HFHR appeals to Head of Radio Merkury
After a wave of dismissals in the Poznań-based Merkury Radio Station and a recent removal from the air of a radio journalist for his inquisitive questions during an interview with one of Law and Justice politicians, the HFHR has sent a letter to the Director of the radio station. The letter points out towards legal standards regarding the manner in which public service mission should be fulfilled and respect for the freedom of expression in the public media.
In the letter, the HFHR reminded that “non-transparent practice of taking public media journalists off air or dismissing them from work based on obscure grounds is, in our opinion, not only a bad practice in a democratic society but even more a threat to the freedom of speech”.
Furthermore, it reads that given the ownership structure and special mission of the public media, state-controlled outlets should operate a merit-based employment policy, which must be free from any political or worldview bias. This means that an HR policy of authorities of a public media outlet, namely Radio Merkury, cannot aim at presenting in its programme views of only one political, social or religious group. Political or worldview differences between members of decision-making bodies of a public media outlet and its employees should not be the basis for the termination of journalists’ employment or taking them off the air.