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POLAND: Halt on media concentration fight
The ruling PiS party most likely decided to suspend its efforts to introduce a bill preventing the concentration of capital in the media sector. This issue was brought to light in the early months of the PiS term after scuffles with outlets owned by the German Ringier Axel Springer (e.g. Fakt, Newsweek, Onet.pl) and the US Scripps Network (e.g. TVN24). A draft bill is said to prepared, but has been locked away for the time being. Still, the latest announcements suggested that it would focus on facilitating pluralism rather than interfering with capital ownership. As a measure, new technologies would be applied to create more room for new outlets. The recent government reshuffle, however, was a sginal that PiS seeks to turn towards a centrist electorate. PM Morawiecki, who is by many considered a moderate within his party, has toned down the rhetoric against some media outlets. Recently, on the occasion of TVN being fined, he has expressed his disapproval with the decision. Before the reshuffle, sources within PiS indicated that if the media bill does not pass in 2017 it will only come back after the next parliamentary election in 2019.