Polish journalist receives death threats after public Polish TV classifies her remarks as “harmful to Poland”

Dorota Bawolek, a Polish journalist working in Brussels for Polish private TV channel Polsat TV, was targeted by hundreds of hateful messages on social media after the Polish public TV station TVP reproached her of having asked the European Commission an “upsetting” question on Thursday 13 July 2017. That Thursday, during the daily press conference of the European Commission in Brussels, Dorota Bawolek asked for explanations on the state of democracy in Poland. On that same day, the Polish Parliament had adopted a draft law that would weaken the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and of the Supreme Court…

Media freedom NGOs and professional organisations ask Polish defence minister to drop complaint against journalist

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA), the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Freedom house, Global Editors Network (GEN), Index on Censorship, International Press Institute (IPI) and South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) have written to Polish defence minister Antoni Macierewicz urging him to withdraw his criminal complaint against Tomasz Piatek, the author of a new book about the minister’s alleged network of questionable Russian contacts. An investigative reporter for the independent newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, Piatek is facing a possible two to…

Polish government to restrict journalists’ access to parliament

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today strongly condemned the latest attack on media freedom by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) to restrict media access parliament. Several thousand people have protested on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Warsaw over the government’s plans to impose restrictions on media coverage of parliament. The rules proposed by the head office of the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, will ban all recording of parliamentary sessions. Only five selected Polish TV stations will be allowed to record or broadcast parliamentary sessions. The new rules will also limit the number of journalists allowed…

Coalition of journalists and press organisations highlight importance of defending press freedom on World Press Freedom Day

On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, offers an opportunity to highlight the importance of defending press freedom worldwide, as it is an essential component of any democracy. The European Magazine Media Association, in cooperation with an alliance of national, European and international media and journalist organisations, is organizing a conference, “(R)EVOLUTION OF EUROPE’S PRESS”, on 1 July 2016 in this year’s European Capital of Culture, Wroclaw, Poland. The event will bring together press publishers, politicians, journalists, academics, start-ups and technology experts to discuss a holistic view of real and potential threats for press freedom in Europe. World Press Freedom Day…

Commissioner Muižnieks calls on Poland to protect the independence of public media

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, issued a statement today, at the end of a four-day visit to Poland. He expressed concerns at the adoption in December 2015 of transitional legislation in the field of public service media, pending the adoption of a wider reform in this area, expected before the summer 2016. “Placing public service media under direct government control by giving the latter the powers to appoint and dismiss the members of the supervisory and management boards of public service television and radio contradicts Council of Europe standards which notably require that public service media…

EFJ-ECPMF-IPI urge the Polish government to guarantee public broadcasting independence

WARSAW, Feb 1, 2015 – The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and the International Press Institute (IPI) completed a two-day fact-finding mission to Poland by calling on Polish journalists to stand together in defence of principles of press and media freedom. The group’s call came after the newly elected Polish government rushed through controversial changes to the country’s public service broadcaster that have deeply divided the journalistic community. The changes, in the form of an amendment to the Media Law, allow the Minister of State Treasury to directly appoint and dismiss…

Polish journalists wiretapped by secret police between 2014 and 2015

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has backed its affiliate in Poland, the Association of Polish Journalists (SDP)’s call for investigation and preventative measures following the wiretapping scandal on journalists and leading political figures in Poland. A recent internal audit has revealed that around 80 individuals were under surveillance by two secret police units in Poland, including journalists and lawyers reporting on the affair, as well as their family members. According to media reports, one of the units oversaw the tapping and infiltrating the journalists and their contacts while the second looked into whether secret services (ABW and CBA agencies)…

Commission launches action against Poland following EU-wide protest

Journalists, broadcasters and media freedom organisations have gathered this morning (13/01/2016) in front of the Polish Embassy in Brussels protesting against new attempt by the Polish government to control the media while the European Commission was discussing possible action against Poland. The EFJ has been heavily criticising the new law in the past weeks accusing Poland of violating European law on media freedom. It has written to the European Commission calling for prompt action against Poland. Today, the European Commission has discussed the first time at its college meeting the case of Poland and decided to launch action against Poland under…

Poland threatens media freedom in Europe

First Hungary and now is Poland threatening Europe’s media freedom. Regardless of the safeguard of European Fundamental Rights charter and declaration, governments attempt to influence media will inevitably threaten our democracies.   On Thursday 7 January, the president of Poland ignored core EU fundamental rights including press freedom by signing one of the most criticized media laws in the history of the EU. Following that, the EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger has openly criticized Poland for infringing “common European values” by passing legislation that gives the government control of the state media and the power to directly appoint the heads of…

The Polish media law is signed: our letter to EU Commissioner Oettinger

Poland’s president Andrzej Duda has signed today a controversial state media law. Prior to the next weekly meeting by the college of Commissioners on 13 January, 2016 in which the European Commissioners will discuss both the developments of the Constitutional Court and the media law in Poland, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has sent the following letter to Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Commissioner Günther Oettinger, responsible for the digital economy and society, said on Sunday Poland should be put under the EU’s rule of law supervision, a three-step procedure consisting of a Commission assessment, a Commission recommendation and a follow-…

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