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Gov’t bill on media ownership by the summer?

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 21.03.2017 14:29
Polish Deputy Culture Minister Jarosław Sellin has said he hopes a government bill on media ownership will be ready to be unveiled this summer.
Photo: pixabay.comPhoto: pixabay.com

His comments came after the Polish authorities voiced concern that German-Swiss company Ringier Axel Springer sent a letter to its Polish employees “which could constitute an attempt to interfere with media independence in Poland.”

The letter caused outrage among Polish conservatives who have often complained that media outlets in Poland are controlled by foreign owners who are able to sway public opinion in this country.

Polish public broadcaster TVP reported that Poland’s governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party has announced swift changes to Polish media law.

Sellin told reporters on Tuesday: "Excessive concentration in such a delicate business sector as the media is, of course, not healthy, and all the healthy Western economies know that.

“Such a concentration has taken place in Poland.”

Sellin added that Poland should adopt solutions that already exist in countries like France and Germany.

PiS spokeswoman Beata Mazurek recently told TVP: “We would like to... decrease the share of foreign capital in the Polish media market in a decided way so that market reflects what’s happening in Poland and is an spokesman for Polish interests.”

In a memo unearthed by TVP, Mark Dekan, the CEO of Ringier Axel Springer Media AG - which owns Polish tabloid Fakt, the Onet website and the Newsweek weekly - wrote to staff that “Poles won” together with Donald Tusk when he was recently re-elected head of the European Council.

The government in Warsaw strongly opposed the reelection of former Polish PM Tusk this month to the top EU post.

In his memo, Dekan praised plans for a “multi-speed Europe”, saying that there are not only two speeds within the bloc, but “also parking lots”.

He encouraged his staff to remember that “our readers and users are made up of the overwhelming majority which supports Poland’s membership of the EU”.

“Let’s suggest to them what to do in order to stay in the fast lane and not to end up in the parking lot,” the memo read.

PiS spokeswoman Mazurek said: “No media owner has the right to rupture the freedom of the media, journalistic conscience and manipulate public opinion.”


Source: PAP

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