"Wyborcza" stands with TVN against government efforts to silence the network for revealing that the final report of the Smoleńsk air disaster subcommittee was based on fabricated evidence.
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For eight years, Poland’s ruling party has been trying to subdue the free media. It made a habit of restricting access to public information and regularly attempts to silence independent journalists by flooding them with lawsuits. At the same time, it supports the hateful propaganda of pro-government and state-controlled media, feeding them with billions in public funds.

In the winter of 2021, the Law and Justice party tried to impose an advertisement revenue tax on independent media outlets to undermine their financial stability. In the summer of 2021, it launched a legal campaign dubbed "lex TVN", seeking to expropriate and take control of Poland's largest independent TV station. In response, the free media stood side by side showing unprecedented solidarity.

„Wyborcza" stands with TVN. Statement of solidarity

Yet again, we declare our solidarity with TVN. Being at the service of the authorities, the National Broadcasting Council is moving to punish TVN for broadcasting Piotr Świerczek's report titled "the power of a lie". In it, the journalist exposes how the special subcommittee led by Poland's former Minister of Defense Antoni Macierewicz tampered with evidence from American aviation experts to prove that the Smoleńsk air disaster was a political assassination plot. The head of the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT), Maciej Świrski, initiated legal proceedings accusing the station of "promoting false information and actions that are against the Polish national interest and pose a threat to public security". These absurd charges have to be seen for what they are: revenge for exposing a gigantic scandal, and an attempt to intimidate other media outlets.  

TVN faces heavy financial fines and could even lose its license. 

To our colleagues at TVN: you have our full support and solidarity.

Free media will not be intimidated or divided.

TVN’s statement

The statement was originally published on the TVN24.pl website

January 2, 2023

In a TVN24 report "the power of a lie", we cast doubt on the reliability of the work of the so-called Macierewicz's subcommittee. We have uncovered suppressed facts from the American NIAR report, as well as accounts of people who took part in the Smoleńsk subcommittee works.

Instead of safeguarding the freedom of speech, Poland's National Broadcasting Council, acting on Antoni Macierewicz's request, wants to punish us. The only aim of such punishment is an attempt to restrict journalistic criticism of the subcommittee's work. It is absolutely unacceptable under the constitutional duties of the press, which is obligated to watch public institutions.

TVN will carry on publishing facts, regardless of anyone who finds them inconvenient. Our viewers have the right to know what those in power want to keep secret. That is what freedom of speech is all about.

"The Power of a Lie" received numerous accolades, while its author won a 2022 Grand Press award for investigative journalism. The report is available at tvn24.pl.

***

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