On February 10, 2021, most of the independent Polish media - television stations, radio stations, newspapers, online portals, local and regional news websites - went on an unprecedented strike.

The independent Polish media shut down for a day in protest against the government's planned advertising tax, which is incorrectly referred to as the “solidarity and pandemic tax”.

Most of the independent media in Poland base their existence on advertising revenues and another tax would wipe out their editorial budgets.

In this way, the authorities will hamper costly research, do away with tedious fact-checking and nip criticism in the bud.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán eliminated the free media in Hungary.

Please read the attached open letter to the authorities of the Republic of Poland and the leaders of political parties and support the cause of the free, independent media in Poland.

Open letter to the authorities of the Republic of Poland and the leaders of the political parties:


We would like to oppose the recently announced new media tax, which is misleadingly referred to as a "solidarity contribution" and which the Polish government wants to impose on the independent Polish media, under the pretext of combating the Covid-19 pandemic.

This new royalty is nothing short of a tribute and it will hit Polish viewers, listeners, readers and internet users as well as the Polish film, culture, entertainment, sports and media industries.

Your introduction will mean:


1. Weakening or even closing down some of the media operating in Poland, which will seriously limit the public's ability to choose the content that interests them;

2. the restriction of funding opportunities for the production of high quality and local content.

Currently, the media producing such content supports hundreds of thousands of employees and their families, and provides the majority of Polish citizens with largely free access to information, entertainment and sporting events;

3. Deepening the unequal treatment of companies operating in the Polish media market.

While the state-controlled media receive two billion zlotys annually from taxpayers' money, private media companies are to be burdened with an additional tribute of one billion zlotys;


4. De facto preferential treatment of companies that do not invest in the production of Polish, local content at the expense of companies that invest the most.

It is estimated that companies dubbed “global digital giants” by the government will only pay around 50-100 million zlotys under the new levy, while other local media companies will be charged an additional 800 million zlotys.

That is why we firmly refuse to use the pandemic as an excuse to impose another exceptionally high financial burden on the media - a burden that will be permanent and will stay with us long after the Covid-19 pandemic has ended.

Some of the largest independent media outlets in Poland have signed this open letter.

In cooperation with our Lena partner "Gazeta Wyborcza".

This text comes from the newspaper cooperation Leading European Newspaper Alliance (LENA).

In addition to WELT, she owns the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”, “El País” from Spain, “... Le Figaro” from France, “Gazeta Wyborcza” from Poland, “Le Soir” from Belgium and “La Tribune de Genève ”and“ Tages-Anzeiger ”.

Source: WORLD infographic