The front page of Rzeczpospolita on 8 April 2013
|Founded||1920 (revised at 1944 and 1982)|
|Political alignment||Liberal conservatism|
|Official website||www.rp.pl (in pl)|
Rzeczpospolita (Polish pronunciation: [ʐɛt͡ʂpɔsˈpɔlʲita] ( )) is a Polish national daily newspaper, with a circulation around of 94,000, issued every day except Sunday. Formerly printed in broadsheet format, Rzeczpospolita has used compact format since October 16, 2007. Its title means "republic" and is a traditional part of the full name of the Polish state, Rzeczpospolita Polska.
A daily newspaper with this title was issued for the first time in 1920. Initially, it was a tool of the conservative Christian National Party, but with time it became independent. It was owned originally by its founder Ignacy Jan Paderewski and after 1924 by Wojciech Korfanty, two notable politicians from that epoch. Editor-in-chief Stanisław Stroński sought to maintain the quality of its content, cooperating with a group of authors including Adolf Nowaczyński, Kornel Makuszyński, and Władysław Witwicki. Despite the popularity it gained, the newspaper had to be sold to Dom Prasy Katolickiej (House of Catholic Press) in 1930, and two years afterwards it was merged with the right-wing daily "Polak-Katolik" ("Pole-A Catholic") and overseen by the Catholic Church. The daily Rzeczpospolita was released for the last time in 1932.
In 1944, a Soviet-led administration was established behind the lines of the Soviet Army and started propaganda activities, initially directed against a former Nazi German occupation forces, in order to gain the favour of the Polish society. They founded a new newspaper under the name Rzeczpospolita to be used for the purposes of propaganda attempting to establish more legitimacy for the newly formed, Soviet-dependent government. To address the fact that the Polish population's attitude was vehemently anti-communist, the new government newspaper began strenuous efforts to change that aversion. Headed by Jerzy Borejsza, it was in fact an arm of the Polish Committee of National Liberation. In 1949, even after the creation of a new party newspaper called "Trybuna Ludu" (People's Tribune) that marked the creation of the Polish United Workers' Party (colloquially called "the Party" Polish: partia), Rzeczpospolita was still issued simultaneously for nearly two years. In 1950, Rzeczpospolita was discontinued when the coexistence the government newspaper alongside the party newspaper was considered redundant for a consolidated one-party state.
In 1980, the situation changed radically. The state was in crisis and the Party's image was damaged beyond repair. This prompted the idea to relaunch a separate government newspaper. The state, as an entity, had become officially independent from the Party (even though this independence was still largely fictitious within a communist state). Thus, from 1982 onwards, Rzeczpospolita and Trybuna Ludu resumed their parallel existence as the official bulletins of the government and the Party apparatus respectively. This dualism corresponded to the situation in the Soviet Union, where the government newspaper Izvestia functioned alongside the Party's Pravda, and where Izvestia has steered a course strikingly similar to Rzeczpospolita in the 1990s.
After the 1989 revolution, the new Polish government made Rzeczpospolita legitimately independent in 1991, forming a Franco-Polish joint venture named "Presspublica S.A." to publish the paper. In 1996, the Norwegian Orkla Media corporation acquired a 51% share in Presspublica, and is now in joint control of a quarter of the entire Polish press landscape.
From 1989 until his death in 1996, the well-known journalist Dariusz Fikus was the first editor-in-chief of the independent Rzeczpospolita. He was followed by Piotr Aleksandrowicz (1996–2000), Maciej Łukasiewicz (2000–2004), Grzegorz Gauden (2004–2006), Paweł Lisicki (2006-2011), Tomasz Wróblewski (2011-2012) and Bogusław Chrabota (since January 2013).
Rzeczpospolita's distinctive editorial feature is its division into three thematic sections, each with a different color: the news section is white, the business section is green, and the legal section is yellow. Apart from these daily sections, there are several supplements appearing once or twice per week, such as cars and real estate, careers, TV, and travel. On Saturdays, the paper is supplemented with a section entitled PlusMinus for essays often solicited from well-known authors showcasing a broad spectrum of opinions on politics, history, and culture.
In addition to comprehensive daily legal and financial reports, Rzeczpospolita frequently publishes rankings on companies, institutions, and government authorities, and claims to be most influential newspaper among Polish economic elites and political decision-makers.
Rzeczpospolita's political profile is moderately conservative and arguably comparable to that of The Times in Britain. It should be noted, however, that the contemporary Rzeczpospolita reveals a moderately national taste, especially when defending the Polish raison d'etat during historical debates about Polish-German and Polish-Russian relations. It is somewhat of an adversary to the social-liberal Gazeta Wyborcza but does not favor any particular party in Poland's political landscape.
In early 2005, Rzeczpospolita found itself at the very centre of a heated public debate after one of its employees, the former dissident and journalist Bronisław Wildstein, extracted a list with the names of 240,000 informers and victims of the communist secret police from the Institute of National Remembrance and distributed it among colleagues. In the wake of the incident, Wildstein was dismissed from Rzeczpospolita (cf. the article Wildstein's List in the Polish Wikipedia).
- "About Rzeczpospolita · Editors" (in Polish). Warsaw: www.rp.pl. Retrieved 8 April 2013. ""Rzeczpospolita" newspaper is and will remain helpful. We will support Polish entrepreneurs and lawyers, accountants and finance people responsible for Polish companies, provide them with proven and useful knowledge. But we will not just a handy database. The role and mission of the magazine is and will be fight for the interests of Polish entrepreneurs. With all determination we will review the government and the parliament how they work for the Polish economy, and there where necessary do not regret the words of absolute criticism. While defending the interests of Polish entrepreneurs and employees we will especially keep an eye on European Union legislation and condemn harmful protectionism against market, even if at participation of our closest partners."
- Grzegorz Hajdarowicz (October 13, 2011). "Statement by the publisher of "Rzeczpospolita"" (in Polish). Warsaw: www.rp.pl. Retrieved 18 September 2012. "Ladies and Gentlemen, What will be “Rzeczpospolita”? Liberal–conservative, respecting the right of every citizen, defending the principles of the free market which fosters business and inspires action. Such like our readers. The logo and name, of which I am personally connected, oblige us to uphold the greatest journalism values – independence, sensitivity to social problems and faithful to ideals which this title represents since years. Regardless of who at the moment is exercised authority. I am glad that in the end this newspaper will have owner who will take care of it and – what important – this jewel in the crown of the Polish media will be managed by the Polish capital group. For me it is a great satisfaction. In the area of the group strategy I assure you that we will grow in the direction of the latest technologies. In the nearest future we will introduce all release of our media in version for tablet, and expand and enrich the online edition. Just such will be “Rzeczpospolita”. Conservatively minded, innovative in action and of open spirit. This is merely an extension of credo of the former chief editor Dariusz Fikus – modern and reliable. We will abide by these principles."
- "Experts estimate the new format of Rzeczpospolita" (in Polish). wirtualnemedia.pl.
- Steve Busfield (February 21, 2006). "Guardian wins design award". London: media.guardian.co.uk.