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Poland – Poland Targets TV Channel, Limits Press Freedom and Pluralism (HRW)

A woman holds a sign with the words "Free media" in Warsaw, Poland on August 11, 2021.

A woman holds a sign with the words “Free media” in Warsaw, Poland on August 11, 2021. © 2021 STR/NurPhoto via AP

Lydia Gall

Poland’s lower house unleashed a major threat to media pluralism on August 11, approving a bill that prevents non-European shareholders from owning a majority stake in Polish media companies. While the government has argued it needs to strengthen legislation to prevent Chinese and Russian companies from controlling Polish media outlets, the impact of the law in practice would be on independent station TVN and its 24-hour news station, TVN24. TVN’s majority stake holder is US media company Discovery.

Poland Targets TV Channel, Limits Press Freedom and Pluralism | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org)