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Media Poland strike tax Commentary

Opposition media in Poland went nuclear with their 24-hour strike, but will it work?

In face of the pressure of the media protest, the government cannot back down as it would mean capitulation and resignation, writes Sieci weekly editor-in-chief Jacek Karnowski

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Jacek Karnowski

By refusing to broadcast not only information, but also entertainment, opposition media have reached for their nuclear weapons through their 24-hour strike over a new tax on media and Big Tech being implemented by the Polish government. 

What is important, however, is that we currently do not hear any calls for larger street protests concerning the matter. Only then would “permanently” closing media be politically justifiable. But even that would be doubtful. In general, traditional media, although still important, overestimates their power.

They have not noticed that in the age of social media their relationship with their audience and social role are different than a dozen years ago. Of course, the fact that such numerous and powerful media outlets are not broadcasting their daily programs, but instead annoying statements, will create certain social unease.

I do not think, however, that it will cause a revolution.

Because opposition media reached for nuclear weapons, the government cannot retreat from its proposal under such pressure while having a gun pointed at its head. It would mean capitulation and the necessity for the United Right to pack up and leave. The situation would return to that from before 2015 when the media very often reached the point where it directly held political power and shaped public policy.