Mouthpiece of communist Poland falls prey to market

Mon Dec 7, 2009 11:34am EST
 
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WARSAW (Reuters Life!) - The once-powerful mouthpiece of Poland's communist party fell silent on Monday, bowing to the demands of the free market 20 years after the advent of democracy in eastern Europe.

Trybuna, direct successor to the influential communist-era 'Trybuna Ludu' paper, carried the torch for Poles nostalgic for socialism after 1990, but steadily lost readers.

"Dear readers, from the weekend Trybuna is no longer available at newsstands. The publisher of our newspaper took the decision to suspend publication due to the difficult material situation," Trybuna said in a short note on its website.

The publisher, Ad Novum, hopes to resume publication of the daily in February after talks with investors, it said, but industry analysts were doubtful, noting that the paper has been trying unsuccessfully to raise funds for some time.

Trybuna had a circulation of about 50,000, many of them elderly, before it folded.

Loyal readers expressed dismay about its demise.

"I am shattered... I read it every day since it first began. I am sorry the editorial board did not bother warning readers beforehand," said pensioner Waldemara Gora, 80.

"I was very attached to the People's Republic (communist Poland). It is a tragedy that in a country of nearly 40 million people there is no left-wing newspaper," she told Reuters.

"Trybuna was an independent Polish newspaper."   Continued...