media networks, Polsat and TVN, were founded by Polish investors. Until recently (in 2015, TVN was taken over by a US investor), it was dominated by Polish capital.

When we combine the average size of the audience totalling 4,515,047 viewers for the ten biggest TV stations, channels with Polish capital have a 69% share (3,145,235) and foreign-owned channels only a 30% share (1,369,812).  6 While Polsat is usually seen as the most impartial, 7 in 2008 PiS accused TVN24, a CNN-style news station created in 2001, of being biased against the party and boycotted it for 18 months. The boycott was subsequently suspended, but TVN is still portrayed by the right-wing media as a propaganda pipeline for Platforma Obywatelska (PO), with “TVN lies” being a popular slogan. 8

The ten biggest radio stations have overall a 65.8% average daily share in the age group of 15-75, while stations with Polish owners have a 24.5% average daily share, and foreign-owned stations have 41.3%. 9 The two major private radio stations are presently in the hands of German and French companies, respectively, but they mostly play music and entertainment; thus, their political role is not significant.  10 There are three dominant online portals, with only Virtual Poland (18 mil users) consisting of mostly Polish capital. 11 The eight biggest online portals measured by the number of visitors total 97,309,733, with portals owned by Polish capital serving 39,213,467 visitors (40.2%) and foreign capital 58,096,266 users (59.7%). 12

All the major papers are owned by Polish capital, including the most popular weekly magazines – with the exception of Newsweek and the most popular tabloid, the German-owned Fakt. 13 Out of 19 companies publishing national dailies, nine are of foreign capital and 10 have Polish owners. 14 With the ten biggest dailies selling 762,644 copies, Polish-owned dailies occupy 55% of the market (422,170 copies) while foreign-owned dailies sell 44.6% (340,474 copies).  15 The ten biggest weeklies sell 604,252 copies, of which Polish-owned dailies occupy a 78.4% share (473,995) and foreign-owned just 21.5% (130,257 copies). 16

Gazeta Wyborcza remains the biggest Polish national non-tabloid daily paper, selling on average three times more than its competition, Rzeczpospolita. 17 Gazeta Wyborcza holds an unique position on the press market. To understand it, we have to go back to the time of communism. The 1980’s witnessed a boom in underground presses. Hundreds of titles, some reaching as many as 80,000 copies, became widely available. Underground publishers often relied on financial and material help from the West. When, during Round Table negotiations, the right to create a high volume daily paper was granted, many of these former underground journalists joined together to create it.

Gazeta Wyborcza (“A newspaper for elections”), apart from presenting the opposition’s parliamentary candidates, attempted to be an independent source of news from day one. 18 But soon the first tensions in the Solidarity camp emerged. A “Solidarity” sign was removed from Wyborcza’s vignette after it refused to submit to Lech Wałęsa because its editor, Adam Michnik, wanted it to become an independent paper, not just the antithesis of the Communist Party’s official paper. 19 This is one of the reasons why the right perceives Michnik as a traitor who hijacked Solidarity’s paper (and, allegedly, financial help from the West) in order to turn it into his private, leftist-liberal enterprise. 20

The only share of the market where accusation of foreign dominance is true is the local press market, where 90% is controlled by German companies. 21 But they are mostly local, so we can assume that all of them combined have less influence than Gazeta Wyborcza, which also has strong local branches. 22

Rydzyk’s Imperium

But these are mainstream (or, as called by the right, “regime”) media. There is another, parallel ecosystem on the right. Its roots lie in the Christian media; the unique position of the Catholic Church allows it special broadcasting rights. This share of the market is dominated by Radio Maryja, owned by Redemptorists, but de facto controlled by charismatic priest Tadeusz Rydzyk. Originally a local station, Radio Maryja grew to become the root of a huge media emporium encompassing TV Trwam, daily Catholic paper Nasz Dziennik, and a private university that aims to train a new generation of “patriotic” journalists. It provides a radical nationalist and Catholic point of view and is often accused of anti-Semitism. 23

