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    What was the ‘media without choice’ campaign really about? Lichocka: Call on the street and abroad

    ‘Slogans about freedom of speech, media, this visual protest with blackboards show that this is not a substantive issue, but a political one. The idea was to make a big ‘wow’, to block this bill. How? Call the street or abroad – commented Joanna Lichocka, Law and Justice MP, on the ‘Media without choice’ campaign. In Tomasz Sakiewicz’s program ’Political coffee’ she pointed out that the protest is calculated to ‘again slander Poland and attack the Polish government’.

    Numerous private media outlets protested against the introduction of the new tax in the past week as part of the ‘Media Without Choice’ campaign. News TV stations TVN24 and Polsat News broadcast a special announcement instead of the program. On tvn24. pl, onet. pl, gazeta. pl and interia. pl readers could not read any news articles.

     

    Radio stations have also joined the campaign. RMF FM, ZET, TOK FM, Rock Radio – instead of news, the stations broadcast a special announcement. The media, which joined the action, published on their websites an open letter to the Polish authorities and leaders of political groups. 

     

    Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke on that matter on Saturday (13 Feb 2021), assuring that the project on the ad tax ‘will in no way restrict freedom of speech and will not hit media pluralism’. He also informed that he intends to present in Brussels ‘a Polish vision of regulations concerning digital space management’.

     

    The content of the bill is available on the government’s website as a document which is a subject to consultation and will only enter government drafting and inter-ministerial arrangements. It is not a ready-made government project, which the government will present to the parliament’ – explained Law and Justice MP Joanna Lichocka on Tomasz Sakiewicz’s program ‘Political coffee’.

     

    As she pointed out, ‘it is rare for journalists at this stage to find documents on government websites’. 

     

    ‘Someone was very interested in trying to block work on this at such an early stage. It’s very distinctive. Slogans about freedom of speech, media, this visual protest with blackboards show that this is not a substantive issue, but a political one. The idea was to make a big ‘wow’, to block this bill. How? Call the street or overseas,” she said. 

     

    According to Lichocka, the protest was planned for an abroad. 

     

    ‘To set in motion forces that will make work on this project impossible and to again slander Poland and attack the Polish government,’ she added.

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