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Submitted by Marcin Bąk on Mon, 05/04/2020 - 10:08
An interview with Wojciech Biedroń, a journalist for the channel

  • Hello. 2020 was shaping up to be an interesting year in Poland, almost as interesting as the previous 12 months. I am sure you had plans in the pipeline associated with your professional engagements. The coronavirus epidemic seems to have stood everything on its head.


Unfortunately we have found ourselves in an extraordinary situation. One which requires us to redefine the way we operate and think. As I am mostly engaged with the investigative side of journalism, this is particularly harrowing for me as face to face contacts with informers are difficult. There is no way I could have meaningful conversations with them, over the telephone, as there is no way to ensure confidentiality, build an honest and direct relationship. Luckily one of my other domains, the judiciary, has been kept quite busy. Here my telephone and messengers are barely coping with the frantic activity. A reporting journalist cannot afford to stay in complete quarantine. Nonetheless we all do the best we can and I do hope that this is evident in the website, Sieci weekly and channel.

  – What do the Polish media, both those digital and traditional, paper based, have to deal with at the moment? Is the danger, flagged by numerous publications, real? Will many paper-based newspapers not survive this difficult period?

"Paper" is suffering the most and foreign publishers have shown their real faces. Profit is the only thing which counts for them. Thus the sweeping redundancies and ambiguous actions by German employers in particular. On the other hand subscriptions of our home grown, Polish digital media are on the rise. And that is extremely comforting. A mass media revolutions is underway. Both when it comes to form as well as content. Nothing will ever be the same. It is possible that after this crisis media will be stronger, more unified and commonplace. And I do hope that this will come to pass.

Will the coronavirus epidemic and the shockwave which spread throughout all spheres of life mean that the internet is going to assume the role of the primary media to an even greater extent?

The internet is already the central piece. Take a look at traditional media. These all use the internet, refer to it and make far reaching use of social media. That trend was just given a powerful boost and there is no turning back from it. This makes me happy, as it is the internet where we can find thorough analyses, engaging interviews and an opinion layer which is starting to lose its footing and significance within the traditional media channels. Today the internet is the most powerful tool the media have at their disposal. Undoubtedly traditional media will survive, but as time goes on, newspapers, weeklies and magazines will become luxury, expensive goods. It has not happened yet, but the door has already been flung wide open.

How has your life changed over the few weeks spent in quarantine? How do you go about working as a journalist with a mask over your face?

The way I work hasn't changed a great deal. It is the run-up to the elections and as such I am kept very busy. However, I do miss direct contacts with my family and friends. I have not seen my daughter for two months as she lives in Kraków. Skype is no substitute for a conversation with your offspring.

Is there anything you'd like to say to the readers of our website? Both those living on the banks of the Vistula and the Danube?

Let us remain closer together today than at other times. Do not forget about your family, friends and the emotional hygiene which we all need so much. Use the media! During a pandemic, reliable information is like long sought after medicine for a suffering patient.