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Studia Medioznawcze Media Studies 2 (7) 2002


Relations between police and mass media in Poland after 1989

Marek Jabłonowski, Agnieszka Dmowska

In a democratic system relations between institutions belonging to the world of power and mass media take different forms than in authoritarian or totalitarian systems. In Poland within ten years following freeing police of politcal elements and abolishing the institution of state censorship the character of relations between the former and the media as well as the whole journalistic environment was subject to radical changes. The process of political system transformations started in 1989 made it clear for state institutions, inclusive the police, that it was necessary for them to seek other than so far, channels of communication with the society and to create – mainly with the help of media – their own image. Reborn and reorganized police, referring to the tradition of State Police functioning during the period of Poland’s twenty years of indepedence after WW I, could not afford ignoring the area of contacts/relations with mass media. The goal of the article is to signal the changes in relations between police and mass media in Poland after 1989, to make an attempt of characterizing these transformations from the point of view of the police and Polish mass media and also to signal their consequences. The issues of structural and qualitative transformations within the police itself, transformation of Polish press system, and also legal-ethical aspect influencing relations between the media and police seem to be most essential.


mass media, police, transformations, change of relations