Born 1957, Hugo-Bader is a journalist and reporter, occasionally a film maker too. Since 1990, he has been associated with Gazeta Wyborcza. He is twice winner of the Grand Press Prize and the Kazimierz Dziewanowski Prize for his books on international issues and events, awarded by the Polish Journalists Association, and has been nominated for the NIKE Literary Prize and the Beata Pawlak Award.
He studied special needs education for the mentally handicapped. Sometimes by choice, more often out of necessity, he has worked as a history teacher, a special education teacher, a freight loader, an advisor on education, a marriage guidance counsellor, a weigher at a pig purchasing centre, a salesman at a grocery store and the owner of a distribution firm.
The subjects of his reportage are as varied as his jobs: he likes to dress up and pretend to be someone else, and then go where no one else would dare to tread. He adores Russia and the former Soviet republics, where he has spent more than four years in all. He has ridden a bike all across Central Asia, the Gobi Desert, China, and Tibet, and has kayaked across Lake Baikal. In the winter of 2007 he travelled alone in an old jeep from Moscow to Vladivostok. The books resulting from his travels include: In A Heavenly Valley Amid Greenery, White Fever and Kolyma Diaries.
One of his reports, Seven Mirrors, described how two sets of identical twin baby girls were accidentally swapped in a hospital. For twenty-five years, the swapped girls lived with the wrong families, but met when some friends brought them together. They looked like mirror images. Some years later, the two families received almost two million roubles in compensation.
Jacek Hugo-Bader is also the co-author of a documentary film, Jacek Hugo-Bader: Correspondent from Poland (2007, with Paweł Łoziński). He scripted and directed two documentaries, The Castle (2002, in the Our General List series), and Mark of the Mezuzah (1998). He is planning to make another film based on one of his reports in White Fever. He also appeared in the documentary film How It’s Done (2006, directed by Marcel Łoziński).
“I think something’s always toppling in Russia. Yet another domino falls, even though back at the start someone is already picking up the ones that fell first. I head for the places where something is falling over. The journalist doesn’t travel just to describe rich, happy, healthy people. That would be pointless and boring.” (From an interview for MediaFM.net)
- W rajskiej dolinie wśród zielska (reportaże z Rosji), Warszawa: Prószyński i S-ka, 2002; Wołowiec: Czarne 2010.
- Biała gorączka (reportaże z Rosji), Wołowiec: Czarne 2009.
- Dzienniki kołymskie, Wołowiec: Czarne 2011.
- Długi film o miłości. Powrót na Broad Peak, Kraków: Znak, 2014
- Skucha, Wołowiec: Czarne, 2016
- Kraj Raj, [Warszawa]: Oficyna Wydawnicza Rytm,  – nie ma tych informacji na książce (teksty: Zdjęcie na tle krat; Nawróceni; Poza ustrojem; U Bryczkowskiego).
- To nie mój pies, ale moje łóżko. Reportaże roku 1997, Warszawa: Prószyński i S-ka, 1998 (tekst: Nie pije, popala, hoduje żółwie)
- Anna z gabinetu bajek, Warszawa: PIW 1999 (tekst: Zjednoczony emirat radziecki).
- Nietykalni. Reportaże roku 1999, Warszawa: Prószyński i S-ka, 2000 (teksty: Komsomolec z głębin, Walentyna twist).
- Twarze. Wysokie Obcasy,Kraków: Znak, 2003 (tekst: Z życia kolibrów).
- Cała Polska trzaska, Warszawa: Prószyński i Spółka, 2006 (teksty: Chłopcy z motylkami; Długopolacy; Wesele. Reaktywacja – razem z Marcinem Fabjańskim, Anną Fostakowską, Włodzimierzem Nowakiem, Mariuszem Szczygłem i Teresa Torańską).
- 20. 20 lat nowej Polski w reportażach według Mariusza Szczygła, pomysł, układ i komentarze Mariusz Szczygieł, Wołowiec: Czarne 2009 (tekst: Pluton).
- White fever [Biała gorączka], trans. Antonia Lloyd-Jones, London: Portobello Books 2011
- La fièvre blanche [Biała gorączka], trans. Agnieszka Zuk, Lausanne, Noir sur blanc, 2012
- Von Minsk nach Manhattan. Polnische Reportagen, trans. Martin Pollack, Joanna Manc, Renate Schmidgall, Wien: Zsolnay-Verlag 2006 (text: Die Revolution sollte doch eine Freude sein, trans. Martin Pollack).
- Biała gorączka, trans. Marta Stankiewicz, Or Yehuda: Kinneret, 2013
- Febbre bianca [Biała gorączka], trans. Marzena Borejczuk, Rovereto: Keller editore, 2014.
- La fibre blanca, trans. Anna Styczyńska, La mirada salvaje, 2014
- El delirio blanco [Biała gorączka], trans. Ernesto Rubio, Marta Słyk, Madryt: Editorial Dioptrias, 2016
- Ouvertyr till livet, ed. and trans. Maciej Zaremba, Stokholm: Brombergs 2003 (text: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Semipalatinsk, trans. Maciej Zaremba).
- Vit feber, tłum. Lisa Mendoza Asberg, Stokholm: Lind&Co 2014.