Its finances are highly opaque; officially, it survives on donations from its listeners, but some accuse Tadeusz Rydzyk of embezzlement of the funds collected from its listeners to save Gdańsk Shipyard from bankruptcy.  24 Radio Maryja has never provided any information about how much it collected, or what happened to the money after the shipyard was sold by the liquidators to a third party. Rydzyk also refused to provide relevant financial information when he applied for a place for TV Trwam in the new digital TV multiplex. After his application was rejected on formal grounds, Radio Maryja unleashed a surge of hysteric protests “in defence of free speech”, taking tens of thousands people to the streets. 25 Finally, it was granted a slot in the multiplex after para-banking institution SKOK promised to credit it. 26

SKOK’s financial support for Rydzyk’s media evidenced yet another deal between Radio Maryja and PiS. Rydzyk’s media openly support Kaczyński’s party, and with its strong influence over its mostly elderly listeners, it is responsible for a sizeable amount of votes cast for the party. But this support comes at a price, and therefore several PiS MPs are in fact Rydzyk’s subordinates. To avoid being dependent solely on Radio Maryja, PiS had to create its own media, and it did so thanks to the SKOK network controlled by PiS senator Grzegorz Bierecki. Apart from supporting PiS media with paid advertisements, credits and loans, it also piped in money and assets by any means possible, as documented over the years by investigative journalist Bianka Mikołajewska. 27

Despite PiS attempts to prevent it, SKOK was finally brought under the supervision of the financial ombudsman, and the news emerged that many of its local branches are on the verge of bankruptcy. That still hasn’t prevented SKOK’s further financing of PiS media outlets (including changing SKOK’s own internet portal stefczyk.info into a PiS propaganda pipeline), as the bill after bankruptcy will have to be picked up by the taxpayer.

The 2016 media landscape

So as of the beginning of 2016, the Polish media market is split in two: the mainstream media, which attracts the most viewers/readers, and PiS-related media openly accusing the former of feeding Poles foreign propaganda. While most of the innumerable PiS media outlets have a marginal share of the market, they seem to be omnipresent online, as they are widespread among the young generation, which contains a very high representation of right-wing voters. 28

The PiS media’s publicists call themselves “niepokorni” (defiant) and refer to the mainstream media as “pro-government” or “regime”. In their attempts to associate themselves with the underground anti-communist journalism of the 1980’s, they have resolved to use names associated with such publications in the past, such as “underground”, “truthful”, “honest”, “independent”, etc.

But truly independent researchers  29 and the National Media Council have pointed out that the media related to PiS is the most biased, while public TV and Polsat provide the most impartial information. The NMC even went so far as to point out that, while covering presidential elections, Radio Maryja focused on painting other candidates in the most unfavourable light possible.  30

This is contested by the Society of Polish Journalists. The largest Polish association of journalists, with a 65-year history, it has recently been dominated by pro-PiS activists who use the association’s authority to defend the right-wing media whenever it is accused of a lack of journalist fairness. But the true problem is not that the media is biased towards PiS or its competitors, but that it focuses almost exclusively on main players, ignoring smaller parties; despite the fact that equal access should be granted to all, during the run-up to the 2015 parliamentary elections, both leading parties got over 15 hours of coverage, while the newly-created social democratic party Razem was present onscreen for only 8 seconds.  31

Therefore, PiS claims that it is discriminated against in the Polish media are completely unfounded and simply constitute part of its propaganda campaign. For years, PiS has accused the public media of being unrepresentative, for example emphasising that the channel’s major talking heads show is hosted by popular personality Tomasz Lis, who does not hide his anti-PiS sentiments. He has since become the target of a massive hate campaign in the right-wing media and on the Internet. 32 But openly pro-PiS publicists such as Jan Pospieszalski  33 or Rafał Ziemkiewicz  34also had their own TV shows during the previous government.

Public media as a loudspeaker

The problem with the current transformation from public media to national media as promised by Krzysztof Czabański, the deputy minister responsible for media reform,  35 is that there is a vague understanding of the term “public media”. What is its purpose? Should it serve the interests of the Polish public, and thus take a critical approach to the ruling elites? Or quite the opposite: should “public media” mean “government media”, which serves to present the views of the ruling party and enhance Poland’s image abroad?

