The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed concern after the Polish media regulator (KRRiT) issued a 1 479 000 PLN (approx. 352 000 EUR) fine on news broadcaster TVN24.
The fine was allegedly issued over the coverage TVN24 did during parliamentary elections in 2016, and has since brought up accusations against the government of attempting to censor and muzzle the media. Recent speculations that the Polish state may be attempting to take over TVN24 add to the concern regarding this case. Earlier in 2017, tax authorities in the country demanded that the TV station’s parent company TVN submit an allegedly unpaid tax of around 110 million zloty (approx. 26,139 million EUR), after claiming that there were “irregularities” in a transaction when the group took over a rival in 2012.
SEEMO expressed concern for the actions of KRRiT and call on the media regulator to show transparent arguments for these financial fines. SEEMO also calls on institutions in Poland to allow media outlets to work freely and independently, without the fear of censorship or secret media ownership and bias.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.