Poland: Independence of public service media – report by ARTICLE 19 and Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

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ARTICLE 19 and HFHR find that freedom, independence and pluralism of the media are under severe threat in Poland. The new legislation and administrative actions related to media companies and personnel restrict freedoms and increase or introduce political or executive branch control over National Media Council, media expression and management of media companies. Only international pressure has momentarily slowed down further government capture of independent media.



  • Since December 2015, Polish government initiated a series of actions aimed at placing public service media under its close control;
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  • In report published one year after these legislative changes, ARTICLE 19 and HFHR find that freedom, independence and pluralism of the media are under severe threat in Poland;
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  • The report details international standards on media regulation, regulatory bodies, accreditation, ownership, freedom of expression;
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  • ARICLE 19 and HFHR analyse media related legislation proceeded in 2016 by Polish executive and legislative branch followed by Constitutional Tribunal review, with its ruling partially disregarded by the National Media Council – newly established regulatory body outside of constitutional framework;
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  • The new legislation and administrative actions related to media companies and personnel restrict freedoms and increase or introduce political or executive branch control over National Media Council, media expression and management of media companies;
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  • Two areas of legislation are in progress (momentarily on hold due to national and international pressure): restriction of journalists access to Parliament and limitation of the foreign ownership of media companies;
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  • Recommendations by ARTICLE 19 and HFHR include abolishing new legislation entirely, reinstating constitutional regulator, stopping legal and administrative actions against journalists, introducing international standards of media independence and freedom of expression.
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Full report can be found here: Poland: Independence of public service media, published in January 2017



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January 15, 2017