Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Dublin: 11°C Thursday 11 August 2022
Advertisement

Media blackout in Poland to protest new ad tax

State media outlets would be exempt from the tax.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (file photo)
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (file photo)
Image: Alex Bona/SOPA Images/Sipa US/PA Images

POLAND’S MAIN PRIVATE television channel, TVN, and radio stations went off air and newspapers blacked out their front pages today to protest against a proposed advertising tax for non-state outlets.

“This is where your favourite programme was supposed to be,” read a white message on a black background on the TVN24 news channel.

In a statement to AFP, the channel, owned by the US group Discovery, said the government proposal had “the intention of restricting their pluralism and freedom of expression”.

The front pages of dozens of national newspapers including the most widely read dailies Fakt and Gazeta Wyborcza had a message in white on a black background reading “Media Without Choice”.

Their websites were also blacked out.

Radio stations also suspended service, with Radio Zet informing its listeners that the tax would mean “liquidation for some media businesses”.

“There is no free country without independent media. There is no freedom without freedom of choice,” the radio station said.

The new tax, which is expected to take effect later this year, imposes a levy on advertising revenues of television and radio broadcasters, print outlets and internet media companies.

State media outlets would be exempt from the tax.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said the tax is part of Europe-wide efforts to tax global tech giants like Google or Facebook but many independent media outlets say they would be unfairly targeted too.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

Morawiecki has said it is a “solidarity fee” that will “create better conditions for the development of free media” and help fund public healthcare and the culture sector.

But the tax comes at a time when many media companies are already hit by shrinking advertising income and a loss of revenue from other business because of the pandemic.

© AFP 2021

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (28)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel