The Listening Post

Polarised and Partisan: Polish Media and Presidential Election

In the re-election of Poland’s president, how much of a helping hand did media offer? Plus, Ghassan Kanafani’s legacy.

Polish voters have re-elected President Andrzej Duda to another term in office and the state broadcaster Telewizja Polska (TVP) was instrumental in his media campaign. To many Poles, TVP could just as well be Telewizja Propaganda – the channel backed Duda to the hilt, and helped him scrape through with a 51 percent victory.

Privately owned news outlets have been far more critical of Duda, so the president and his backers have tried to delegitimise those platforms over their foreign ownership. They have played the xenophobia card, suggesting that German investors in Polish media companies were trying to swing the election.

Now the Law and Justice party government is talking about the “repolonisation” of the country’s privately-owned media – thinly disguised code for “nationalisation”.


Daniel Tilles – Editor-in-chief, Notes from Poland

Dominika Sitnicka – Journalist, 

Krzysztof Skowronski – Host, TVP and President, Polish Journalists Association

Michal Broniatowski – Journalist, and Coordinator, POLITICO (Poland)

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Flo Phillips about the crackdown on OMN, a major Ethiopian news network that has been covering mass protests against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed‘s government.

Ghassan Kanafani and the era of revolutionary Palestinian media

Some of the biggest names in the world of literature – Dickens, Hemingway, Garcia Marquez – got their start in journalism. Their reporting tends to be forgotten; their prose is what lives on.

Ghassan Kanafani is a name you can add to that list. Kanafani was a Palestinian writer who, through books like Men in the Sun, humanised the Palestinian condition, of dispossession and displacement. He was, however, first and foremost a journalist.

He was also a product of 1960s Beirut – a period when the city was a magnet for young reporters, revolutionaries, migrants and misfits, as well as host to the Palestinian leadership in exile. It was in Beirut that Kanafani produced Al Hadaf, a forward-thinking Palestinian magazine, that has been somewhat lost in the mists of time.

The Listening Post‘s Tariq Nafi reports from Beirut on the legacy of Ghassan Kanafani and the era of Palestinian revolutionary media.


Refqa Abu-Remaileh – Professor of modern Arabic literature and film, Director of “PalREAD – Country of Words” project, Free University of Berlin

Elias Khoury – Novelist and playwright

As’ad AbuKhalil – Professor of political science, California State University