Media of Poland

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The Media of Poland consist of several different types of communications media including television, radio, cinema, newspapers, magazines, and Internet. During the communist regime in Poland the Stalinist press doctrine dominated and controlled Polish media.[1] The country instituted freedom of press since the fall of communism. The Polish media system's main features are the product of the country's socio-political and economic post-communist transition. These features include: the privatisation of the press sector; the transformation of the state radio and television into public broadcasting services; influx of foreign capital into the media market and European integration of audiovisual media policies.[2] Today the media landscape is very plural but highly polarized along political and ideological divides.[3]

The media landscape[edit]

Since the fall of Communism, Poland has developed a plural but highly polarized media environment.[3] The media landscape comprises, in addition to the public radio and television broadcasters, a verity of private media outlets, encompassing a broad political spectrum, from socially liberal to ultraconservative.[3]

In sector of print media, the newspaper with the largest circulation is Gazeta Wyborcza, founded in 1989 ahead of parliamentary elections. It is managed by Adam Michnik, a Communist-era’s dissident. The daily has a critical stance towards the right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS) government. The second largest paper is Rzeczpospolita, which has a conservative tradition.[3]

The two main business-oriented dailies are Dziennik Gazeta Prawna and Puls Biznesu: they have a narrow, professional readership and are typically not engaged in the country’ political conflict. The two leading tabloids are Fakt, owned by the Swiss-German media conglomerate Ringier Alex Springer, and Super Express, owned by ZPR Media (Poland). These tabloids have a remarkable impact on public opinion.[3]

In additional to national publications, there are several regional dailies: in this sector, the top competitors have sales comprised between 20,000 and 40,000 daily copies sold.[3]

In the last years, sales of both national and regional dailies have been declining.[3]

Political polarization also characterizes the weekly newsmagazine market. On the liberal side there is the Polish edition of Newsweek, followed by Polityka, both critical of the PiS’s government. On the right side, there are wSieci, Do Rzeczy (both recently established) and the older Gazeta Polska. The right-wing weeklies do not form a uniform bloc.[3]

Radio is a popular medium in Poland. In addition to the public radio broadcaster, Polskie Radio (PR), there are over 200 licensed private radio outlets, including the ultraconservative Radio Maryja. The two most popular radio stations are Radio RMF FM and Radio Zet.[3]

The reach of television is very widespread. In 2016, the Poles on average watched television for over 4 hours and 20 minutes a day.[3] The public television broadcaster is Telewizja Polska (TVP), which runs three terrestrial channels, one regional channel and several thematic channels. The TVP is an importante source of information for many Poles, in particular in small cities, though its popularity has been declining in recent years.[3] In the private sector there are over 200 commercial TV broadcasters: the two leading one are Polsat and TVN.[3]

In 2016, three-quarters of the Polish population had internet access. The government is working to increase broadband internet service. The major print, radio and television outlets have online editions. Online-only portals publishing a mix of news and entertainment content are among the country’s most-visited websites (examples are:;;;[3]

Legal framework[edit]

The Polish constitution of 1997 guarantees freedom of the press and prohibits both preventive censorship and licensing requirements for the press. The media sector is regulated by the 1984 Polish Press Law and the 1992 Broadcasting Act, which have both been amended since then. The Broadcasting Act defines the rules for appointing the members of the National Broadcasting Council (Krajowa Rada Radiofonii i Telewizji, KRRRiT) and its powers. According to the Constitution, the KRRiT’s role is to “safeguard the freedom of speech, the right to information, and the public interest in radio and television broadcasting”.[3]

Even is its members are not allowed to belong to political party or perform public activities, the KRRiT in practice has been politicized, with members somehow affiliated with political parties. Also the governments’ reform attempts of the KRRiT have been largely politically driven. These attempts have been strengthened by the right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS) government which, after winning the parliamentary elections in October 2015, partly replaced the management at the public television and radio broadcasters.[3]

Media polarisation[edit]

The Polish media environment is highly polarized. Since 2015 elections, this polarization has become ever stronger. The cleavage concerns both PiS’s controversial decisions and policies and diverging attitudes towards issues such as equal rights for LGBT people, refugees, the EU.[3]

Poland lacks the tradition of an editorially independent public service media: public and radio television broadcasters tend to favor those in power.[3]

Partisanship in the Polish media system goes hand in hand with bias among the journalists themselves. This bias is mirrored in the two major journalists’s organizations that have different orientations: the Association of Polish Journalists (SDP), sympathetic toward the PiS government, and the Association of Journalists (TD), which is against the PiS's government.[3]

List of Polish media outlets[edit]

TV stations[edit]

TVP – public broadcaster

Polsat – private

Grupa ITI (International Trading and Investments Holdings SA Luxembourg)

*TTV belongs to Stavka (51% - TVN, 49% - Besta Film)

Polcast Television

Minor players and joint-ventures:

Many major players are also present on the market, among them: Canal+ Polska, Canal+ Sport, Canal+ Film, Canal+ Sport2, HBO, HBO2, EuroSport, EuroSport2, Discovery Channel, Discovery Travel & Living, Discovery Science, Discovery World, MTV Poland, VIVA Poland, VH1 Poland

Digital TV platforms (all private)[edit]

Radio stations[edit]

Polskie Radio (public broadcaster)[edit]

Privately owned stations[edit]

Broker FM group:

Eurozet group:

Agora group:

Time group:


  • Radio Maryja (religious, conservative, political)
  • local radio stations

Polish radio stations in other countries[edit]

Press (all private)[edit]

Daily papers[edit]

Weekly magazines[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sasinska-Klas, Teresa (1994). "The transition of mass media in Poland: The road to liberalization". EJC/REC. 4 (1). Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Lara, Ania (2008). "Poland. Media landscapes". European Journalism Centre. Retrieved 13 October 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Chapman, Annabella (June 2017). "Pluralism under attack: the assault on press freedom in Poland". Retrieved 13 October 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012", Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
  5. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  6. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Internet hosts", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.


External links[edit]