Ten artykuł czytasz w ramach bezpłatnego limitu

Follow the big issues that shape Polish politics and society by signing up to our weekly newsletter "News from Poland: Democracy at Stake". It allows you to stay up to speed on developments concerning the ongoing assault on democratic institutions, rule of law, and human rights in Poland.

Marek Twaróg has been the editor-in-chief of „Dziennik Zachodni” for over a decade.

-On Thursday, Dorota Kania and Marcin Dec came to see us at the editorial office. They had a chat with Marek and left- says a member of the editorial staff.

Last year, the state-run oil giant Orlen purchased Polska Press, one of the country’s largest media companies, effectively becoming the sole owner of some 500 internet portals, nearly 120 local weeklies, and the majority of Polish regional daily newspapers- including “Dziennik Zachodni”.

The new owner of Polska Press has already started to reshuffle the media company’s staff. Marcin Dec became the company’s new CEO. Dorota Kania, formerly a journalist with the right-wing populist weekly "Gazeta Polska", has been appointed as head editor responsible for the company’s newspapers and a member of its board of directors.

- My concept for this newspaper is entirely different. I want to increase its sales and reach a wider audience online. I want to rely on people I trust, people who can deliver- Dorota Kania outlined her plans for “Dziennik Zachodni” in an interview with Wirtualne Media.

Starting May 1, Marek Twaróg will be replaced by Grzegorz Gajda- formerly a host of a program aired on TVP, the government-controlled public broadcaster. Before his work for the public broadcaster, Mr Gajda was associated with the archdiocesan Radio Em, and did PR and marketing for a private company.

- What happens now? I’ve heard some rumors that people from Radio Em and the Sunday Visitor are going to join us. Let’s see if that’s true- says one of the “Dziennik Zachodni” journalists.

Oppositional politicians are appalled

The decision to sack Marek Twaróg has been widely commented on by oppositional politicians.

- Mr Twaróg’s dismissal from his position as the editor-in-chief of “Dziennik Zachodni” is a disgrace and a violation of one of the fundamental freedoms. Freedom of the press and the freedom of every citizen to obtain verified information. It strikes at the very heart of our democracy! - Krzysztof Śmiszek, a member of the Left Party, wrote on Twitter.

Jan Olbrycht, an MEP from Silesia associated with the Civic Coalition (KO), added that the decision marks a “scandalous end” of a certain period in the history of "Dziennik Zachodni".

-Daniel Obajtek's media machine has been set off. No brakes. No principles. But this insatiable lust for power will doom them- said Borys Budka, head of the Civic Platform (PO).

Sacking multiple chief editors in one go

Some journalists decided to leave “Dziennik Zachodni” even before Marek Twaróg was fired. Agata Pustułka, who covered politics and health care for many years, has left the paper. Today, she is the spokesperson for the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice. Katarzyna Pachelska and Tomasz Szymczyk, journalists with many years of experience, have also left.

But Mr Twaróg is not the only head editor at Polska Press whom the new authorities decided to sack. On Thursday, Jerzy Sułowski, former editor-in-chief of "Gazeta Krakowska" and "Dziennik Polski" and Stanisław Sowa from the Rzeszów "Nowiny" newspaper, have lost their posts as well.

***

Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about Polish politics and society, keeping a critical eye on the ruling camp’s persistent assault on democratic values and the rule of law; the growing cultural tension between religious fundamentalism and human rights; and the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Our journalists are on the front lines in 25 Polish cities, reporting from the streets, hospitals, and courtrooms about issues that move public opinion.

We decided to make our service available to everyone free of charge in order to provide access to high quality journalism for expats and English speakers interested in Polish affairs. 

The access to information should be equal for all. 

Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation
DONATE
Czytaj ten tekst i setki innych dzięki prenumeracie

Wybierz prenumeratę, by czytać to, co Cię ciekawi

Wyborcza.pl to zawsze sprawdzone informacje, szczere wywiady, zaskakujące reportaże i porady ekspertów w sprawach, którymi żyjemy na co dzień. Do tego magazyny o książkach, historii i teksty z mediów europejskich. Zrezygnować możesz w każdej chwili.