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Watchdog, Lapdog, or Attack Dog? Public Service Media and the Law and Justice Government in Poland

  • Eva PołońskaEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The chapter examines changes introduced in public service media (PSM) under the PiS government in Poland where PSM is, yet again, struggling to uphold freedom, pluralism and independence. In December 2015, the Polish Parliament passed a new law that entrusted the government with the power to appoint members of the management board of the public service broadcaster. Politicisation of PSM is not new in the region, but the recent changes have radically shaken up the Polish political, social and media spheres. They have also received harsh criticism from the Polish media and the European Commission, as well as representatives of European media associations. This chapter gives an overview of Poland’s current political arrangements and examines the performance of the Polish public service broadcaster, its values, market share and sources of funding under the new PiS government. It examines the legal framework that sets out the principles of, and funding arrangements for, independent PSB, as well evaluating its implementation and associated outcomes. It also assesses the broadcaster’s performance and its relationship with the Polish state, economy and society. The paper adds empirical evidence to the understanding of political, legal and social processes driving the democratic transition. The chapter concludes that Polish populism combined with a large dose of hyper-nationalism have taken the country away from democratic transition towards illiberal democracy.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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