World's Press Urges Polish President to Veto Polish Media Bill

World's Press Urges Polish President to Veto Polish Media Bill

The Polish president is under increasing pressure to step in and oppose the new ‘controversial’ Polish media bill.

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers WAN-IFRA and the World Editors Forum have joined forces to oppose the proposals of a new media bill in Poland, which if signed into law, will have the effect of silencing critical media.

If adopted, the legislation will tighten rules of foreign ownership of media and would make it illegal for any non-European company to hold a majority stake in a television or radio broadcaster in Poland.

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Polish President asked to step in

The application of the bill would currently hit only one entity, TVN, owned by US media company Discovery Inc, and would potentially force its sale. TVN is the last remaining independent broadcaster in the country. Ultimately, the law would undoubtedly prevent any enterprise from investing in Polish media.

“We urge Polish President Andrzej Duda to use his veto and stop this becoming law,” said WAN-IFRA CEO, Vincent Peyrègne in a statement. “The hasty manner in which the text was passed, the substance of the text, notably its retroactive character which targets a particular entity, are all symptoms reminiscent of the practices of anti-democratic regimes.

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Polish media bill looks to combat propaganda

The international community, mainly the US media, have been objecting to the new reforms for months. The government have identified how the mainly US media outlets are supporting local Polish to rise up and protest, especially on issues of US interest. EU news outlets, Like WTX News and Euro News, are not hampered by this bill.

The United States also provides a lot of sponsored content to the media giants in Poland, who notably, are the ones opposing the reforms.

If passed, this bill will not have the impact that some reports suggest, expect it will hold media outlets more accountable for their headlines. The pluralism of information, media freedom and democracy will remain intact, but foreign propaganda will be monitored.

With the national elections coming up in 2023 this will be one of the key points in the debates.

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