Polish state TVP Info channel off air as Tusk reforms kick in

WARSAW-Polish state TV channel TVP Info has been taken off air after Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s new government moved to depoliticise public media.
Parliament in Warsaw backed a resolution on Tuesday night calling for independence, objectivity and pluralism in public TV and radio. The new culture minister has dismissed the heads of TVP and Polish Radio.
MPs from the Law and Justice (PiS) party who lost power in October reacted by staging a sit-in at state TV HQ. The ex-PiS prime minister condemned the Tusk government’s “illegal actions”. State media is an important tool in Poland. About a third of people rely solely on it for their news, having no access to private broadcasters. In recent years, TVP’s main evening news broadcasts, and TVP Info, became a propaganda machine for the PiS government, and the new coalition, led by pro-EU Prime Minister Donald Tusk, had promised voters to turn state media into a platform for “reliable information”.
PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski joined the protest at TVP headquarters in Warsaw all night, leaving the building after 06:00 local time (05:00 GMT).
He returned, along with dozens of other PiS MPs on Wednesday after TVP’s 24-hour news channel was taken off air. TVP Info continued to broadcast on YouTube, showing video of a TV screen airing the output, until it also stopped. On Tuesday night, TVP Info, the 24-hour news service, symbolically changed its headline strap from red to black. 

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