Gazeta Wyborcza (Polish pronunciation: [ɡaˈzɛta vɨˈbɔrtʂa]; Electoral Gazette in English) is a Polish daily newspaper based in Warsaw, Poland. Covering the gamut of political, international and general news from a liberal perspective, the Gazeta Wyborcza was Poland's first independent daily newspaper after the era of "real socialism".
|Owner(s)||Agora SA |
Media Development Investment Fund
|Circulation||53,190 (Print, August 2021)|
218,000 (Digital, 2019)
The Gazeta Wyborcza was first published on 8 May 1989, 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. 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. Later the American company Cox Communications partially bought the daily.
The paper was to serve as the voice of the Solidarity movement during the run-up to the 1989 parliamentary elections (hence its title). As such, it was the first legal newspaper published outside the government's control since its founding of regime 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 made available by the government. A year and a half later, the daily run had reached 500,000 copies. In September 1990, during the 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.
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.
The Gazeta Wyborcza had a circulation of 432,000 copies during the first three quarters of 1998. The circulation of the paper reached 459,473 copies between January and February 2001. Its circulation was 542,000 copies in 2003, making it the second best selling newspaper in the country. The 2004 circulation of the paper was 516,000 copies on weekdays and 686,000 copies on weekends. The average circulation of the newspaper peaked at 672,000, making the Gazeta Wyborcza the largest-selling newspaper in Poland. However, by 2010 the circulation had declined by more than half, to 319,000, and Fakt overtook the Gazeta Wyborcza as Poland's leading newspaper. The decline continued in 2013 when circulation was down to 190,000. Circulation dropped to 86,000 in 2019  and stabilised at 81,000 in early 2020. As of January 2021, average daily circulation is 62,000. In August 2021, average daily circulation dropped to 53,190.
In 2003, Lew Rywin, a prominent Polish film producer, was accused by the Gazeta Wyborcza of attempted bribery after he had allegedly solicited a bribe of $17.5 million from the editor Adam Michnik in exchange for amendments to a draft media legislation. The adoption of the draft law in the government's original form would have prevented Agora S.A. from purchasing Polsat, one of Poland's private TV stations. The case, dubbed the Rywin affair, led to an official inquiry by the Polish Parliament. Consequently, Lew Rywin was sentenced for attempting to influence the parliamentary legislative process aimed at enabling a Polish media company to buy a television station. The controversial draft legislation ended up being rejected by the Polish parliament.
Gazeta Wyborcza used its influence to whitewash former communists, particularly General Jaruzelski. After the fall of real socialism, the paper was criticized for taking part in an "intensive propaganda campaign" and particularly for rigorously trying to revamp Jaruzelski's image.
Nearly all daily issues of the Gazeta Wyborcza include additional content by way of thematic supplements or magazines, e.g. Duży Format, Magazyn Wyborczej, Ale Historia, Tylko Zdrowie, Gazeta Telewizyjna, and Książki.
The Monday edition includes Duży Format featuring various columns by the paper's reporters. Duży Format publishes a variety of reportage and articles on social, cultural and historical issues.
The Tuesday edition includes Mój Biznes. Ludzie, praca, innowacje, a supplement featuring columns on business, economy, entrepreneurship and innovation. The magazine also includes national and local job classifieds and advertising.
The Friday edition includes a variety of supplements. Gazeta Telewizyjna features TV listings for national and international television channels, interviews with TV broadcasters and other regular features. Co Jest Grane 24 offers cultural event listings for the week ahead, including information on new film releases, theatre premieres, concerts and exhibitions, as well as a restaurant and nightlife guide.
The Saturday edition includes Wolna Sobota, an opinion magazine offering 40 pages of fascinating reading on various subjects. Ale Historia is dedicated to history where the columnists unearth unknown stories, present unique places, people, art or events. Wysokie Obcasy is a magazine dedicated for women, featuring columns by or on women as well as portraits of outstanding female personalities.
The Gazeta Wyborcza has an online presence and its digital edition may be found on wyborcza.pl or through its app, with the content divided into various sections, e.g., the national and international news, editorials and opinions, economy, science and technology, culture, and sport. News from Poland is an English language service.
Wyborcza.biz covers the reporting and analysis on topics related to money, finance, economy, taxes and jobs, and includes sections on real estate and travel.
Serwisy lokalne includes Wyborcza's 28 regional editions featuring local news and affairs.
Wysokie Obcasy.pl features content concerning women and includes section on psychology, health and beauty, food, and jobs.
Biqdata.wyborcza.pl is dedicated to stories and developments as seen through the prism of big data and the wider world of information technology.
In 2014 Wyborcza introduced a paywall for its online content which requires a subscription. It offers its readers three subscription levels. The basic package includes access to the news on the website and through the app. The premium package offers access to all content on wyborcza.pl and the 28 local editions. The club package, in addition to the publications, also offers access to its editorial team, special events and two additional subscriptions for family members.
Adam Michnik is also editor of the largest Polish daily newspaper, the liberal Gazeta Wyborcza.