PL

POLAND Media without Choice

Events
The Polish government has just announced the introduction of an additional levy on the media, which it calls an advertising tax, cynically justifying the move as necessary for fighting the pandemic. This new burden will particularly hurt small, private, independent media companies that have already been badly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

In protest at the imposition of this tax, many Polish media outlets will today be significantly limiting their activities. At Eurobuild we support the ‘Media bez Wyboru’ (Media without Choice) campaign, but we have decided not to suspend our activities due to obligations towards our advertisers – most of whom are our long term partners and friends who have supported us in difficult times.

We publish below an English translation of the open letter from the Polish media to the Polish government and also ask you for your support in reversing this attack on the freedom of the press.

Open letter to the Government of the Republic of Poland and Political Leaders

We would like to address the announced new additional burden on the media operating on the Polish market, misleadingly called the “contribution”, introduced under the pretext of Covid-19.

It is simply a tribute, hitting Polish viewers, listeners, readers and internet users, as well as Polish productions, culture, entertainment, sports and media.

Its introduction will mean:

1) the weakening or even closure of a section of the media operating in Poland, which will significantly limit society’s ability to choose the content it is interested in,

2) limiting opportunities for financing quality and local content. Their production currently supports hundreds of thousands of employees and their families, and provides most Poles with access to information, entertainment and sporting events largely free of charge,

3) the deepening of the unequal treatment of businesses operating on the Polish media market, in a situation where the state media receive PLN 2,000,000,000 annually from the pocket of each Pole, while private media are to be charged with an additional tribute of PLN 1,000,000,000,

4) the de facto favouring of companies that do not invest in the creation of Polish, local content at the expense of businesses that invest the most in Poland. According to estimates, companies referred to by the government as “global digital giants” will pay only about PLN 50,000,000–100,000,000 for the tribute, compared to the PLN 800,000,000 paid by other locally active media.

The asymmetrical and selective burden imposed on businesses is also scandalous. In addition, it is unacceptable in a state governed by the rule of law to attempt to change licensing conditions during their period of validity.

As the media operating in Poland for many years, we do not shrink from our duties and social responsibility. Every year we pay an increasing number of taxes, levies and fees to the state budget (CIT, VAT, emission, copyright, licences, frequencies, booking decisions, VOD fees, etc.). We also support the weakest groups in our society with our own charitable activities. We support Poles, as well as the government, in the fight against the pandemic, both in terms of information and by allocating resources worth hundreds of millions of złoty.

Therefore, we strongly oppose the use of the pandemic as a pretext to introduce yet another new, exceptionally heavy burden on the media a burden that will be permanent and will survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

Signatories:

Agora, AMS, Bonnier Business, Burda Media Polska, CANAL+, Edipresse Polska, Eleven Sports Network, Gremi Media, Grupa Eurozet, Grupa Interia.pl, Grupa Radiowa Agory, Grupa RMF, Grupa Wirtualna Polska, Grupa ZPR, Helios, Infor Biznes, Kino Polska TV, naTemat.pl, OKO.press, Polityka, Polska Press Grupa, Ringier Axel Springer Polska, Superstacja, Telewizja Polsat, Telewizja Puls, TVN, Tygodnik Powszechny, Wydawnictwo Bauer, Zakopiańskie Towarzystwo Gospodarcze - Tygodnik Podhalański

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