My main journalistic endeavours include the editing and publication of two online journals, both pertaining to Hungary, the Hungarian diaspora and Central Europe. I established the Hungarian Free Press in 2014 and since then more than 1,000 original articles and essays have been published from a handful of volunteer contributors, including myself. Many years earlier, in February 2004, I founded a Hungarian-language publication called the Kanadai Magyar Hírlap (Canadian Hungarian Journal) and well over 5,000 original articles have appeared in this online newspaper. Over a dozen volunteer contributors and an actively-engaged readership have made the Kanadai Magyar Hírlap particularly vibrant. I received Hungary’s Free Press Award (Szabad Sajtó díj) for my work on this project in 2015.
My most recent journalistic project is an online magazine entitled Ottawa Reflections. We are focused on providing original reporting on the work of local artists, writers, community leaders and thinkers, as well as insightful reflections on society and culture in the National Capital Region and eastern Ontario. The publication’s main goal is to profile in thoughtful ways talented, emerging artists and local leaders.
In 2010-2011, I launched an ultimately successful international campaign to save Hungary’s Cold War state security archives. A proposed government decree planned to eliminate this rich collection of documents, which I too had used when conducting research for my doctoral dissertation. As such, I felt compelled to launch a public campaign to convince the government to reconsider. Within a few weeks of launching this initiative, historian János Kenedi, the former chair of a government-appointed committee in charge of declassifying state security archives, asked to join my campaign and for nine months, we actively made our case in the international media. As part of this campaign, we published a booklet entitled A Witness to the Past — Salvaging Hungary’s archival heritage. Other aspects of the campaign are preserved on this site. The government ultimately rescinded its proposed decree and state security archival documents remain accessible to researchers today.
Over the years, I have written dozens of articles in Hungarian for publications other than my own. (I have written hundreds of articles and essay for the two publications listed above that I continue to edit.) Several years ago, I often wrote for a Hungarian journal entitled Galamus, which offered reflective, long-form pieces on politics, history and culture. One of my essays focused on the history and impact of the Canadian residential school system. I teamed up with Hungarian Reformed Minister Balázs Szücs to author this piece, which is available in the archives of the Galamus news site here.
In 2015, I took a stab at producing my first short film, based on an earlier version of the story “David and Franco,” which now appears in my book I Have Demons. Working with professional actors to bring this script to life, based on a fairly rough draft of what would become a much more developed published story, proved an eye-opening experience for me. I am grateful to Daniel Pauley, who played David, and to Joel Jakob, who brought Franco to life, for their work on this project. As always, please read the book first (especially as the story appearing there is far more developed than in the original short film). Once you have read the story appearing in the I Have Demons collection, you might be interested in watching the short film below, based on the earlier script.