Jan Zielonka, a professor of European politics at Oxford University, commented in The Economist that Poland lacks “…a clear notion of the “public media”, linking this with its historical experience during the communist era. Many politicians would allegedly like to resuscitate the times when the state media was just a loudspeaker for the ruling party.  36As Krystyna Pawłowicz, an outspoken PiS member of parliament, wrote in an op-ed for Radio Maryja, the idea of an apolitical media is a “harmful idealised myth” that makes it harder to govern.  37

Zielonka put it in the broader context of the process of politicisation of the state, which is a standard feature of new democracies. But public media as a tool of government public relations, combined with non-transparent media ownership and strong influence of oligarchs, makes it difficult for the media “…to act as independent and unbiased providers of information.”  38It has been argued that the new model of control stands in complete opposition to what the EU, the Council of Europe and institutions like the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) recommend in terms of the quality and political independence of public service media. EBU representatives stated in an open letter that the government changes are “…an attack on an institution which will no longer be independent as soon as the measures take effect.”   39

One counter-argument, defending the PiS position, is that people abroad do not know how the Polish public media works. As Janke points out, Polish public television has been run with a strictly commercial spirit, facing tough competition from other commercial channels. He also argues that Polish TV has not been able to create non-commercial, historical or minority projects, accusing it of focusing more on revenue than quality. PiS is allegedly willing to change this.  40 PiS has rejected all criticism, argued that its desire is to make public media “impartial and objective”, and in order to do so, it must remedy the situation after what the previous, PO-led government did. 41 It is true that some journalists lost their jobs after being accused of pro-PiS bias, but the fact that one of them has now become a PiS MP and the rest have joined the ranks of right-wing journalists prove that those accusations were rather valid. 42

The media transformation has sparked public demonstrations and sharp criticism, not only from the Polish opposition, but also from representatives of EU institutions. 43 The EU issued a letter of concern at the end of 2015.  44 In addition, the EU’s commissioner for the digital economy, Günther Oettinger, criticized the Polish law and warned the Polish government that it may endanger freedom of speech.  45 A member of the EP, Esteban González Pons (EPP, Spain), warned that “attacking the judicial power and controlling mass media could be a first step towards destroying democracy”. 46 The European Parliament debated the issue on the 19th of January, marking the first time the EU Parliament has initiated a procedure of EU commission supervision under its Rules of Law Mechanism, first introduced by the European Commission in March 2014. 47 A warning was also issued by various professional organisations, such as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) and Reporters without Borders (RSF).  48However, PM Beata Szydło rejected these criticisms and argued that her government has breached neither Polish nor EU laws.  49

Two attempts, different tactics

PiS’ current attempt to hijack the public media is not the first one. A decade ago, during PiS’ previous term in the government, the number of members of the National Media Council was reduced from 9 to 5. This allowed PiS and its allies to fill all 5 positions with their people, which in turn gave them total control over the public media.  50 As a result, during the run-up to the 2007 elections, public TV actively promoted PiS, nevertheless failing to ensure its victory. The PiS influence over public media was further used to fight Donald Tusk’s government. It was only in 2010 that the National Media Council saw members coming from both ruling and opposition parties (although there was no place for any representative of PiS). 51

This time, PiS has decided to use different tactic. The new law on public media bypasses the role of the National Media Council (NMC) altogether. According to the new regulations, authored by an MP connected to Tadeusz Rydzyk, the mandate of the current management is extinguished and new ones are to be appointed not by the NMC, but by the Ministry of the Treasury “until new regulations for national media are introduced”. The NMC has also lost its right to veto changes in the statutes of public media companies. Terms of office are also abolished. According to PiS, this is just the first step in a chain of changes leading to “establishing a system of national media” and ensuring that “the ethical and professional standards required to realise the mission of public media” are observed. 52

PiS’ understanding of those words was explained by MP Krystyna Pawłowicz, who said that the public media should be at the disposal of the government, as it should be able to convey its message to the people without having it twisted by the “functionaries of a bygone regime”.  53 Although PiS distanced itself from Krystyna Pawłowicz’s words, its actions speak for themselves: The role of the chairman of public TV was given to Jacek Kurski, a leading PiS propagandist, who calls himself “Kaczyński’s bull terrier”. He seems to be well qualified for this job, as when he accused Donald Tusk’s grandfather of volunteering to join the Wehrmacht during the Second World War, he was heard to say, “We know it’s bullshit, but the mob will believe it.”  54

