Newspapers in Poland
The Polish media landscape has changed fundamentally since the fall of
communism in 1989. Important factors during the 1990s have been the
privatization of the press, large foreign investment and the liberalization of
the state monopoly in radio, television and telecommunications.
From 2000 onwards, it is primarily new technology in the IT sector that has
created new consumption patterns and business models.
Internet and mobile telephony
More than 60% of households have access to the Internet, but access is
increasing sharply as more and more people use mobile broadband to connect.
Facebook, Google and YouTube top the list of the most visited sites, along with
the domestic portal Onet and the purchase site Allegro (2012).
Mobile penetration is close to 100% and four companies serve the Poles with
3G networks, two domestic and French Orange and German T-Mobile.
TV and radio
The first radio station was inaugurated in 1926. During the Second World War,
the media was banned. Broadcasting began again in 1944. Weekly broadcasts of
television began in 1953 and daily broadcasts in 1961. After democratization,
national radio and TV are under government control, but there are a large number
of private radio and TV channels, both pay- and advertising-financed.
Daily press and magazine
The Polish newspaper market is dominated by foreign owners - many of them
German. Axel Springer owns the largest, tabloid Fact with an edition of over
500,000 items. The second largest is Gazeta Wyborcza with a circulation of just
over 300,000 items. (2012). Swedish Bonnier is represented with the daily
business magazine Puls Biznesu.
Poland belongs to the Central European
cultural sphere, with strong cultural ties to Italy and
France. The Eastern influence, from Russia, Ukraine and
Turkey, among others, is mainly felt in the popular arts
In the older cities there are rich building monuments
from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Kraków, with
many well-preserved medieval buildings, is classified by
the UN agency Unesco as a cultural heritage city. Even
the famous Christmas scrubs that are built in the city -
miniatures when compared to real buildings - have been
granted World Heritage status. One problem in Krakow is
the severe air pollution that is hard on houses.
Latest population statistics of Poland, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
During World War II, many older neighborhoods in
Polish cities were bombed or otherwise destroyed. In
Warsaw, these neighborhoods have been rebuilt and
restored to their full potential.
The 15th and 16th centuries are marked as a golden
age for Polish culture with poets such as Jan
Kochanowski (1530–1584) and scientists such as the
astronomer Nicolaus Kopernikus (Mikołaj Kopernik,
1473–1543). After a downturn in the 17th and 18th
centuries, intellectual life recovered during the
Music flourished in the 19th century, when composer
Fryderyk (Frédéric) Chopin (1810-1849) won international
reputation. Long before, however, there was a lively
music tradition, which, for example, produced the so
popular dance polish, which came to our country in the
Poland lost its independence in 1795, and the dream
of a resurrected Polish state was a theme for the great
writers of the 19th century. Literature also played a
role in preserving the Polish language and national
identity. During the heyday of romance, the national
poet Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855) wrote several works
that have become European classics.
Literature during this time served as a weapon
against political oppression. The tradition of an
independent, often underground educational and cultural
life was founded during the last decades of the 19th
century. This was revived during World War II when
Poland was occupied by the Germans, and partly also in
the 1970s and 1980s, during the last decades of
Polish literature continued to flourish during the
first decades of the 20th century, which led, among
other things, to two Nobel Prizes for Polish authors:
Henryk Sienkiewicz in 1905 and Władysław Reymont in
After World War II and the takeover of the
Communists, cultural life came under the strict control
of the state. Censorship and reprisals led many cultural
figures to emigrate, including the 1980 Nobel Laureate
Czesław Miłosz. Witold Gombrowicz, who emigrated as
early as 1939, was not allowed to return or publish
himself in Poland. After a brief thunderstorm during the
latter part of the 1950s, the climate again became
harsher decades later, when, among other things, the
philosopher Leszek Kołakowski (1927–2009), the
playwright Sławomir Mrożek (1930–2013) and the film
director Roman Polański (1933–) left Poland.
