"Never miss an opportunity to be fabulous!"
Tina Seelig, one of my favorite professors at Stanford.
I am a journalist, Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow, currently living in Berlin.
Working exclusively on inspiring and meaningful projects with the Ashoka Stiftung, the Deutsche Welle Akademie, the OSCE, Atlatszo.hu and Mertek. More info, see below.
For my latest detailed resume click here, and press coverage here.
I currently work together with the Deutsche Welle Akademie on a series of journalism trainings in Bangladesh and Ghana based on my experiences as an investigative journalist in Central and Eastern Europe. I am the co-owner and board member of an innovative investigative journalism and anti-corruption watchdog NGO, Atlatszo.hu, in Hungary. Since 1996, I worked for various news outlets gaining experience in radio, print and online journalism: I was an editor of origo.hu, Hungary's biggest site (2011-2012), a daily political talk-show host of Inforadio, a private news radio (2000-2009), editor-in-chief of Manager Magazin, a Spiegel-owned business monthly (2005-2007), senior editor at Figyelo, business weekly (1999-2004), editor-reporter at Hungarian Public Radio (1995-98) and TV (1997-2000). I am the author of several investigative journalism books on white collar crime and historic investigation books. More on my books here.
In 2013 and 2014 I spent time with the Ashoka Foundation in Berlin as an Ashoka Storyteller-in-Residence with the aim of helping the collaboration of changemakers with journalists. This is a fantastic program giving an opportunity to journaliststo become storytellers for social change. Ever since I continue to work as a storytelling consultant and trainer for social entrepreneurs, NGOs and organizations representing different social issues ranging from equality to anti-discrimination or anti-corruption. I have conducted several storytelling trainings and workshops for international organizations like the Euclid Network, the Open Society Foundation, Ashoka, IFOK, and consulted NGOs and social entrepreneurs on how to build their organizations around powerful stories, how to leverage personal stories in their diverse communications and how to develop viral content for social media using storytelling techniques. See more here.
Design Thinking Trainings
Based on my Stanford studies and experiences as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow, and together with another Stanford-affiliated expert, the Austrian Klaus Weinmaier, we have developed a workshop concept for journalists, editors, media executives on how to apply design thinking in newsroom innovation. The workshop takes place at the Berliner Journalisten-Schule. The bootcamp offers ways to opening up the creativity of participants and help them develop a more innovative approach to their daily challenges. Design Thinking is a process which not only US-media but also creative enterprises in Silicon Valley have discovered and adopted to create products focused on users.
I am an award-winning investigative journalist in Hungary, author of several investigative books and editor of Atlatszo.hu, an anti-corruption investigative journalism watchdog NGO. In 2003-2004 I uncovered one of the biggest banking fraud scandal which involved widespread political corruption. As a result of this investigation I published a book and won several investigative journalism prizes including the prestigious Soma Prize and the Pulitzer Memorial Prize. In 2008 with co-author Éva Vajda, we investigated the "investigators" and published a book on why the Hungarian justice system performed so poorly in the most prominent white-collar crime cases since 1990. I worked for different anti-corruption initiatives, among them the Transparency International and was speaker on the World Forum on Governance by the Brookings Institution in 2012.
Press freedom advocacy
In December 2010, I made a very public protest against controversial and repressive media law. As the host of the daily news show of the Hungarian Public Radio by holding one minute of silence in my live program. Subsequently I was suspended from my post before quitting the radio. Since this incident, I have actively participated in many projects to promote press freedom in Hungary and around the world - among them a prominent Hungarian NGO, Mertek, which monitors the press freedom situation. I spoke at several international conferences, including the World Congress of the International Press Institute in Port of Spain. I was selected as an Agent of Change for the Democratic Renewal for Hungary by the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Germany. See video here, and press coverage The Times, NPR, Der Spiegel.
I was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow in 2013 and worked on discovering how to create a global collaborative legal database for media professionals. The project is still going on, and the database is designed to build on the collaboration of journalists, lawyers, bloggers and advocates who use a common platform to share information about individual court cases, laws, regulations and also best practices, legal defense strategies. My activities include studying existing collaborative database platforms, whether they can be used for my purposes, possibilities to set up a new platform for the database, building the network of concerned professionals who would volunteer to contribute to the database and also finding possible grant-makers, partners, allies. The most crucial is to find a model in which the initiative is to be sustainable in the long term. More information on this project here .