Media regulation authority fines radio station over 'hate speech'

The head of the Polish media regulation authority, KRRiT, has fined the private radio station TOK FM for broadcasting “discriminatory content and incitement to hatred."

The station will have to pay a PLN 80,000 (EUR 17,500) fine.

Last year TOK FM's anchor Piotr Maślak called a new history textbook for high schools "a textbook for the Hitlerjugend", as he criticised a history book written by Professor Wojciech Roszkowski's aimed at high-school students.

Early this year, Maciej Świrski, the KRRiT head, launched proceedings into the content broadcast by TOK FM.

In a statement published on Friday, KRRiT said Tok FM was fined for "promoting unlawful actions, views and attitudes contrary to morality and social welfare, and containing content inciting hatred and discrimiatory content."

"In the course of the proceedings, it was established that the programme humiliated and violated the dignity of the victims of the Second World War, including Jews," KRRiT went on to say. "Insults and stigmatising terms were used against Professor Wojciech Roszkowski, violating his constitutionally guaranteed dignity.

"The programme was unreliably prepared; it was limited to quoting random excerpts of the book, which were made available on the publisher's website prior to the publication of the textbook, rather than a comprehensive analysis of the entire work," the statement concluded.

In defence of Maślak, the radio station wrote that he criticised "hate speech present in the book, including negative, xenophobic, biased or even propaganda-like content... that spurred in him a connotation with hate speech present in the indoctrination of youth by Nazi propaganda."

But the KRRiT head did not agree with the radio's arguments and imposed the fine.

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