From day one of his appointment, leading journalists either were sacked or forced to quit. or else decided to quit in protest. In only a few days, the main evening news show became a vehicle of PiS propaganda, including anti-immigrant material that praised the actions of extreme right-wing group Britain First.  55 The TVP’s own Program Council pointed out the bias of the main news program under its new management and called for an independent audit. 56 Materials investigating relations between SKOK and Senator Bierecki from PiS were also deleted from the public media’s web pages. 57

Money is the key

The planned changes also focus on the financial side of the public media. So far, it has been funded partially by the viewer subscription fee and partially by advertising. (Public media also receives a share of the advertising profits from other TV stations to counterbalance their limitations in broadcasting commercials.) This funding has not been sufficient, since public TV has to compete on the commercial market in order to attract advertisers, and viewers widely refuse to pay the subscription fee, pointing out that public TV does not offer any valuable programs, only cheap entertainment, same as that widely available on other stations. During the government of Donald Tusk, there were plans to abolish the subscription fee altogether and fund public media directly from the budget. Instead of competing with other broadcasters, it would then shrink and focus only on providing programmes in line with its mission statement. 58

PiS wants to go in the opposite direction: they plan to replace the subscription fee with a kind of easily enforceable media tax in order to ensure funding for a state-owned media empire that would become a bastion of defence against the “Marxist model of a multicultural world of anti-religious vegetarian hipsters on bicycles” that PiS ministers are so afraid of. 59

The first success in that field is the withdrawal of a social advert in which a grandfather, father and son segregate garbage in the kitchen on the grounds that it promotes “gender ideology” 60 – probably because the grandfather was played by a gay person. Such values are to be replaced with “promoting national and patriotic values and Christian ethics”. 61The board of experts at the Polish Film Institute has also been replaced by PiS in order to ensure production of movies that show the version of history accepted by PiS. 62

So far, those changes have been met with widespread resistance. Journalists from national radio have protested by alternately playing at every hour the Polish and EU anthems. 63 Polls shows that, while a majority of Poles agree with the necessity of reforming the public media, they don’t think that the changes dictated by PiS go in the right direction. 64 Thousands of people took part in marches organised all across the country by the Committee for Defence of Democracy. Some journalists decided to boycott invitations to the public media.  65 Foreign media organisations have also openly protested against the introduced changes  66 and some, like TV Arte, have already resolved to suspend long lasting cooperation. 67PiS presents it all as an attack on a government trying to bring Poland back to Poles, carried out by the European establishment desperately wishing to continue profiting from the exploitation of Poland. With their refusal to back off from their attempts to subjugate the media, this might soon become their central narrative.

Conclusion

In the 2015 World Press Freedom Index, Poland performed rather well, ranking 18th among 180 countries. 68 Freedom House evaluated Poland’s press status for 2015 as free, and its press freedom scored 26 on a scale of 0 (best) to 100 (worst).  69 This may no longer be true for 2016, as Poland’s public media suffers serious setbacks under the heavy pressure of politicisation. 70 As has been rightfully noted, every Polish government in power since 1989 has been accused of “…treating the public media as an instrument of political propaganda.”  71 But media changes have never before been conducted with such great momentum, on such a scale and with so great a disregard for opposition from the public, as well as from national and international institutions.

This is definitely not the case of a standard changing of the guard. PiS is making the most of the “winner-take-all” approach, which can be seen in the wider context of their other actions, such as squashing the powers of the Constitutional Tribunal, delivering the justice system into the hands of politicians, destroying standards of civil service and curbing citizens’ freedoms with their recent surveillance bill. All these changes suggest that they are not willing to give up power easily. But even if they have to do so, these changes have been conceived in a way that would make reversing them a very difficult task.

