Polish prime minister moves to shut down opposition media stations as he takes office

Newly elected Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's government took TV channel TVP Info off air Tuesday and his culture minister dismissed the heads of TVP and Polish Radio Wednesday in an apparent effort to shut down opposition media outlets as Tusk takes office. Parliament in Warsaw is doing so, as BBC states, in the name of "independence, objectivity and pluralism in public TV and radio."

One of Tusk's promises to voters was to make state media a source for "reliable information" and to "heal" public media. He has claimed that TVP was a propaganda platform for the PiS party and adopted a resolution Tuesday with Parliament to supposedly combat this. His actions have proven to be swift and jarring, as his new government took over power just last week.

The resolution called on "all state authorities to immediately take action aimed at restoring constitutional order in terms of citizens' access to reliable information and the functioning of public media."

In response to the 24-hour news service being taken off air, the outgoing MPs from the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party took action by staging a sit-in at state TV HQ and the ex-PM condemned the "illegal actions" taken by pro-EU Tusk and his government. Former Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the new government was violating its "supposed care for the rule of law... at every step."

TVP Info also symbolically changed its headline strap from red to black Tuesday night. It continued to broadcast via YouTube until that was also taken down.

The sit-in, which PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski joined, took place at TVP headquarters in Warsaw and lasted into Wednesday.

Despite this, culture minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz dismissed the heads of state TV and radio Wednesday, including news agency PAP, and appointed new management boards.

Image: Title: Tusk media