The nationalists currently in power in Poland are doing more than putting the judiciary under political control. This upsets the EU, although Slawomir Sierakowski is certainly right that Brussels is unlikely to put effective pressure on Warsaw (“Poland shows contempt for the rule of law”), Opinion5 November).
The nationalists also launched a systematic, lasting onslaught on press freedom, using the age-old methods of trying to block non-Polish media ownership, awarding government advertisements to pro-regime newspapers, getting business executives to support the ruling law and Justice Party to take over newspapers, fire independent journalists from public broadcasters, and use regional government to refuse support to local newspapers that do not follow the nationalist-clericalist line.
Nearly every European and American organization interested in media freedom has produced reports on how the nation Ryszard Kapuscinski and Adam Michnik now have a government that shares Vladimir Putin’s views on press freedom and an independent judiciary.
Former President of the United Kingdom and Ireland National Union of Journalists
London SW1, United Kingdom