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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.
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