Front page of an April 2006 issue.
|Political alignment||Social liberal, centre left|
Gazeta Wyborcza (Polish pronunciation: [ɡaˈzɛta vɨˈbɔrtʂa] "Electoral Gazette") is a newspaper printed in Poland. It covers the gamut of political, international and general news from a liberal perspective. Like all Polish newspapers, it is printed on compact-sized paper.
As of 2013, it was the second highest selling newspaper in Poland, despite a declining circulation.
History and profile
Gazeta Wyborcza began publication on 8 May 1989, under the rhyming masthead motto, "Nie ma wolności bez Solidarności" ("There's no freedom without Solidarity"). The founders are Andrzej Wajda, Aleksander Paszyński and Zbigniew Bujak. The owner of the daily is Agora, a Polish press company which became American Company "Cox Enterprises" in 1993. Its founding was an outcome of the Polish Round Table Agreement between the communist government of the People's Republic of Poland and political opponents centered around the Solidarity movement. It was initially owned by Agora SA. Later Cox Communications partially bought the daily.
The paper was to serve as the voice of Solidarity during the run-up to semi-free elections held on 4 June 1989 (hence its title). As such, it was the first legal newspaper published outside the communist government's control since its founding in the late 1940s.
According to the editors, the first edition was small (150,000 copies) and relatively expensive due to the limited supplies of paper available from the state. A year and a half later, the daily run had reached 500,000 copies. In September 1990, during the acrimonious breakup of the Solidarity camp following the collapse of the communist government, Lech Wałęsa revoked the paper's right to use the Solidarity logo on its masthead. Since then, Gazeta Wyborcza has been a fully independent newspaper which generally supports liberal values. Gazeta Wyborcza is now a massive multi-section daily newspaper. The paper publishes daily local editions for the following cities: Warsaw, Białystok, Bydgoszcz, Częstochowa, Gdańsk, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Katowice, Kraków, Kielce, Lublin, Łódź, Olsztyn, Opole, Płock, Poznań, Radom, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Toruń, Wrocław and Zielona Góra.
The circulation of Gazeta Wyborcza was 459,473 copies in January-February 2001. The 2004 circulation of the paper was 516,000 copies in weekdays and 686,000 copies in weekends. The average circulation of the newspaper was peaked at 672,000 and it was the largest-selling newspaper in Poland, but by 2010, the circulation had been declined by more than half, to 319,000 and Fakt overtake Gazeta Wyborcza as Poland's leading newspaper. The decline continues in 2013, when it was down to 190,000 with a commensurate decrease in advertising revenue.
The Rywin affair
In 2003, Lew Rywin, a prominent film producer, was accused by Gazeta Wyborcza of attempted bribery when he allegedly solicited a bribe of $17.5 million from editor Adam Michnik in exchange for amendments to a media bill. The adoption of the bill in its original form proposed by the government would have prevented Agora S.A. from buying Polsat, one of Polish private TV stations. This case, called the Rywin affair, led to the establishment of an investigation commission by the Polish Parliament. Consequently, Lew Rywin was sentenced for attempting to influence the parliamentary legislative process in a way that would enable a Polish media company to buy a television station. Furthermore, the controversial draft act was rejected by the Polish Parliament.
||The examples and perspective in this article may not include all significant viewpoints. (January 2010)|
Gazeta Wyborcza has been criticized for distorted coverage of controversial issues such as post-communist vetting, Polish-Jewish relations and the Polish minority in Lithuania. It has also received criticism for using its influence to whitewash former communists, particularly General Jaruzelski. After the fall of communism, the paper was criticized for taking part in an "intensive propaganda campaign" and particularly for rigorously trying to revamp Jaruzelski's image.
Gazeta Praca (classified job advertisements, salary lists, Mondays), Gazeta Sport (Mondays), Komunikaty (properties classifieds, Tuesdays), Gazeta Dom (building and furnishing, Wednesdays), Duży Format (reportages, Thursdays), Gazeta Telewizyjna (TV programmes, Fridays), Gazeta Co Jest Grane (cinema and theatre repertoires, film and book reviews, music events, Fridays), Gazeta Turystyka (travelling extra, Saturdays) and Wysokie Obcasy, Wysokie Obcasy Extra (women's extra, Saturdays, since April 1999).
The online edition of Gazeta Wyborcza is one of the sections of the portal Gazeta.pl. The paid electronic version of the newspaper is an option. The website wyborcza.pl has been expanded through rankings of articles which are most frequently read and commented on. It presents Polish and global history on most notable covers of Gazeta Wyborcza. Beside analogue sections from the paper edition, the website also provides a feedback section which allows the readers to contact the editorial staff and express opinions).
The paper's website links to Gazeta's journalists' blogs, including the ones by: Ewa Milewicz, Dominika Wielowieyska, Jan Turnau, Bartosz Węglarczyk and Wojciech Orliński. The number of journalists who write blogs is constantly increasing.
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- Wirtualne Media
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