Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Adam Michnik (born on October 17, 1946 in Warsaw, Poland) is the editor in chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, Election News, the second largest Polish newspaper. He was a dissident during the communist period in Poland and was imprisoned for six years for his dissident activities.
He became known as one of the founder Committee for the Defense of Workers (KOR) and Solidarity activist during the struggle against martial law during the 1980s. He was a Solidarity expert in Round Table Talks between the government and the dissidents. When the first free elections of the post-communist era were held in 1989, Michnik was active in creating, publishing and distributing a newspaper known as Gazeta Wyborcza, (Election News). He was also a member of the Polish Parliament (Sejm) in 1989-1991.
After the Sejm term was over, he has not been involved in active politics. However, as a Gazeta Wyborcza columnist, he became a strong opponent of Lech Wałęsa and new Solidarity leadership. He was criticised by some of the ex-dissident groups for what they perceived as his support for not punishing non-criminal members of the former communist Party (see: Mazowiecki's gruba kreska policy for more details) and for his support of the shock therapy of Leszek Balcerowicz.
As Gazeta Wyborcza gained commercial success, some criticised Adam Michnik that Gazeta Wyborcza was founded by foreign grants from the National Endowment for Democracy which should have benefited the whole Solidarity movement.
Adam Michnik is still active as a journalist, as of 2004. Apart from Gazeta Wyborcza, his articles are occasionally published in foreign newspapers, such as Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Mundo and Washington Post. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a US thinktank.
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