epa05556778 Exterior view on the entrance to the headquarters of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) whose material on Polish-GErman relations was identical to that broadcast on Polish state TVP. EPA/MARIUS BECKER


Don’t think twice: German and Polish TV publish ‘identical news’


Polish Government television’s (TVP) main evening news channel i9.30 and German public TV Deutsche Welle (DW) have broadcast seemingly identical material.

The new Polish Government has made no secret of the fact that it wants to improve relations with Berlin. The same material regarding Polish-German relations being broadcast by DW and TVP appears to reflect how close those relations are becoming.

On January 30, Radosław Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister, was visiting Germany as was presented by TVP’s Berlin correspondent Magdalena Gwóźdź-Pallokat. She happens to have worked for DW as its Warsaw correspondent, as was also broadcast on TVP’s main news bulletin i9.30 and on DW.

The material included footage from an interview with former German ambassador to Poland Rolf Nikkel, who criticised a “lack of co-operation” on the part of the previous right-wing government in Poland.

Then, he said, it had been a “difficult time for political relations because [of] the anti-German and Euro-sceptic views of the previous Polish government”.

Gwóźdź-Pallokat said the “TVP under the previous government had presented Germany in a negative light as a country that was egotistic with imperialist tendencies”. She incorporated a clip from a past TVP broadcast in which it was said that “Germany is capable of forcing its own interests over and above those of its European partners”.

The fact that Polish State-funded TV broadcast the same material with the same message on Polish-German relations as Germany’s State-funded DW has been greeted with astonishment in sources close to the Polish Conservative (PiS) party and other similar political groups.

PiS MP Jan Kanthak wrote mockingly on X: “What’s the point of preparing Polish news since there is German news to draw upon?

“Even I did not expect the liquidators of Polish public media to go so far as to publish identical material to that broadcast on German TV.”

Just seven days after taking office on December 13, the Polish Government dismissed the managing boards of public television, radio and the national press agency. It replaced them with its own appointees, arguing it was “no longer prepared to tolerate bias” in favour of the former ruling PiS.

Culture minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz said he acted under the commercial code in dismissing former management and appointing a new regime.

He argued that the current law on public media in Poland, which gave such power to a body created under the previous government, was unconstitutional and therefore he, as representative of the owners, ie the State, had the right to make such decisions.

Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, or court, and the Court of Register have not upheld the minister’s actions regarding TVP or Polish radio, with the new management and the “liquidators” of these two bodies being denied official registration.

Nevertheless, the Government insists it will not budge from its chosen path and that the process of liquidation of both TVP and Polish radio will go ahead as planned, unless a court it “recognises” rules otherwise.

The Government does not accept the constitutional court as being “properly constituted” and, therefore, it sees no reason to abide by its judgments.