Notes:

  1. Kamil Sikora: Prawica chce repolonizować media / The Right wants to re-polonise the media, http://natemat.pl/146977,prawica-chce-repolonizowac-media-beda-musieli-je-odkupic-od-niemcow-szwajcarow-francuzow-i-amerykanow.
  2. Piotr Szubryt: Co PiS myśli o mediach publicznych? Posłanka Kruk wyjaśnia / What does  PiS think about the public media? The MP, Mrs. Kruk explains, 30.12.2015, http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/10,114927,19408373,co-pis-mysli-o-mediach-publicznych-poslanka-kruk-wyjasnia.html.
  3. Legenda polské novinařiny: Veřejnoprávní média u nás získává ten, kdo zrovna vyhrál volby / The legend of Polish journalism: Those who win the elections get the public media, Mediahub, http://mediahub.cz/rozhovory-35810/legenda-polske-novinariny-verejnopravni-media-u-nas-ziskava-ten-kdo-zrovna-vyhral-volby-1053917 
  4. Poland. Freedom of the Press 2015, Freedom House, https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2015/poland.
  5. Bartłomiej Dwornik, Analiza money.pl. Zagraniczny kapitał w polskich mediach / The analysis of money.pl. The Foreign capital in the Polish media, 4.1.2016, http://firma.money.pl/press-room/artykuly/analiza-money-pl-zagraniczny-kapital-w,245,0,1990645.html; Agata Kalińska: Media w Polsce. Do kogo należy prasa, telewizja, portale czy radio? / Media in Poland. Who owns the press, TV, online or radio?, 3.1.2016, http://www.money.pl/gospodarka/wiadomosci/artykul/media-w-polsce-do-kogo-nalezy-prasa-,138,0,1988746.html.
  6. Dwornik, Analiza money.pl / The analysis of money.pl.; Agata Kalińska, Media w Polsce / Media in Poland.
  7. (łb), Polsat News najbardziej bezstronny podczas kampanii prezydenckiej, TV Trwam najmniej / Polsat News most impartial during the presidential campaign, TV Trwam the least impartial, 21.9.2015, http://www.wirtualnemedia.pl/artykul/polsat-news-najbardziej-bezstronny-podczas-kampanii-prezydenckiej-tv-trwam-najmniej.
  8. TVN kłamie – wybrane artykuły / TVN lies – featured articles, http://www.fronda.pl/t/tvn-k%C5%82amie,29921.html.
  9. Dwornik, Analiza money.pl / The analysis of money.pl.; Agata Kalińska, Media w Polsce / Media in Poland; Rynek radiowy w 2015 roku: Trójka wyprzedziła Eskę, ZET Chilli o 200 proc. do gory / The radio market in 2015: Trojka ahead Eska, ZET Chilli 200 percent up, 2.11.2015, http://www.wirtualnemedia.pl/artykul/rynek-radiowy-w-2015-roku-trojka-wyprzedzila-eske-zet-chilli-o-200-proc-do-gory.
  10. Dwornik, Analiza money.pl / The analysis of money.pl.; Agata Kalińska, Media w Polsce / Media in Poland.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid. 
  13. Krzysztof Żołyński: Do kogo należą media – zagraniczny kapitał w polskich mediach / Who owns the media – the foreign capital in the Polish media, 4.1. 2016, http://www.geekweek.pl/artykuly/25125/do-kogo-naleza-media—zagraniczny-kapital-w-polskich-mediach; Tylko „Dziennik Gazeta Prawna” i „Gazeta Polska Codziennie” na plusie. „Rzeczpospolita” straciła najwięcej (sprzedaż kioskowa) / Only “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna” and “Polish Daily Gazeta” in the black numbers. “Rzeczpospolita” has lost the most (newsstand sales), 23.1. 2016, http://www.wirtualnemedia.pl/artykul/tylko-dziennik-gazeta-prawna-i-gazeta-polska-codziennie-na-plusie-rzeczpospolita-stracila-najwiecej-sprzedaz-kioskowa; See also Dwornik, Analiza money.pl; Agata Kalińska, Media w Polsce.
  14. Dwornik, Analiza money.pl; Agata Kalińska, Media w Polsce.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ibid.
