US president personally following TVN situation

Oliver Contreras/POOL/PAP/EPA

President Joe Biden is following the developments surrounding a US-owned television company that has been struggling to get its broadcasting licence renewed, an advisor to the United States Department of State has said.

The TVN network, an American owned company that has also, through its news division TVN24, been critical of the Polish government, has not yet had its licence renewed.

Its situation has raised concerns in Poland that the state is trying to silence the network owing to its critical and independent stance on government policy.

In an article in Monday's edition of the Rzeczpospolita newspaper, Derek Chollet said he did not want to speculate on how the TVN concession situation would develop.

He did say, however, that he could inform his Polish friends that the issue was a priority for the US, and that President Biden was "absolutely" observing the situation.

Chollet added that the US was convinced that the licence for TVN and TVN24 should be renewed not just because they belonged to a US company but also because the matter concerned the essence of American values.

He said that President Biden had repeatedly emphasised that among the challenges being faced today the most important one was the clash between democracy and growing authoritarianism.

He went on to say that the future of fundamental freedoms was the core of the alliance between Poland and the US and that democracy invigorated a partnership in which freedom of the press was the foundation.

When asked what might happen to Polish-US relations if TVN did not receive its license renewal, Chollet said that he could only say that it was attracting a lot of attention in America, including that of the Republicans and Democrats.