Under Edward Gierek's regime in the 1970s, at least
parts of cultural life gained more freedom than
elsewhere in what was then eastern Europe, such as
Andrzej Wajdas (1926–2016), Krzysztof Zanussis (1939–)
and Krzysztof Kieślowski (1941–1996) films testifies
An underground cultural life with free lectures and
theatrical performances, underground book publishers and
stenciled cultural magazines was developed in the
mid-1970s. For a short time, in connection with the
establishment of the trade union Solidarity in 1980,
state control broke down and all this cultural life came
to the surface. It was forced to go underground again
when an emergency permit was introduced in 1981.
In 1989 all censorship and state control of cultural
life were abolished. The boundaries between official,
non-official, underground and exiliterature were then
blurred. Miłosz and Mrożek settled in Poland again. All
the works of the exile writers, including Gombrowicz and
Kołakowski, were published in new editions. However,
since the introduction of market economy, many cultural
institutions experienced financial difficulties.
After democratization in 1989, the previously so
prominent political and national messages diminished in
importance for the benefit of more universal subjects,
not least in literature and film. A representative of
this trend was the Nobel laureate in literature in 1996,
the poet Wisława Szymborska from Kraków, who addressed
the eternal, general human issues. Other contemporary
Polish writers include Olga Tokarczuk, who has been
highly regarded in Sweden and has been awarded the 2018
The political issues are also reminiscent. An
acclaimed movie with its 2019 premiere touches on the
fact that the phenomenon of "fake news" existed before
social media. Director Agnieszka Holland (1948–) has
filmed how a Moscow correspondent wrote misleading
articles aimed at American readers to hide the famine in
Ukraine in the 1930s, which was largely a work of Soviet
dictator Stalin. The movie Mr. Jones bears the name of
reporter Gareth Jones, who risked his life to reveal
what really happened.
The documentary filmmaker Tomasz Sekielski (1974–),
with his films about child abuse committed by people
within the Catholic Church, has contributed to more open
debate and investigations of events that have been
Composer Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020), who lived
in the United States for much of his life, was the
author of music in major films such as "The Exorcist"
and "The Shining".
The former president admits CIA imprisonment
Former President Aleksander Kwaśniewski admits for
the first time that the US intelligence service CIA had
a secret prison on Polish soil during the "war on
terror" in the early 2000s. He says he tried to pressure
his American colleague George W Bush to put an end to
the brutal interrogation methods that were in prison.
Protests against suspected election fraud
Nearly 60,000 people are demonstrating in Warsaw
against alleged cheating in local elections in November.
Suspicions of irregularities arose due to major
technical problems. The demonstration is led by the
opposition party PiS.
Poland and Russia expel diplomats
Poland and Russia mutually expel a number of
diplomats from each other's countries, citing that they
have engaged in activities "which were incompatible with
their position". It is usually a diplomatic term for
espionage. Poland's relations with Russia have been
strained since the crisis in Ukraine erupted.
Contested local elections
The Conservative opposition party Law and Justice (PiS)
receives the most votes in nationwide local elections,
but the electoral rules still give the ruling Citizens'
Platform (PO) the most mandate. Local elections are
contested because the computer program that would have
counted the votes does not work. The result is delayed
by one week as all votes must be counted by hand. PiS
calls for the election to be made again, which President
Komorowski dismisses as "completely insane".
First gay mayor
Poland gets its first openly gay mayor, when Robert
Biedroń wins the mayoral election in the city of Słupsk.
In 2011, Biedroń became the first openly gay person
elected to the Polish parliament. In the mayoral
election, he stood as an independent and defeated a
candidate from the ruling party PO.
Russia reduces gas supplies
According to the Polish gas company PGNiG, deliveries
of natural gas from Russia are reduced by 45 percent
without explanation. Russian supplier Gazprom claims
that the deliveries are under contract. Polish analysts
suspect that the reduced gas flow is because Poland has
been sending some of the Russian gas on to Ukraine for
some time. Slovakia also says that Russian deliveries
Ewa Kopacz new Prime Minister
Shortly after being appointed EU President, Tusk
submits his resignation to President Komorowski, who is
commissioning Ewa Kopacz to form a new government.
