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Poland: independence of public service media

In this joint report, ARTICLE 19 and the Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) analyse concerns regarding the independence of public service media (PSM) in Poland.

Since December 2015, the Polish Government has initiated a series of actions aimed at placing public service media broadcasters under its close control. A provisional law of December 2015 gave the Ministry of State Treasury the power to appoint and dismiss PSM’s senior management and boards of directors. In June 2016, another law transferred these competences to a new regulatory institution, the National Media Council.  Throughout 2016, public radio and television personnel have been under considerable pressure to refrain from criticising the evolution of the governance and operation of the PSM.

This report, published one year after these legislative changes, finds that the freedom, independence and pluralism of the media are under severe threat in Poland.

ARTICLE 19 and the HFHR offer recommendations aiming at bringing the legislation in conformity with international standards, which will support the development and reinforcement of a strong, independent media landscape. We also invite all international organisations to seize any opportunity to remind the Polish Government of its duties under international and European standards on freedom of expression, and to exert appropriate pressure on the Government for the implementation of our recommendations.

The report is available here.

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