Swedish public broadcasters decry new Polish media law
The heads of Sweden's public broadcasters expressed their alarm over Poland's newly-elected government's move to restrict public service media.
In an op-ed published in Tuesday's Dagens Nyheter, Cilla Benkö, director-general of Swedish Radio, along with Hanna Stjärne and Christel Tholse Willers, the heads of Swedish Television and the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company, wrote that Poland's new media law "turned back the clock" on press freedoms in the former Soviet bloc country.
"The Polish government should listen to reason and tear up the decision that violates the basic principles of media independence," the trio wrote. "This should be done immediately."
Poland's president signed the temporary law on Thursday and the legislation will be in effect until June 30. It allows for the immediate removal of the directors of state radio and television, and lets the Polish treasury minister appoint successors as opposed to a separate radio and TV committee that used to oversee the media.
The heads of Sweden's public broadcasters also called on politicians here to pressure the Polish government into reversing its media controls and to realize that Sweden is not immune to what's happening in Warsaw.
"We therefore urge Swedish politicians, in a Sweden with 250 years of press freedom, to see Poland as a cautionary tell of how quickly fundamental democratic forces can be eliminated," they wrote.