Iván Zsolt Nagy

Iván Zsolt Nagy was selected for the 2021 European Press Prize shortlist with ‘When Trianon hurts differently.’

Born in 1968 and growing up as a Hungarian in Ceausescu’s Romania Iván Zsolt Nagy experienced at a young age what the total lack of democracy, disregard for the rights of minorities, xenophobia and oppression mean, which has a decisive influence on the principles along which he thinks and works.

After graduating in Timisoara with an engineering degree (and witnessing the outbreak of the revolution that led to the fall of the dictatorship as a university student in December 1989), Iván moved in 1992 to Hungary, where he studied journalism and then began his career as a foreign policy journalist at Magyar Nemzet daily. When the newspaper became one of the mouthpieces of power, he continued his work for the then-liberal Magyar Hírlap, where he headed first the foreign policy and then the op-ed column.

During his years here, for his work, his stand for democracy and against all forms of repression, in 2005 he was awarded the Midas and Otto von Habsburg Prize for Journalism in Minority Protection and Cultural Diversity in Europe.

When Magyar Hírlap became a party-political tool after a change of ownership, Iván decided to change again and between 2007 and 2010 he became an editor of the daily news programmes of the Hungarian public radio.

Another change came after Fidesz’s 2010 election victory, when it became clear what role the party, which has been in power ever since, assigned for the public media. After a short time at origo.hu and Figyelő weekly, Iván Zsolt Nagy joined the editorial office of hvg.hu in 2012.

He has been a senior editor, deputy editor-in-chief, and since January 2016, he is the head of the online newspaper, one of the very few remaining independent media outlets in Orbán Viktor’s Hungary. Moreover, since 2019, he has also been the editor-in-chief of Hungary’s first paywalled news magazine, HVG360.

However, his relationship with foreign policy, the representation of European and in particular, Central European thought, has not been severed, as he has made the promotion of the rule of law, the protection of all minorities, the freedom of expression and press and, above all, any action against national or social extremism a priority.

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