The Princess of Asturias Foundation has awarded the historian and journalist Adam Michnik the 2022 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, which last year was awarded to the pioneer of the American feminist movement Gloria Steinem. According to the jury, he has deserved the award "for his commitment to quality journalism and democracy in Poland", and has described it as a "symbol of freedom of expression and humanism", as well as "an epic example against authoritarian threats.
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Michnik is one of the best known and prominent defenders of human rights in Poland and is considered one of the fundamental figures in the recovery of democracy in the country, as well as an extraordinary journalist, the Foundation has reported. This candidacy has been proposed by Krzysztof Wielicki, Princess of Asturias Award for Sports 2018. It has been supported, among others, by Olga Tokarczuk, Nobel Prize for Literature 2018.
The winner, born in Warsaw in 1946, studied history at the university of his hometown, where he had problems for participating in protests, until he was expelled in 1968. He was imprisoned several times since the sixties, he was one of the founders of the KOR movement (the committee for the defense of workers) and a member of the Solidarity trade union since its creation in 1980. From 1977 he was an editor in several independent magazines and was part of the management of Niezależna Oficyna Wydawnicza, one of the most prominent publishers of the Polish opposition. In 1989 he became a deputy and founded the independent newspaper Gazeta Wyborczaof which he continues to act as editor-in-chief.
Michnik had received in Spain, in 2016, an Ortega y Gasset Prize for Journalism, awarded by the PRISA Group.
This is the second of the eight international awards that the Foundation announces annually. In the past week the one dedicated to the arts was known and what they deserved the singer Carmen Linares and the dancer and choreographer María Pagés. The prize is endowed with 50,000 euros, a sculpture by Joan Miró, a diploma and a badge.
This year, 40 nominations from 16 nationalities have been submitted for the Communication and Humanities award. The jury, meeting on May 10 and 11, was made up of the former director of the RAE Víctor García de la Concha as president of the jury, the director of La Fábrica and PHotoEspaña Alberto Anaut (secretary of the jury), the journalist and academic of the RAE Luis María Anson, the president of the EFE Agency Gabriela Cañas, the philosopher Adela Cortina, the art curator Estrella de Diego, the director of the Prado Museum Miguel Falomir, the linguist and historian Taciana Fisac, the general director of Antena 3 News Santiago González Suárez, the deputy director of El País Álex Grijelmo, the journalist Miguel Ángel Liso Tejada, the director of the Museum of Costume Helena López de Hierro, the president of the Guild of Bookshops of Madrid Enrique Pascual Pons, the president of the Corporation of RTVE José Manuel Pérez Tornero, the writer Carmen Riera, the former director of ABC Cultural Fernando R. Lafuente and the president of the Board of Directors of the Wikimedia Foundation María Sefidari.