Poland’s media regulator has fined a private broadcaster almost 1.5m złoty (£310,000) for news coverage of anti-government protests outside parliament, on the basis that it “propagated illegal activities and encouraged behaviour threatening security”.
US-owned TVN SA said it would appeal against the decision and defended the way in which TVN24, its news channel, covered demonstrations last December over government proposals to restrict media access to parliament.
The fine has heightened concerns about the Polish government’s assault on media. Since the rightwing Law and Justice (PiS) party assumed office in late 2015, the country has fallen precipitously in the Reporters Without Borders annual World Press Freedom Index from 18th out of 180 countries that year to 54th in 2017.
Observers say journalistic standards have deteriorated sharply in state media outlets since the government took direct control of them in early 2016.
My report for the Guardian can be found here.