  17. It’s a stock company, most of its stocks are free floating. Major investors are retirement funds. Agora Holding (that sprouted up from Gazeta Wyborcza) and small investors hold over 2/3 of the votes. http://www.agora.pl/agora/0,111621.html
  18. Paweł Smoleński, Michał Wybieralski: Wiosna nasza, 25 lat “Gazety Wyborczej” /Spring became ours, 25 years of “Gazeta Wyborcza”, http://25lat.wyborcza.pl/.
  19. Rafał Kalukin: Wałęsa odbiera nam znaczek / Walesa takes out our badge, 7.5.2009, Gazeta Wyborcza, http://wyborcza.pl/1,76842,6579296,Walesa_odbiera_nam_znaczek.html.
  20. Kłosiński o początkach “Wyborczej” / Kłosiński about the beginnings of “Gazeta Wyborcza”, 10.5.2014 http://telewizjarepublika.pl/klosinski-o-poczatkach-quotwyborczejquot-wsparcie-dla-quotsolidarnosciquot-wykorzystano-do-celow-waskiego-srodowiska,6704.html.
  21. (PC): Media lokalne w niemieckich rękach / Local media in German hands, 7.9.2014, http://www.dziennik.com/wiadomosci/artykul/media-lokalne-w-niemieckich-rekach.
  22. So this 80% might be true when it comes to the advertisement market, but it is definitely not true in this context.
  23. Rada Etyki Mediów (REM) karci Radio Maryja za antysemickie treści / Media Ethics Council (REM) chastises Radio Maryja for anti-Semitic content, 27.2.2009, http://polska.newsweek.pl/rem-karci-radio-maryja-za-antysemickie-tresci,36937,1,1.html.
  24. Maciej Sandecki, Sławomir Sowula: Co zrobił o. Rydzyk z pieniędzmi na Stocznię / What did Father Rydzyk do with money for shipyard, 18.02.2006, Gazeta Wyborcza, http://wyborcza.pl/1,76842,3170824.html.
  25. Marsz w obronie TV Trwam / The march in defense of TV Trwam, 21.04.2012, http://wyborcza.pl/5,75248,11585864.html.
  26. Tomasz Baliszewski: Telewizja Trwam otrzymała miejsce na multipleksie / Television Trwam received a place in the multiplex, http://natemat.pl/67155,telewizja-trwam-otrzymala-miejsce-na-multipleksie
  27. Bianka Mikołajewska – artykuły / Bianka Mikołajewska – articles, http://archiwum.polityka.pl/autor/bianka-mikolajewska,0,8682.html.
  28. Tomasz Oryński: Why is Polish youth so right wing?, 10.12. 2015, http://orynski.eu/why-is-polish-youth-so-right-wing/.
  29. For example Fundacja Batorego, http://www.batory.org.pl/.
  30. KRRiT: Polsat News i TVP najbardziej bezstronne w kampanii prezydenckiej / NBC: Polsat News and TVP most impartial in the presidential campaign, 18.9. 2015, http://www.bankier.pl/wiadomosc/KRRiT-Polsat-News-i-TVP-najbardziej-bezstronne-w-kampanii-prezydenckiej-3410631.html.
  31. Paula Radwanowicz (AIP): Media publiczne nie gwarantują partiom równego czasu antenowego. “To rażąca patologia” / Public media does not guarantee the parties equal airtime. “This blatant pathology” [VIDEO], 16 października 2015, http://www.gazetawroclawska.pl/artykul/9002185,media-publiczne-nie-gwarantuja-partiom-rownego-czasu-antenowego-to-razaca-patologia-video,id,t.html.
  32. Aldona Zaorska: Lis dobrze pracuje dla swoich niemieckich panów / Lis works well for his German masters, 23.01.2016, http://polskaniepodlegla.pl/opinie/item/5231-lis-dobrze-pracuje-dla-swoich-niemieckich-panow-ma-problem-bo-czas-magdalenkowych-pasozytow-jest-skonczony
  33. Jan Pospieszalski: Bliżej / Closer, 10.12.2015, http://vod.tvp.pl/22719932/10122015.
  34. Rafał Ziemkiewicz: Antysalon Ziemkiewicza, http://vod.tvp.pl/221644/antysalon-ziemkiewicza
