Majority of Poles in favour of media presence on border with Belarus: poll

A United Surveys poll for the “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna” (DGP) daily and RMF FM commercial radio shows that 61 percent of Poles think that the media should be able to closely observe the situation in the area put under a state of emergency on the Polish-Belarusian border. 33 percent hold the opposite opinion.

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The survey asked whether the media should be allowed in the areas under the state of emergency.

44.2 percent of the respondents answered that they definitely should. 16.5 percent - that they should. In the opinion of 15.2 percent - they definitely should not, and 17.9 percent - rather should not. 6.2 percent of respondents chose the answer “do not know.”

Opinions are divided among young people between the ages of 18 and 29 - 47 percent of them are against the presence of the media on the border with Belarus, compared to 53 percent in favour. The youngest group also have the highest percentage who believe that journalists should definitely not be admitted to a state of emergency area (23 percent).

“The detailed results of the study show that the outlook on the matter is mainly determined by political views. 73 percent of PiS (the Law and Justice - senior party in Poland’s ruling coalition) voters do not want media on the border, and supporters of transparency dominate the electorate of most opposition parties,” the daily wrote, pointing out that the percentage among those supporting opposition is between 80-100.

The state of emergency in the border zone with Belarus, partially encompassing the Podlaskie and Lubelskie provinces in the eastern part of the country, has been in force since September 2. It pertained to 183 municipalities (115 in the Podlaskie province and 68 in the Lubelskie province) and was introduced for 30 days under the ordinance of President Andrzej Duda, issued at the request of the Council of Ministers. During its duration, the media are forbidden from entering the designated area.

On September 28, the government asked the President for a 60-day extension to the state of emergency as the migratory pressure had escalated.

The President signed the motion on September 29. The following day the decision was supported by the Polish parliament.

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