Polarized Poland: How Media Contribute to Societal Fragmentation – Script (en)

Poland, 2015. The populist right-wing [Law and Justice (PiS)] party wins both presidential and parliamentary elections. Since then, it got more foreign press attention.

Why is it so interesting now? What’s happening there?


Clemens Schöll, media expert, manager of conference, press, trips, background talks, former director of „Medien – Mittler zwischen den Völkern“(Media – Mediators between Nation):

“If you ask me about the polarisation of media and society in Poland. If you have a divided society like in Poland, media also have to take or is often taking sides. That is one of the problems that they have a different reality now. So there is public TV, which was always a little bit more to the government side, but now it is just a state-controlled government positive TV.“


Is the public TV an exception or there is more than one camp of media?


DW News interview with Kamil Dabrowa:

“There is no solidarity among Polish journalists. The media is deeply divided. Many journalists took extremely politicized. Even in the public media you hear people saying : “I’m left or I’m right – wining.”


If there is no solidarity among journalists, is there any at all among Polish society?

Yes, using social media to mobilize people.


Clemens Schöll:

 “But of course there is not so small group, right of the PiS and they of course do use social media a lot for mobilizing for their marches and spreading fake news “


Every year, the Independence March takes place. It brings radicalism on the streets. Many people fear for the march because of violence.

Slogans include „Death to Enemies of Homeland”, „White Poland”, „God. Honour. Fatherland” . The others call them fascists.

But somewhere in-between, groups of anti-fascist demonstrators gather. They want to show their disagreement on the radical behaviour.


Participant in an anty-fascist manifestation: That’s why we’re here as diverse left, representatives of the LGBT community, Greens, Feminists. This is our march, our idea on independence and what we want to give a testimony about.


Clemens Schöll:

 “People do live in their own bubbles, but I also think that a little bit beyond your question the point is that, if you, for example, compare Poland to Hungary, then situation is much better. Because the oppositional forces, the objective also media is much more vivid, which also means that you don’t have to live in your bubble. Because your bubble is not black and white. It’s probably never white. They have different shadows between gray and black.”


2019 Poland has a new parliament and is waiting for a presidential election the next year. We will see soon how many of us leave in their bubbles.




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