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Tags: Poland | Media Law

Polish Draft Law Seen as Targeting Critical Broadcaster

Thursday, 08 July 2021 09:00 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Proposed legislative changes that would ban non-European ownership of Polish media have angered critics who say they target the U.S. company Discovery Inc., owner of the TVN broadcaster that's openly critical of the right-wing government.

The changes were published on Poland's parliament website late Wednesday and were proposed by lawmakers from the governing Law and Justice party that has been taking steps to control the media ever since winning power in 2015. Critics say the party has turned state TVP broadcaster into its mouthpiece and wants to limit media ownership by foreign investors.

The TVN broadcaster's all-news TVN24 channel that exposes alleged irregularities and scandals within the government has long irritated the Law and Justice party.

Backing the proposal, a top Law and Justice figure, Joachim Brudzinski, argued Thursday that TVN journalists lack objectivity, often taking the side of the government's opponents.

Deputy Infrastructure Minister Marcin Horala insisted on Onet Rano news portal that the proposed changes are “not about closing TVN.” He suggested that the current owner could sell some of the shares to a European investor if its license is to be extended.

The proposal, for which the ruling party's coalition partners say they had no advance warning, has drawn vehement criticism.

A lawmaker for the opposition The Left party, Joanna Senyszyn, said on Twitter that Law and Justice lawmakers have “filed a draft law that is aimed at eliminating TVN and TVN24 from Poland's media market. We give no consent to that.”

The proposed changes come as Discovery Inc., which bought TVN in 2018, has been waiting for over a year for the extension of TVN24's license that expires in September. Discovery Inc. manages TVN though Polish Television Holding BV, registered in the Netherlands.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Proposed legislative changes that would ban non-European ownership of Polish media have angered critics who say they target the U.S. company Discovery Inc., owner of the TVN broadcaster that's openly critical of the right-wing government.The changes were published on...
Poland,Media Law
290
2021-00-08
Thursday, 08 July 2021 09:00 AM
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