Jacek Żakowski


Date and place of birth: 1957, Warsaw, Poland

Living place: Warsaw, Poland

Theme: journalism

ECC Participation: moderator

Jacek Żakowski is one of the most influential and opinion-forming Polish journalists and columnists. He is a well-experienced in public debates liberal-leftist polemist who criticizes Polish political circles for their dismissive attitude to knowledge and their anti-intellectual syndrome. As a regular supporter of culture, he took part in the social campaign ‘Kultura się liczy’(‘Culture Matters’, 2010). In his opinion, treating the reality in a non-integral manner is one of the greatest mistakes of Polish politicians, as the state is an interdependent system.
Collaborator of ‘Gazeta Wyborcza’ (1993-2002) and host – together with Piotr Najsztub –of one of the first Polish television feature programmes ‘Tok-szok’ (1997-1999). Since 2002, he is a political commentator of the weekly ‘Polityka’. He also hosts programmes at Radio Tok FM and TVP Info. Another field of his activity is being the Journalism Program Director at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw.

„We prefer an interesting world to a perfect one.”

In 1981, he graduated from the Faculty of Journalism and Political Sciences at the Warsaw University. In the 1990s, he was the spokesman of the Citizen's Parliamentarian Caucus and the first president of the Polish Information Agency (PAI). As he says, Jacek Kuroń was the guru of his generation. He wrote with him two books: “PRL dla początkujących” (1995) and “Siedmiolatka, czyli kto ukradł Polskę” (1997).

Rev. Prof. Józef Tischner is another person of importance in the journalistic career of Jacek Żakowski. They jointly hosted a TV programme in which they were talking about the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1996). Jacek Żakowski was also a co-author of the book published a year earlier, namely “Między panem a plebanem” – a discussion with Tischner and Adam Michnik about two traditions, the tradition of the Polish Church and the tradition of the secular democratic opposition. In his books he takes up hot socio-political subjects, like in “Nauczka” (2007) – a critical look at the 4th Republic.

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