Survey: Plurality of Poles approve of Tusk’s public takeover of media

PiS supporters arrive at the headquarters of Poland's state-owned TVP broadcaster to protest against the takeover of TVP by the Tusk government. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

The survey by SW Research, released on Rzeczpospolita’s website on Sunday, found that a plurality of Poles back the government’s takeover of public media versus those that are against it. Participants were asked to evaluate the decision by Donald Tusk’s government to assume control of public media, including TVP.

The survey results highlighted that 41.3 percent of respondents positively viewed the government’s action, while 35 percent expressed a negative opinion. However, 20.5 percent remained neutral, and 3.2 percent were not informed about the issue, which means there is still plenty of wriggle room for both the left and right to influence public opinion on the issue.

The poll conducted between Dec. 27 and Dec. 29, 2023, surveyed 800 internet users over the age of 18, using a random quota method for participant selection.

In December, the Ministry of Culture announced that the head of the ministry, Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, had dismissed the current board presidents of Telewizja Polska (TVP), Polish Radio (PR) and the Polish Press Agency (PAP), as well as their supervisory boards. The ministry justified the move based on a resolution of the Sejm and the Commercial Companies Code.

The minister appointed new supervisory boards for these companies, which in turn appointed new management boards.

Following the Christmas period, Sienkiewicz initiated the liquidation of TVP, PR and PAP. He justified his decision by citing President Andrzej Duda’s veto of a financial bill that was crucial for public media funding.

The National Media Council and the previous media company boards have condemned the culture minister’s actions as unlawful. The Law and Justice (PiS) party has labeled the takeover a “coup” against public media and derogatorily refers to the ruling coalition as the “December 13th coalition,” a reference to the date of Donald Tusk’s government inauguration, which coincides with the anniversary of martial law announced back in 1981.

In a direct response, the Law and Justice party is organizing a march in front of the Sejm on Jan. 11, titled “Protest of Free Poles.” This event aims to champion public media, freedom of speech, and democracy.

Share This Article