Laureates 2006

2006 Present - Journalists of Print Media

Adam Michnik

michnikAdam Michnik, a Polish journalist and activist, has made enormous contributions to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. First as a dissident who spoke out against communism and the dangers of totalitarianism, and later as editor in chief of Poland's largest daily Gazeta Wyborcza after the fall of communism, Michnik has consistently provoked debate on the critical issues of democracy and human rights.

After the fall of communism in Poland, Michnik was hailed as the voice of Solidarity. In 1999, 10 years after he took over the editorial leadership of Gazeta Wyborcza, Roger Cohen of The New York Times wrote that Michnik had "elevated the newspaper to be a sort of conscience of the new Poland." Cohen compared Gazeta Wyborcza's importance to the consolidation of democracy in Poland to that of El Pais' in Spain: as a newspaper that was born with democracy and served to protect and defend it in difficult moments along the way.

Adam Michnik is awarded the 2006 Dan David Prize for being the journalist most associated with the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the rise of freedom in Eastern Europe. He is a significant political activist, author, intellectual, and editor, with a long admirable record - a true historical figure.