Ratowanie Polska Press. When will the company regain credibility on the market?

Luc Williams

He emphasized that ultimately this entity should not be included in the structures of a state-owned company, but first it must be prepared for introduction to the media market and its situation improved. He added that it is very important now Polska Press regained credibility with readers, the advertising and media markets, and also for the company to regain financial independence. “Increasing its value is extremely important so that it can return to the media market,” added Kropiwnicki.

Kropiwnicki pointed out that it is also important now restoring corporate and business order in the companybecause “Polska Press must be an entity that is an independent player on the media market”, meets journalistic standards and “has a strong financial basis”. “And this is currently being implemented, in recent weeks, months” – he assured. At the same time, he said that “audits are also being conducted in the company” and their results, as the company itself will inform, should be known in a few weeks.

Poland 2050 – The Third Way asks about plans for Polska Press

Deputy Minister of State Assets, the ministry representing the State Treasury, which is the largest shareholder Orlenanswered questions from MP Żaneta Cwalina-Śliwowska, who, on behalf of the group of parliamentarians Poland 2050 – Third Way, asked about plans for the Polska Press company. “At the moment, there are no works underway to include Polska Press branches in other public media,” Kropiwnicki declared.

Kropiwnicki admitted at the same time that he did not know the “time horizon” in which media company of the Orlen Group will be ready for sale. “Since Orlen is a listed company, it will communicate this independently. We will learn about it just like all other shareholders, from stock exchange announcements,” he added. As he assessed, “the purchase of Polska Press by an energy company itself seems very questionable and very unnecessary, to put it bluntly.” “This investment had a purely political purpose, in order to influence the media market, which until now had been independent media,” Kropiwnicki said.

Controversy surrounding the takeover of Polska Press by Orlen

Asking questions, Cwalina-Śliwowska said, among other things, that after the takeover by Orlen, Polska Press was politicized by PiS. According to her, the company’s daily newspapers then began to censor content and discipline journalists for texts unfavorable to the government, publish articles ordered by politicians and discriminate against activists of other political options. The Polish 2050 – Third Way MP asked, among others: whether the people who made the decision to purchase Polska Press by Orlen will be held liable, thereby exposing – as she assessed – the company and its minority shareholders to losses.

In response, Kropiwnicki pointed out that questions about Polska Press are basically questions about the principles of democracy and the state’s participation in the media market, which by its nature should be restrained, because it is the media power that should control the government power, not the government power through State Treasury companies, discipline journalists. “This is absolutely pathology, it was pathology. Fortunately, we can talk about it in the past tense,” Kropiwnicki said.

Why did Orlen need Polska Press?

As he said, purchase of Polska Press by Orlen, was based on “anti-German ideology that we are buying back and re-Polonizing, but in fact it was about having access to 500 local websites, 20 regional titles and influencing a significant part of public opinion.” “And it ended. Today, the goal of Orlen, which owns Polska Press, is primarily to restore the credibility of this company,” he emphasized. He added that in the case of Polska Press, it is about restoring credibility as an independent medium, among others. by restoring to work those “who were thrown out by PiS for wanting to be independent journalists and not PiS journalists.” “And these personnel changes continue. They are actually coming to an end,” he noted.

The fact that Orlen wants to show through the sale of Polska Press that it will be “independent of political influence” was said by the company’s CEO Ireneusz Fąfara in an interview for the Financial Times, which the British daily published on Monday. “I must emphasize that we absolutely do not need the media company Polska Press,” Fąfara said in the interview. He also announced: “We will look for an investor who will be able to buy it from us at a fair price.” The FT recalled that in 2020, Orlen agreed to buy Polska Press, the largest owner of regional newspapers in Poland, from the German company Verlagsgruppe Passau. The takeover followed the announcement by the then PiS government regarding the “repolonization” of the media and cutting off foreign influence on this sector.

By taking over Polska Press in December 2020, Orlen emphasized that “the acquisition of one of the largest publishing groups in Poland, combined with the use of the competences and potential of the Sigma Bis media agency and the Ruch company, will enable the concern to create a flexible, personalized and comprehensive offer that will significantly improve customer satisfaction.”

In February 2024, after the change of Orlen’s management board, the acting president of the concern, Witold Literacki, admitted that the concern had received two non-binding offers showing interest in the possible purchase of Polska Press. “It’s a bit too early to talk about what we will do with Polska Press. We conduct multidimensional analyzes in terms of the economics and profitability of this business. Only after this time will we be able to say what steps we will take,” he said.

The leader of regional media and its importance on the market

Polska Press emphasizes that it is one of the largest media and technology companies in Poland and the largest publisher of regional media in the country. It owns, among others, 22 regional dailies and the i.pl news portal. “We reach almost 20 million internet users in Poland every day. We are the leader in the regional and local media market,” Polska Press informs on its website. The data published there shows that the company has 2,400 employees and associates and publishes 47 thousand articles online per month. (PAP)

Author: Michał Budkiewicz


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.