US warns Poland over broadcaster spat

Future American investment could be in jeopardy if Poland refuses to renew the license of a U.S.-owned broadcaster, Washington warned Warsaw.

Poland’s ruling coalition, led by the Law and Justice (PiS) party, has proposed a media bill that would see licenses granted only to broadcasters that aren’t majority-owned by entities from outside the European Economic Area. Critics warn the law is an attempt to void the license of TVN24, a television station owned by Discovery of the U.S. that is often critical of the government and which is seeking to renew its broadcast permit before it expires in September.

Speaking to TVN24 on Thursday, U.S. State Department Counselor Derek Chollet said: “This is a very significant American investment here in Poland. And there will be knock-on effects perhaps, if the [TVN24] license is not renewed, to future U.S. investments.”

Poland plunged in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by the NGO Reporters Without Borders, falling to 64th position out of 180 countries, down from 18th place in 2015.



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