04 Feb 2021 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 29 Oct 2018 n° 119/2018 Poland
Public Radio Journalist Sanctioned for Refusing to Broadcast Discriminatory Information
The Warsaw District Court is currently dealing with the case of a Polish public radio journalist, Dorota Nygren, sanctioned for refusing to broadcast discriminatory information. On 2 September 2017, Dorota Nygren wrote a story for IAR, the radio information agency of the Polish public service broadcaster, regarding an incident in Italy, where a 53 year old man spat at a 97 year old priest in a local church. In accordance with journalism ethical rules, Dorota Nygren decided not to report the man’s national origin (Morocco) in her piece, considering this would be discriminatory. After her refusal, Paweł Piszczek, director of IAR, threatened her with dismissal and this threat was later toned down to a transfer to IAR archive department where she remains to this day on a lower pay. On 23 March 2018, Dorota Nygren brought a court case against IAR. The case is now pending before the Warsaw District Court.
04 Feb 2021
On 29 January 2021, the Warsaw Regional Court reversed the judgment of first instance, finding that, as Nygren was in charge of editing the news item that was then sent to PR outlets and included in a subscription service run by PR, she was liable to mention all the relevant information, which included the perpetrator’s nationality. The court dismissed Nygren’s argument according to which such mention would have been discriminatory and in violation of PR’s code of ethics. Nygren plans to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court.
14 Nov 2019
On 8 November 2019, the Warsaw District Court found that IAR had broken the principle of equal treatment and ordered the payment of compensation to Dorota Nygren and the correction of her reduced salary. The court also ruled that Nygren applied the rules of journalism and that discrimination resulted from her applying the principles of reporting honesty and ethical journalism.
12 Mar 2020
Reply from the Polish authorities (information from the National Broadcasting Council KRRiT)
29 Nov 2018
Information from the Polish authorities