Gazeta Wyborcza

Gazeta Wyborcza
Gazeta Wyborcza.png
Gazetawyborcza cover.jpg
Front page of an April 2006 issue.
Type Daily newspaper
Format Compact
Owner(s) Agora SA
Cox Communications
Media Development Investment Fund
Editor Adam Michnik
Founded 1989; 32 years ago (1989)
Political alignment Liberalism[1][2][3][4]
Language Polish
Headquarters Warsaw
Circulation 81,000 (Print, January 2020)
218,000[5] (Digital, 2019)
ISSN 0860-908X

Gazeta Wyborcza (Polish pronunciation: [ɡaˈzɛta vɨˈbɔrtʂa]; Electoral Gazette in English) is a daily newspaper published in Warsaw, Poland. Covering the gamut of political, international and general news from a liberal perspective, Gazeta Wyborcza was Poland's first post-communist independent daily newspaper.[6][7]

History and profile

Gazeta Wyborcza was first published on 8 May 1989,[8] under the rhyming masthead motto, "Nie ma wolności bez Solidarności" ("There's no freedom without Solidarity"). The founders were Andrzej Wajda, Aleksander Paszyński and Zbigniew Bujak.[9] 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 centred on the Solidarity movement. It was initially owned by Agora SA.[10] Later the American company Cox Communications partially bought the daily.[10]

The paper was to serve as the voice of Solidarity during the run-up to the 1989 parliamentary elections (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.

The paper's editor-in-chief, since its founding, has been Adam Michnik.[11][12] He was appointed to the post by Lech Wałęsa.[13] The paper is published in compact format.[14][15]

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 government. 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, Wałęsa revoked the paper's right to use the Solidarity logo on its masthead.[16]

Since then, Gazeta Wyborcza has been an independent newspaper broadly aligned with the neoliberal viewpoint, at times leaning towards conservatism.

The paper is a multi-section daily newspaper, and it 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.


Gazeta Wyborcza had a circulation of 432,000 copies during the first three quarters of 1998.[15] The circulation of the paper was 459,473 copies between January and February 2001.[17] Its circulation was 542,000 copies in 2003, making it the second best selling newspaper in the country.[14] The 2004 circulation of the paper was 516,000 copies on weekdays and 686,000 copies on weekends.[8] The average circulation of the newspaper peaked at 672,000, making Gazeta Wyborcza the largest-selling newspaper in Poland. By 2010, the circulation had declined by more than half, to 319,000, and Fakt overtook Gazeta Wyborcza as Poland's leading newspaper. The decline continued in 2013 when circulation was down to 190,000.[18] Circulation dropped to 86,000 in 2019 [19] and stabilised at 81,000 in early 2020.[20]

Gazeta Wyborcza head office in Warsaw, Czerska Street

Rywin affair

In 2003, Lew Rywin, a prominent Polish 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.


Gazeta Wyborcza was criticized[by whom?] for using its influence to whitewash former communists, particularly General Jaruzelski.[21] 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.[22]

In 2020 and 2021, Gazeta Wyborcza and their feminist-themed subsection Wysokie Obcasy has come under criticism for repeated posting of transphobic and TERF articles and interviews (often in relation to their coverage of 2020 women's strike protests in Poland).[23]

Contributing journalists


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[24] (women's extra, Saturdays, since April 1999).

Web presence

The online edition of Gazeta Wyborcza is one of the sections of the portal The paid electronic version of the newspaper is an option. The website 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.

See also


  1. ^ "Journalistic role performance in Poland". Środkowoeuropejskie Studia Polityczne (2): 37–51. 2016. ISSN 1731-7517.
  2. ^ Graff, A. (2010). "Looking at Pictures of Gay Men: Political Uses of Homophobia in Contemporary Poland". Public Culture. 22 (3): 583–603. doi:10.1215/08992363-2010-010.
  3. ^ Zinken, Jörg (2003). "Ideological Imagination: Intertextual and Correlational Metaphors in Political Discourse". Discourse & Society. 14 (4): 507–523. doi:10.1177/0957926503014004005.
  4. ^ "The cultural crafting of embryonic stem cells: the metaphorical schematisation of stem cell research in the Polish and French press". Adam Michnik is also editor of the largest Polish daily newspaper, the liberal Gazeta Wyborcza. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^
  6. ^ Penn, Shana (2008). Solidarity's Secret: The Women who Defeated Communism in Poland. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. p. 100.
  7. ^ Leszczyński, Adam (23 February 2016). "Poland's leading daily feels full force of Jarosław Kaczyński's anger". The Guardian.
  8. ^ a b "The press in Poland". BBC. 29 April 2004. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  9. ^ Andrzej Adamski. "Press market in Poland A.D. 2010" (PDF). CeON Repository. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Poland". Press Reference. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Polish Dissident Adam Michnik: 'We Are Bastards of Communism'". Der Spiegel (31). 29 July 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  12. ^ Ryszard Filas; Pawe Paneta (2009). "Media in Poland and Public Discourse". In Andrea Czepek; et al. (eds.). Press Freedom and Pluralism in Europe. Bristol: Intellect. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  13. ^ Everete E. Dennis; Jon Vanden Heuvel (October 1990). "Emerging Voices: East European Media in Transition. A Gannett Foundation Report" (Report). Ganet Foundation. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  14. ^ a b "World Press Trends" (PDF). World Association of Newspapers. Paris. 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Selected Financial Data" (PDF). Agora Holding. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  16. ^ Harden, Blaine (6 June 1990). "SOLIDARITY'S SOLID FRONT CRUMBLING FROM WITHIN". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  17. ^ "Polish national dailies - circulation and sales". OBP. Archived from the original on 4 March 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  18. ^ Wirtualne Media
  19. ^ Wirtualne Media
  20. ^ Wirtualne Media
  21. ^ Radek Sikorski. Lack of solidarity - Poland's political problems. National Review, 18 October 1993.
  22. ^ Voytek Zubek. (1994). The Reassertion of the Left in Post-Communist Poland. Europe-Asia Studies, 46 (5), p. 818.
  23. ^ "List otwarty w sprawie transfobii na łamach Wysokich Obcasów i Gazety Wyborczej". LOBBY LGBTQ (in Polish). 13 January 2021. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  24. ^ Jan Puhl (18 February 2010). "'Turbo-Emancipation': Polish Women Enjoy Post-Communist Success". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 10 November 2014.

External links