Press "Enter" to skip to content

Who is in Charge of the Direction of the Public Thought in Poland?

This year amidst the Coronavirus crisis, the Polish party PiS (Law and Order) has managed to, thanks to the signature of the president Andrzej Duda, push through a bill which gives the polish public media TVP and Polskie Radio two billion zloty as a compensation for the losses they have faced during the pandemic ( Janoś, 2020). This has caused a huge outrage from the opposition, which not only claims that the so-called public media are politically affiliated to the right-wing ruling party, but also that the money should have been spent on oncology or other health sectors, which suffered profusely when having to carry the weight of the consequences of the virus outbreak (Newsweek, 2020). This debate about the distribution of money among various institutions is an important discourse, which brings into question the values that unify or separate political parties. However, this act of moving such large amounts of money to support national television opens up another, very important question – that is, who gives the direction of the public discourse and what are thus the conditions of existence for other players such as independent media?

Stay up to Date – Subscribe to our newsletter.

Independent media are those, which are free from the influence of the government. They are important elements of the society as they allow access to unbiased information, scientific research and encourage an open discussion between the general public and the experts (Pyle, 2014). They also serve as outlets that safeguard the integrity of journalism, decreasing the spread of propaganda among citizens. In Poland the conditions under which free media is able to operate leave a lot to wish for, especially when it comes to funding. One example, which the article focuses on, are publications made by Think Tanks. These are non-profit and organised by politically and socially active people, who are from, but not limited to, the academic field. They are directly involved with the political trajectories of a country and offer innovative solutions to ongoing issues. They also form a platform, where citizens can openly converse, ask questions and exchange viewpoints in order to expand their knowledge and their perspective (Szlachetko, 2014).

In order to stay sovereign, Think Tanks, unlike the national television, must support themselves from grants and private funding, which means it is difficult for them to find a sustainable source of money (Biznes Newseria, 2017). In Poland their existence is therefore endangered, which in the long run means homogenization of media and a lack of diversified sources of information. In today’s reality, where the race between countries is to create a critically thinking, engaged, independent and socially involved citizen (Graham, Sak, 2016), decreasing variety of media is definitely a step backwards, which stunts growth and development and a big reason for concern.

 

Sources

Biznes Newseria, 2017. Coraz Większe Znaczenie Think Tanków W Polsce. Wyzwaniem Jest Uzyskanie Finansowania Pozwalającego Zachować Niezależność. [online] Biznes.newseria.pl. Available at: <https://biznes.newseria.pl/news/coraz-wieksze-znaczenie,p935823023> [Accessed 19 December 2020].

Janoś, K., 2020. 2 Mld Zł Dla TVP I Polskiego Radia. W Przyszłym Roku Pis Też Chce Dać Pieniądze. [online] www.money.pl. Available at: <https://www.money.pl/gospodarka/2-mld-zl-dla-tvp-i-polskiego-radia-w-przyszlym-roku-pis-tez-chce-dac-pieniadze-6579735637109664a.html> [Accessed 19 December 2020].

Newsweek, 2020. 2 Miliardy Złotych Na TVP I Polskie Radio. Pis Przegłosował Ustawę. Joanna Lichocka Pokazała Palec. [online] Newsweek.pl. Available at: <https://www.newsweek.pl/polska/polityka/pis-przeglosowal-ustawe-2-miliardy-zlotych-na-tvp-i-polskie-radio/7fcqqre> [Accessed 19 December 2020].

Pyle, N., 2014. The Role Of A Free And Independent Media In Development. [online] Foreign Office Blogs. Available at: <https://blogs.fcdo.gov.uk/nickpyle/2014/05/12/the-role-of-a-free-and-independent-media-in-development/> [Accessed 19 December 2020].

Szlachetko, J., 2014. Think Tank – Co To Jest I Jak Może Się Przydać W Samorządzie Terytorialnym?. [online] Prawo.pl. Available at: <https://www.prawo.pl/samorzad/think-tank-co-to-jest-i-jak-moze-sie-przydac-w-samorzadzie,93003.html> [Accessed 19 December 2020].

Graham, W. and Sak, A., 2016. Miasta Wyśnione. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Karakter.

Europe’s Shift to the Right

Two colossal wars in less than half a century engendered the concept of a unified Europe under one supranational institution – the European Union. Yet, European countries are now once again electing right-wing leaders. What does it mean for Europe's relations with the EU and the rest of the world?

Unanimity is killing the EU

Time and again, voices from in- and outside the EU demanded for the Council of the EU to move from unanimous decision-making in matters of foreign and security policy to qualified majority voting. Moreover, concerns have been voiced that the block's unanimity requirement seriously impedes its ability to act fast and step up as a reliable and credible global actor in a fast-changing world. Nevertheless, even though these calls for a decision-making reform are not new, it is unlikely that the rules will change anytime soon and that the EU will move to qualified majority voting in crucial areas such as foreign and security policy.

Politics of Confusion – The fourth fragment: Confusion

On Saturday, October 9, the right-wing ruling party PiS has organised a convention on the future of Polish agriculture and the development of rural areas, specifically directed towards farmers. Although this meeting resembled any other propaganda technique used by the PiS party to polarise the society, it was the first to follow very strong anti-EU and anti-citizens decisions made by the Polish government. It thus can be used as a representation of the complete political and economic chaos, which is currently taking place in Germany’s first Eastern neighbor.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.