România Liberă

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România liberă
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Medien Holding
Editor Sabin Orcan
Founded 15 May 1877 (1877-05-15)[1]
Political alignment Conservative
City Bucharest
Country Romania

România liberă ("lit. Free Romania") is one of the leading newspapers in Romania, based in Bucharest.

History and profile[edit]

1879 issue of the daily România liberă

The name România liberă was first used by a daily newspaper focusing on politics published between 15 May 1877,[1] (one day after Romania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire) and 13 April 1888, and afterwards by daily with somewhat erratic publication between 1915-1920.

In its current incarnation, România liberă was refounded on 28 January 1943, during World War II, as an underground organ of the Romanian Communist Party-affiliated Union of Patriots. During the war it opposed the Nazi-allied government of Ion Antonescu, issuing calls to sabotage of the war industry and open armed resistance, after the coup d'état that overthrew the Antonescu government, it became a legal publication of the Communist Party, and later one of its official mouthpieces, second to Scînteia as a Romanian daily concentrating more on local issues than on national and international news. It was the least ideological daily during this period,[2] it was also the only Romanian newspaper allowed to publish full-page advertisement sections.

In 1990, shortly after the Romanian Revolution of 1989, but before the rise of independent television in Romania, its circulation briefly rose as high as 1.5 million.[3] However, those numbers rapidly fell off, and in 2000 the paper was purchased by the German company WAZ. Echoing complaints of journalists at rival daily Evenimentul Zilei, which is owned by the Swiss press trust Ringier, România Liberă journalists complained in September 2004 that foreign owners were telling them to lessen political coverage and tone down their negative reporting of the government. Their concern was echoed by a variety of organizations including the Open Society Foundation.[4] Paper's management denied the charges.

In the case of România liberă, this protest took the form of a statement in the edition of 13 September 2004, in which the newspaper's editors protested interference by WAZ, they accused their German ownership of having no concern for the public interest, and accused Klaus Overbeck in particular of trying to dictate to them what they could print in the newspaper. At the time of purchase WAZ promised to confine themselves to the business side of the newspaper and stay out of editorial matters.[5][6]

The paper has published The New York Times International Weekly on Fridays since 2009. This eight-page supplement features a selection of English-language articles from The New York Times.

In 2010 WAZ left the Romanian market and its shares at România liberă, leaving businessman Dan Adamescu as single share holder of Medien Holding Group.


  1. ^ a b Beatrice Kiseleff. Incomod de la 1877 - Romania Libera. (in Romanian). 
  2. ^ Corina L. Petrescu (2011). "Performing Disapproval toward the Soviets". In Martin Klimke et. al. Between Prague Spring and French May (PDF). New York and Oxford: Berghahn. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Unesco, Romania: computer-generated freedom
  4. ^ Business Romania, "Fears for press freedom on the rise in Romania", 28 September 2004
  5. ^ Attacks on the Press 2004: Romania, Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 16 August 2006.
  6. ^ Magda Spiridon, Gabriela Palade, Gelu Trandafir, Revoluţie în stand-by. Deocamdată, Băcanu şi echipa sa rămân la România Liberă" ("Revolution on Standby. For the time being, Băcanu and team remain at România Liberă"), Evenimentul Zilei, 30 October 2004. Retrieved 16 August 2006, reproduced on (in Romanian)

External links[edit]