Thursday, January 20, 2022

EU brands Polish media bill ‘a negative signal’

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(Reuters) – The European Commission on Thursday criticized a Polish bill limiting foreign ownership of media companies that has been passed by the country’s lower house of parliament, saying it sent a negative signal.

“Media pluralism and diversity of opinions are what strong democracies welcome, not fight against,” the Vice President of the European Union’s executive, Vera Jourova, who is responsible for media freedom, said on Twitter. “The draft Polish broadcasting law sends a negative signal.”

On Wednesday, Polish lawmakers passed a bill that would strengthen a ban on firms from outside the European Economic Area controlling Polish broadcasters.

The opposition in Warsaw says the bill aims to gag the news channel TVN24, which is owned by U.S.-based media group Discovery Inc and is critical of the right-wing nationalist government.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by John Chalmers)

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