  35. “Law and Justice” in power. Poland’s new government dislikes critical media, vegetarians and cyclists. A new law lets the government purge the public broadcaster, The Economist, 4.1.2016, http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21685201-new-law-lets-government-purge-public-broadcaster-polandu2019s-new-government-dislikes
  36. “Law and Justice” in power.
  37. Ibid.
  38. Jan Zielonka, “Dirty Togetherness”: Press, Politics And Power In Europe’s New Democracies, 30.10. 2015, http://en.ejo.ch/media-politics/dirty-togetherness-press-politics-and-power-in-europe
  39. Adam Szynol and Paulina Pacula and Michal Kus: What Exactly Is Happening To Poland’s Media? January 25, 2016, http://en.ejo.ch/media-politics/poland.
  40. The legend of Polish journalism.
  41. Szynol, Pacula, Kus: What Exactly Is Happening To Poland’s Media?; Rightwing Law and Justice party wins overall majority in Polish election, The Guardian, 27.10.2015, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/27/poland-law-justice-party-wins-235-seats-can-govern-alone.
  42. Jacek Gądek: Joanna Lichocka: Po raz pierwszy jestem w takiej sytuacji. Dziwne uczucie / I have been in this situation for the first time. A strange feeling, Onet, 14.9.2015, http://wiadomosci.onet.pl/tylko-w-onecie/joanna-lichocka-po-raz-pierwszy-jestem-w-takiej-sytuacji-dziwne-uczucie/k1eqw0. See also The legend of Polish journalism.
  43. Wiktor Szary: Poles rally against new surveillance law amid ‘Orbanisation’ fears, 23.1.2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-poland-protests-idUSKCN0V10JV
  44. “Law and Justice” in power.
  45. Ibid.
  46. Poland: MEPs debate rule of law issues with Prime Minister Szydło. Plenary Session Press release – Fundamental rights / Justice and home affairs, 19.1.2016, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20160114IPR09899/Poland-MEPs-debate-rule-of-law-issues-with-Prime-Minister-Szyd%C5%82o
  47. What Exactly Is Happening To Poland’s Media?
  48. Ibid.
  49. Poles rally against new surveillance law amid ‘Orbanisation’ fears.
  50. Historia Krajowej Rady Radiofonii i Telewizji / The history of the National Council of Radio and Television, http://www.krrit.gov.pl/krrit/informacje-o-krrit/historia-krrit/
  51. Agnieszka Kublik: Jak PiS rządził mediami publicznymi w latach 2006-11? Przypominamy jak było za prezesów Wildsteina i Urbańskiego / How the PiS ruled the public media in the years 2006-11? We remind you of the situation during the tenures of the chairmen Wildstein and Urbanski, 9.1.2016, http://wyborcza.pl/1,75478,19447455,jak-pis-rzadzil-mediami-publicznymi-w-latach-2006-11-przypominamy.html .
  52. Mała ustawa medialna została opublikowana w Dzienniku Ustaw / Small media law was published in the Official Gazette, 8.1.2016, http://www.polskieradio.pl/5/3/Artykul/1566919,Mala-ustawa-medialna-zostala-opublikowana-w-Dzienniku-Ustaw.
  53. Krystyna Pawłowicz, 1.1. 2016, https://www.facebook.com/KrystynaPawlowicz/posts/978997082172680 .
  54. (MIG), Bulterier Kaczyńskiego, człowiek od brudnej roboty, prezes telewizji. 10 cytatów Jacka Kurskiego / Kaczynski´s bull terrier, a man for dirty work, has become the chairman of the TV, 8.1.2016, http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/1,114871,19442496,pitbull-kaczynskiego-czlowiek-od-brudnej-roboty-prezes-telewizji.html.
  55. Europa się broni / Europe defends itself, 26.01.2016, http://wiadomosci.tvp.pl/23757643/europa-sie-broni.
  56. Łukasz Brzezicki: Rada programowa TVP o „Wiadomościach”: stronniczość i propaganda / Programme Council of TVP “Communications”: bias and propaganda, 29.1. 2016, http://www.wirtualnemedia.pl/artykul/rada-programowa-tvp-o-wiadomosciach-stronniczosc-i-propaganda.
  57. Artykuł został usunięty / The article was removed, PolskieRadio.pl, http://www.polskieradio.pl/42/273/Artykul/1396004,Kolejna-afera-ze-SKOK-czy-senator-PiS-wyprowadzil-dziesiatki-milionow-zlotych-do-swojej-spolki.
  58. Janina Paradowska, Egzekucja na raty / Execution in installments, 10.3.2008, http://www.polityka.pl/tygodnikpolityka/kraj/248064,1,egzekucja-na-raty.read
  59. Polen-Minister verteidigt Mediengesetz, 30.01.2016, http://www.bild.de/bildlive/2016/14-polen-minister-44000764.bild.html
  60. Ministerstwo Środowiska wycofuje spoty z Amaro i Nowakiem o segregacji śmieci: za drogie, promują gender (wideo) / The Ministry of Environment withdraws spots with Amaro and Nowak about waste management: they are too expensive and promote gender (video), 25.1.2016, http://www.wirtualnemedia.pl/artykul/ministerstwo-srodowiska-wycofuje-spoty-z-amaro-i-nowakiem-o-segregacji-smieci-za-drogie-promuja-gender-wideo
  61. Wiadomo już, czym mają być „media narodowe”. Szykuje się ogromna zmiana / It is already known what “the national media” will be. Gearing up for a huge change, 5.1. 2016, http://www.pch24.pl/wiadomo-juz–czym-maja-byc-media-narodowe–szykuje-sie-ogromna-zmiana,40365,i.html.
  62. Robert Skowronski: PiS ocenzuruje polską kinematografię? / PiS is going to censor Polish cinema?, 16.12.2015, http://www.antyradio.pl/Film/News/PiS-ocenzuruje-polska-kinematografie-5600.
  63. Marcin Marczak: Kamil Dąbrowa: Nie wykluczam, że Polacy w obronie mediów publicznych wyjdą na ulice / I do not exclude that the Poles in defense of the public media will take to the streets, 2.1. 2016, http://polska.newsweek.pl/polskie-radio-protest-hymn-co-godzine-kamil-dabrowa,artykuly,376514,1.html.
  64. Norbert Maliszewski: Sondaż: ocena zmian w mediach publicznych / Survey: Evaluation of changes in the public media, 13.01.2016, http://tajnikipolityki.pl/sondaz-ocena-zmian-w-mediach-publicznych/; Paweł Szaniawski: TVP po zmianach. Obiektywna? (SONDAŻ) / TVP after the changes. Objective? (POLL), 20.1. 2016, http://polska.newsweek.pl/tvp-po-zmianach-obiektywna-sondaz-,artykuly,377779,1.html .
  65. Czuchnowski i Machała bojkotują media publiczne, ich koledzy niekoniecznie / Czuchnowski and Machała boycott the public media, their colleagues not necessarily follow, 25.1.2016, http://sdrp.katowice.pl/archiwum/10201.
  66. Organizacje medialne krytycznie o planach reformy mediów publicznych w Polsce / Media organizations critical of plans for the reform of the public media in Poland, 30.12.2015, http://www.polskieradio.pl/5/3/Artykul/1564236,Organizacje-medialne-krytycznie-o-planach-reformy-mediow-publicznych-w-Polsce.
  67. Arte suspend ses relations avec la télévision publique polonaise TVP / Arte suspends its relations with Polish public television TVP, 29.01. 2016, http://www.bfmtv.com/societe/arte-suspend-ses-relations-avec-la-television-publique-polonaise-tvp-947423.html.
  68. “Law and Justice” in power.
  69. Poland. Freedom of the Press 2015, Freedom House, https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2015/poland.
  70. “Dirty Togetherness”: Press, Politics And Power In Europe’s New Democracies.
  71. What Exactly Is Happening To Poland’s Media?
Tomasz Oryński

Tomasz Oryński

is an independent journalist based in Glasgow, publishing mostly in Polish and Czech émigré media and on his own website orynski.eu. He got an MA of Czech Studies and Central European Studies at University of Glasgow.