Poland: Media pluralism greatly endangered by oil firm’s Polska Press takeover

A long-awaited drive by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party to bring independent media to heel has started with the planned purchase by Orlen, a state-controlled petro chemical giant, of Polska Press, owned by Germany’s Passauer capital group which has dominated regional newspapers and magazines for over a quarter of a century. The deal announced on December 7 still has to be approved by Poland’s competition authority which is beholden to the government and the deal whose value has yet to be announced is expected to be completed early next year. Polska Press owns 20 out of 24 regional newspapers,…

Turkish court sentenced journalist Ayşegül Doğan to over 6 years in prison

Ayşegül Doğan has become the latest journalist in Turkey who was sentenced to prison by a court in a controversial case condemned by human rights groups. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has condemned the court’s decision. The 9th Penal Court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır convicted Doğan on 7 December for “establishing and managing an armed organisation”, sentencing her to six years and three months in prison. The prosecutor had initially requested the court to sentence Doğan to 22.5 years in prison. “This decision shows that the court still sees journalists as terrorists,” said Mustafa Kuleli, EFJ Steering Committee…