Project summary

The project is a collaborative undertaking between the London School of Economics (LSE) and Collegium Civitas, Warsaw with advisory expertise from Leeds University. It brings together academics and media practitioners to explore the recent legal developments affecting the Polish media landscape that have attracted serious international scrutiny and criticism for their apparent violation of freedom, pluralism and independence of public service broadcasting.

The study investigates the nexus between media, politics and society in Poland. In particular, it places the Polish PSB model within the political, economic and cultural framework developed by Hamelink and Nordenstreng, that interprets the media vis a vis three driving forces: the state, the economy and civil society to explore the manifold pressures on PSB from each side. The project will add empirical evidence to the understanding of political, economic and social processes driving Poland’s democratic transition.


Principal Investigator
Professor Charlie Becket, LSE

Founding director of POLIS, the think-tank for research and debate in to international journalism and society in the Media and Communications Department. He is the author of ‘SuperMedia: Saving Journalism So It Can Save The World’ (2008) and ‘WikiLeaks: News In The Networked Era’ (2012). Before POLIS, Charlie Beckett was a programme editor at ITN’s Channel 4 News editing coverage on 9/11, 7/7 and the RTS award-winning series of live News From Africa broadcasts before the G8 in 2005. He was a senior producer and programme editor at BBC News and Current affairs for ten years. He is a trustee of the European Journalism Centre and a consultant on media issues to a variety of commercial and public service organisations.

Dr Eva Polonska, LSE

Research Fellow at the Department of Media and Communications, LSE, where she is working on the role of international broadcasting in Europe’s public diplomacy. Her research focuses on media democratic transitions, media policy and political communication. She published two books: Transitions Revisited: Central and Eastern Europe Twenty Years after the Soviet Union in 2012 and Culture, Identity and Trade: Regulation of Television Content in the Enlarged European Union in 2011. She obtained her PhD from the University of Melbourne where she studied media and audio-visual policy of the European Union. She lectured in media and communications as well as in European studies at Melbourne and Monash Universities, Australia. She was a researcher on the research project on EU-Asia-Pacific relations conducted by the National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE) at Wuniversity of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Project Partner
Mr Jacek Zakowski, Collegium Civitas

A writer, journalist and teacher. He graduated from the Department of Journalism and Political Science at the University of Warsaw. He is one of the founders of “Gazeta Wyborcza,” in which he is now a commentator. He was the first President of the Polish Information Agency. He currently works for “Polityka” as a journalist and commentator. He is the head of the Department of Journalism at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw. He is the author of numerous television and radio programs and books. In 1997, he became the first winner of the Grand Press Award for Journalist of the Year, awarded by the magazine “Press.” The same year, he received two Wiktor awards for outstanding personalities of television.

Project Advisor
Professor Katrin Voltmer, University of Leeds

Professor of Communication and Democracy at the University of Leeds. She is an expert on the role of media in processes of transition to democracy. Her current research activities involve the changing power balance between governments and the media in emerging democracies in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin and the mediatisation of politics.

Project Partner/Advisor
Professor Stanislaw Mocek, Collegium Civitas

A sociologist and political scientist, Rector of Collegium Civitas. He was Professor of Political Studies at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences between 1990 and 2014. He is Editor-in-chief of “Animacja Życia Publicznego” quarterly and “Zoon Politikon” scientific annual. He studies the relationship between the media and various spheres of public life, the journalists’ elites, political ethics and elites in the public life, as well as the animation and participation in public life. He is author of numerous books. In 2011 , Prof. Mocek was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University where he worked on the research project Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.