The European Magazine Media Association and the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association gravely concerned with threats to investigative journalism in Poland
It is with great concern that EMMA and ENPA learned last week that Polish investigative journalist from the Polish daily newspaper “Gazeta Wyborcza”, Mr Tomasz Piatek is facing criminal prosecution from the Polish ministry of defence for publishing a book about their Minister and his alleged ties with Russian entities close to the Kremlin. As a result Mr. Piatek is facing a jail sentence of several years simply for accomplishing his work as a journalist and for striving to inform the public about possible questionable behavior.
The very purpose of journalism and the publishers who support them is to provide the citizen with the most pertinent and accurate information in order to fulfill the role of fourth estate within European democracies. If the honest work of journalists is under constant threat from the forces of the government, that role becomes extremely difficult to assume and ultimately leads to journalistic self-censorship.
For that reason, EMMA and ENPA fully support Mr. Tomasz Piatek in his current strenuous situation and also the efforts of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and other Media freedom NGOs who are bringing light to this serious matter. Additionally, we add our voice to the demand addressed to the Polish government of dropping the complaints against Mr. Piatek.
As a European representation of the daily press, EMMA and ENPA solemnly stress the need for European level reaction when an EU member state does not abide by the principles that are ingrained in European democracies and values, namely freedom of the media.
EMMA and ENPA have joined Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Freedom house, Global Editors Network (GEN), Index on Censorship, International Press Institute (IPI), South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) and have written to Polish defence minister Antoni Macierewicz urging him to withdraw his criminal complaint against Tomasz Piatek.
For more information view a joint press release that EMMA co-signed with the aforementioned organizations.
The European Magazine Media Association, is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms, encompassing both paper and digital formats.www.magazinemedia.eu
The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) is the largest representative body of newspaper publishers across Europe. ENPA advocates for 16 national associations across 13 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union.www.enpa.eu