US Department of State: free and independent media is a pillar of democracies
"We're tremendously concerned about the direction that Poland seems to be going in,” said the spokeswoman for the US Department of State Heather Nauert. “A free and independent media is a fundamental pillar of democracies," she said, commenting on the decision of the National Radio and Television Broadcasting Council concerning TVN24's reporting on the political crisis in December last year. The US Department of State has also issued a statement on the matter.
Asked for her comments on the judicial bills currently processed by the Sejm and the Senate, the spokeswoman for the US Department of State discussed these issues first, but later also referred to the matter of the media.
“Poland is a close ally of ours, NATO member, also a fellow democratic country. We have good relationship with that country but we have been watching very carefully some of the developments that have been taking place in Poland over the last 11 months, over the last year or so,” she said.
She explained that the US Department of State “was following very closely the work on judicial reform.” “We are aware of the President's new proposals and recent amendments that have been introduced in the lower house of the parliament. We continue to follow the upper house of parliament's deliberations on that legislation,” added Nauert.
“We are relying on our allies to maintain strong democratic institutions, economies and defense capabilities. The United States has stressed that judicial reform should be in line with Poland's constitution and the highest standards of the international law and respect the judicial independence and separation of powers,” she continued.
”A free and independent media is a fundamental pillar of democracies”
Nauert said that the Department of State was also following closely “what was happening to some news organizations in Poland.”
“And as a democratic country you tend to have a free and fair press. We're tremendously concerned about the direction that the country seems to be going in. We are concerned about Poland's National Radio and Television Broadcasting Council's December the 11th decision to fine the private TV broadcaster TVN for so called biased reporting on demonstrations that occurred between December the 16th and the 18th. A lot of you probably saw these demonstrations here on the news,” stressed the spokeswoman fot the Department of State.
“A free and independent media is a fundamental pillar of democracies, Poland would certainly be one of those. The decision appears to undermine and interfere with media freedom in Poland – they're a close ally and a fellow democracy. So we are watching that one carefully.”
Statement of the US Department of State on freedom of media in Poland
"The United States is concerned by Poland’s decision to fine the private TV broadcaster TVN for alleged biased reporting of demonstrations outside Parliament last December. This decision appears to undermine media freedom in Poland, a close ally and fellow democracy. Free and independent media are essential to a strong democracy. As Secretary Tillerson has said, “Societies built on good governance, strong civil society, and an open and free media are more prosperous, stable, and secure.”
"We remain confident in the strength and ability of Poland’s democracy to ensure Poland’s democratic institutions are fully functioning and respected".
TVN will appeal against the decision
The National Radio and Television Broadcasting Council imposed a PLN 1,479,000 fine on TVN24 for the channel's reporting on events that took place in the Sejm and in front of the Sejm in December 2016.
In a statement issued by TVN, the channel announced it “strongly disagreed with the decision of the Chairman of the National Radio and Television Broadcasting Council.” “TVN considers the imposition of the fine to be unjustified. After studying the content of the Council's decision, TVN S.A. will appeal against it to the District Court in Warsaw,” it was announced.
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: tvn24