How Krakow Post Changed My Story

You may recall, how I briefly mentioned on this site how I recently (or should I say August 16) was published in a prestigious Polish, albeit English-language, publication called Krakow Post. I did this all within a day of writing the story. And get this, the whole coverage from start to finish was done by chance as I ran into the event in question and it was all done using my iPad.

I was walking not far from my home on the main street that runs perpendicular to where I live. Then I noticed that a huge crowd was walking left or south-west. The street in question is named Aleja Armii Ludowej, or the lane of the people’s army, which was a partizan force during the second world war, partly sponsored by Stalin.

It is fitting thrn to say that things come full circle, because that day’s event was Polish Army Day; it was a demonstration of Polish war strength and a call to Putin to back down. The president of Poland, Duda, even spoke. That was when I got interested wnd came upon the idea of telling the story.

I got my iPad out of my handbag and started typing, taking pictures and even recording video. All of it was done and later edited on my iPad. After writing my report on what I heard from the President, what I thought it meant, and covering the event in general, I had sent it around different news publications (both Polish and English) that might have been interested in what I had to say — since I come from a more neutral perspective as I just recently came back to Poland and lived most of my life in the U.S, where I know what the U.S. and its government is about.

To my surprise, the next morning I heard back from the editor of Krakow Post, saying the piece was published with some of my images that were iPad-taken, but I wasn’t going to be paid because Krakow Post is a volunteer publication.

I round this strange to believe and also strange that I was published before consulting me first or at least consulting me on any edits the editor may have done to the piece. But I was also stoked as I know Krakow Post is a pretty well-know publication for English readers on Polish affairs, so it was good to get my name in print so to speak.

However, as I was reading the article I noticed many of my editorial comments into it were ommited. This included my opinion how Poland is trying to kiss up to the U.S. and how provoking or constantly mentioning past wars with Moscow may not be the best course of events from perspective of peace on both fronts so to speak, or at least being too reliant on the west.

I figured the editor and KP wanted a hard news piece not an editorial, so I thought ‘ok I can live with that, maybe later I can do more editorial content…’ However, as I continued reading I became alarmed because I noticed at the end of the piece, additional writing (or an entire paragraph) was added, which I never wrote, talking about some right-wing protesters doing some damage.

Here is what the article said, and continues to say, which I never wrote in the draft I submitted:

“The festivities were also a flashpoint for far-right extremists, supporters of the Law and Justice (PiS) party which backs Duda, who also formed a small march of their own. The Associated Press reports that police physically removed a group of counter-demonstrators, many of them women holding signs referencing Heather Heyer – a woman killed in Virginia in the US over the weekend when a right-wing terrorist drove his car into a crowd of activists protesting a white supremacist gathering.”

First of all, I saw none of this and second of all there are different groups here in Poland that can be described as “right wing.” The ultras or soccer hooligan groups, with Legia graffiti all over town, which I am fascinated by and interested in their subculture do not seem fans of PiS at all. They seem more anti-authoritarian and police state than having loyalty to any party.

But again, there are different groups and a lot of political activity here in Poland including revolutionary activity and activity related to historical events or relations with neighboors. There is just a lot of opposition, activity and in general political interest in the country.

The editor promised me via email to specifically add in that this information came from the AP and wasn’t witnessed by the author in question, however it never happened and the piece still looks like it was something I had witnessed.

Anyway, DudaNowy3 is my original piece I submitted to him. As you see, it has a lot more commentary and I think it is more interesting and maybe a bit more controversial, but maybe too much so for Krakow Post? Anyway, here are some of the images I’ve taken:

The airshow featuring foreign and Polish fighter jets:

Here is a video of the event I still have saved on my iPad:

I hope readers interested in how the media works and what journalism has become should be interested in this piece. It is common for news outlets and editors to totally changed the meaning of the content submitted to them. I still do not know if it is fully a volunteer-based outlet, or if Krakow Post didn’t want to compensate me somehow due to me submitting a piece in such short notice.

Either way, it is on there, got them a bunch of page views and here is my analysis of it. Hope you enjoyed it and I hope to do some more news-type work.

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