Polska Press Group is one of the largest press publishers in Poland, a leading print media company in the country’s regional and local media market. The publisher runs 20 daily newspapers in the 15 biggest regions of Poland as well as 100 local weeklies. On top of that, the publisher runs nine magazines.

Media assets

Publishing: Dailies- Dziennik Bałtycki, Dziennik Łódzki, Dziennik Zachodni, Gazeta Krakowska, Gazeta Wrocławska, Głos Wielkopolski, Kurier Lubelski and Polska Metropolia Warszawska, Express Ilustrowany, Dziennik Polski, Gazeta Pomorska, Kurier Poranny, Gazeta Współczesna, Głos Dziennik Pomorza, Nowa Trybuna Opolska, Echo Dnia, Gazeta Codzienna Nowiny, Gazeta Lubuska, Express Bydgoski, Nowości Toruńskie; Local weeklies- 100 titles; Magazines- Nasza Historia, Moto Salon, Moto Salon Classic, Strefa Biznesu, Strefa Agro, Tele Magazyn, Super Tele, TV Pilot, Tele Program

State Media Matrix Typology: Captured Public/State-Managed (CaPu)

Ownership and governance

In December 2020, the state-owned oil company PKN Orlen announced the purchase of Polska Press from its German owners, the publisher Verlagsgruppe Passau. Although the anti-monopoly regulator had approved the acquisition, the Human Rights Ombudsman appealed the decision in court. Yet, in June 2022, a Polish court rejected the appeal.

Source of funding and budget

The publisher Polska Press is funded mostly through advertising revenues, according to the latest data from the company.

Editorial independence

In the first months after the takeover of Polska Press by PKN Orlen, there was no evidence of editorial control in the publishing house shifting to pro-government groups. The deal through which PKN Orlen bought the publisher was described by analysts to be part of the government’s ambitions to “re-Polonize” the media in the country.

Yet, right after the deal was announced, an MP from PiS welcomed the news saying that it put an end to a narrative that was “inappropriate” for Poland’s readers in the regions. He added that the media run by Polska Press will, from then on, “explain the directions of the government’s activities.” The deal gave PKN Orlen access to 17.4 million users of the portals run by Polska Press.

Only four months after the publisher was purchased, a purge of editors in the publishing house started. Already by mid-June 2021, key editors at Polska Press were removed, their positions being filled mostly by journalists known for being supportive of PiS, the party that rules the country. All these abrupt changes, harshly criticized by international NGOs, confirm the government’s promises to take over media organizations as part of their re-Polonization process, which includes significant editorial changes.

Nevertheless, after opposition parties won sufficient seats in the elections on 15 October 2023 to take power from the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, local observers expect significant changes at Polska Press. Already after the announcement that the opposition will make the government, journalists at Polska Press are said to be “in panic” waiting for major changes to happen.

There is no domestic statute and no independent/oversight mechanism validating the independence of Polska Press.

October 2023