Together, We Can Protect Free & Independent Media in Poland

The Story

Over the last year, Discovery, Inc.’s subsidiary in Poland, TVN, has been dealt multiple political attacks. Poland’s ruling government, led by the nationalist, right-wing “Law and Justice” (PiS) party, has attempted to push out TVN’s 24-7 news channel, TVN24. For 19 months, the Polish regulator delayed granting a simple TVN request: to renew their broadcasting license.

PiS did not expect U.S. Polonia to rise up in defense of free media and TVN.

You did that, along with members of Polonia across the U.S. and beyond.

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TVN received its operating license

TVN24 eventually won. On September 22, four days before the license was due to expire, TVN24 received a new license to operate its channel in Poland, but this win is bittersweet. Just days before the license was due to expire on September 26. Another TVN channel – TVN7, a general entertainment channel – is up for renewal in February 2022. Once again, the Polish government is sending signals that it might not renew this license.

When TVN24’s license was renewed, the Polish National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) simultaneously adopted resolutions on foreign ownership. Then on October 27, the KRRiT Chairman requested the President, Prime Minister, and other constitutional authorities to examine whether the Broadcasting Act – article on foreign ownership – complies with the Polish Constitution. This is an effort to achieve the same result as “Lex TVN”, but through the Tribunal.

Now What?

We will continue the national effort to protect media freedom in Poland, democratic norms, and the U.S.-Poland alliance.

  • Sign Petition: Join hundreds of concerned citizens who signed in opposition of “Lex TVN”

  • Letter to Editor: Share your opinion with your local newspaper to further raise the issue

  • Email: Thank the US Congress for supporting Discovery/TVN in Poland and ask them to keep up the good work!

  • Testimonial: Add your voice for free independent media and democracy in Poland

  • Virtual Briefing: Sign up for a briefing from one of our team members

  • Social Media: Share Your Concerns on social media and use #ProtectUSPoland on Facebook and Twitter.

Be on the Look Out!

Poland’s lower house of parliament could vote soon – or anytime they want – to attack TVN again. The rule of law, freedom of the press, and stability for foreign investments are still very much at risk. The KRRiT is obligated to request to Poland’s Prime Minister (a PiS member), among other Polish leaders, if they would like to seek an opinion on the compliance of the current foreign ownership provision in the Broadcasting Act with Poland’s Constitution through the country’s Constitutional Tribunal (the head of which is a deeply conservative PiS Party member), which if it moves forward, could have a negative impact on TVN.