Poland has launched a formal protest against the BBC in connection with a report that suggested that its current government was “Putinising” the country.
A letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has accused the broadcaster of being biased and inaccurate.
The letter also accused the BBC report of failing to provide a balanced argument, saying it lacked both background information and situational context.
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The Guardian reports:
Titled “Is Poland being Putinised?”, the report on the BBC’s flagship Newsnight current affairs programme featured interviews with a government MP as well as Poles protesting controversial legal changes to the top court and public media.
Despite the letter being published, the BBC is understood to have received no formal complaint.
A BBC Spokesperson said: “This was a legitimate, well-sourced story that gave a fair and impartial examination of the situation in Poland. The film gave ample time to airing the government’s position but we would be delighted to explore the issues raised in it with a senior Polish minister at greater length.”
Critics have accused the governing Law and Justice party led by former premier Jaroslaw Kaczyński of attempting to stack the constitutional court as well as public television and radio with loyalists since winning an October election.
The moves have triggered mass demonstrations and harsh criticism both at home and across Europe.
The EU last month launched an unprecedented probe to see if the Polish government was violating the bloc’s democracy rules and merited punitive measures.
“Putinisation” loosely refers to the tight grip on state power exercised by Russian president Vladimir Putin, a figure who has long drawn sharp criticism in Poland.