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Poland’s new Cabinet moves to free state media from previous government’s political control

21:24, Wednesday, 20 December, 2023
Poland’s new Cabinet moves to free state media from previous government’s political control

Poland’s new pro-European Union government has begun to wrestle control of the country’s state media and some other state agencies from the conservative party that consolidated its grip on them during eight years in power.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Donald Tusk, which took office last week, said Wednesday it had fired the directors of the state television and radio outlets and the government-run news agency. It seeks to reestablish independent media in Poland in a legally binding and lasting way.

Tusk’s government has made it a priority to restore objectivity and free expression in state media, which the previous government, under the Law and Justice party, used as aggressive propaganda tools, attacking Tusk and the opposition and spreading its euroskeptic views.

The new government’s first steps toward a return to media freedom were met with protest by Law and Justice. Party leader Jarosław Kaczyński, top party figures and many of its lawmakers occupied buildings housing the offices and studios of state-run television TVP in the hopes that their supporters would come out to demonstrate in big numbers. A rally was called for later Wednesday and people began gathering.

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