Radosław Sikorski, who has taken a strong stand for
Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, loses the post of
Foreign Minister and is replaced by Grzegorz Schetyna,
who is one of the heaviest leaders of the dominant
government party Citizens' Platform. The appointment of
him is seen as an attempt by Kopacz to hold the party
together for the next parliamentary elections. Of the 16
ministers, six are women, more than ever before since
the fall of the Communist regime in 1989. Komorowski
says the new government should begin the process of
connecting Poland to the euro zone. Kopacz is Poland's
second female prime minister after Hanna Suchocka, who
reigned in 1992-1993. Former Foreign Minister Sikorski
is elected new President.
Criminal investigation against bank manager is
The prosecutor's office in Warsaw files the criminal
investigation against the governor, who, in a secretly
recorded conversation (see June 2014),
should have offered to support the government's economic
policy if, in return, the finance minister was
dismissed. Prosecutors say that nothing has emerged that
proves that any crime has been committed.
Military support to Ukraine
Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania sign an agreement to
build a joint brigade to strengthen and modernize the
Ukrainian defense. The brigade has its headquarters in
Lublin in eastern Poland.
Prime Minister Tusk will lead the EU
At the EU summit in Brussels, Poland's Prime Minister
Donald Tusk is appointed new President of the European
Council, the EU's "President". He succeeds Herman Van
Rompuy on December 1st. He is the first from one of the
former communist states in eastern Europe to receive one
of the highest posts in the EU.
The government can handle a vote of no confidence
On a proposal from the opposition party Law and
Justice, a vote of no confidence against the government
in parliament is conducted, but the demand for the
government to resign is rejected by a good margin. An
attempt to dismiss Interior Minister Bartłomiej
Sienkiewicz is also voted down.
Poland is punished for CIA imprisonment
The European Court of Human Rights convicts Poland of
having the US spy organization CIA run a secret prison
in northern Poland. The court orders the Polish state to
pay EUR 100,000 each in damages to a Palestinian and a
Saudi who has been tortured in the secret prison in
2002-2003 before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay
detention center, where they are still being held.
Obama to Poland
US President Barack Obama visits Poland on the 25th
anniversary of the country's first free elections.
During the visit, Obama launches a security plan for
Europe to assure his European allies of continued
military support. A $ 1 billion fund will be used to
station more American soldiers and more military
equipment in Europe. The plan must be approved by the US
Congress before it can be put into effect.
Secret tape recordings shake the government
Prime Minister Tusk has been hit by a political
crisis since the weekly newspaper Wprost published a
secret recording of a conversation in which the governor
must have promised the Interior Minister to support the
government's economic policy in the event of a financial
crisis, on condition that the finance minister be
dismissed. The prosecutor's office in Warsaw opens a
formal criminal investigation. Tusk says he does not
intend to resign but that new elections may prove to be
the only way out of the crisis. A police raid against
Wprost raises anger among the public and receives
criticism from the OSCEas a threat to freedom of the
press. A few days later, Wprost publishes excerpts from
what is said to be an eavesdropping conversation between
Foreign Minister Sikorski and the former finance
minister, in which Sikorski describes Poland's relations
with the United States as "worthless" and says that they
give a false sense of security to the problems in
relations with Germany and Russia as the submissive to
the United States. In a comment, Sikorski tells a TV
station that the government is "being attacked by an
organized criminal group".
Weak interest in EU elections
Only a quarter of the electorate participates in the
elections to the European Parliament, which will be a
hardship for the governing Citizens' Platform. The party
gets 32 percent of the vote compared to 40 percent in
the last parliamentary election. Law and justice are
close behind with just under 32 percent.
Russian threat concerns the government
Due to the Russian threat to Ukraine, the Polish
government decides to speed up preparations to build a
robotic defense. The final phase of the bidding process
is scheduled for several months, says a government
The government is investing in nuclear power
The government approves a plan to invest in nuclear
power. The first reactor can be built in 2019, probably
on the Baltic Sea coast. A second reactor in the same
region is also planned (see also Natural Resources and