Bálint Ablonczy, journalist from Hungary.

Hungarian Journalist Focuses On U.S.-E.U. Relations During Visit In Georgia

Hungarian journalist Bálint Ablonczy spent five days at the University of Georgia and in Atlanta in late February doing research on the U.S. presidential campaign and on the relationship between the United States and the European Union.

His program in Athens, organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, was part of a 10‑week Transatlantic Media Network fellowship, coordinated by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

The Cox International Center is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and partnered with CSIS for the visit.

Dr. Scott Jones, director of the Center for International Trade and Security, told Ablonczy that the main challenge for the relationship between U.S. and E.U. is that the American foreign policy focuses more on state-to-state communication and negotiations with its European partners, while the officials in Bruxelles would like the European Union to be the main entity engaged in the transatlantic dialog.

Ablonczy also met with Dr. Loch Johnson, UGA Regents Professor, Department of International Affairs. The two talked about security issues, Edward Snowden, and memories of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956.

Ablonczy is head of domestic and foreign political news for Heti Válasz, Hungary's second largest weekly, and editor-in-chief of Kommentár, a bimonthly review of history, culture and public affairs. He was previously deputy-editor, then editor of domestic affairs, for Heti Válasz.

Ablonczy has written extensively on Hungarian politics, as well as on EU and foreign affairs, and is a regular guest commentator on national TV and radio political programs. He won the Junior Príma prize (press category) in 2010.

In the Grady College, the Hungarian guest visited Newsource, the student TV studio, and watched the production of a special newscast devoted to the Super Tuesday presidential primary elections with Professors Yvonne Cantrell Bickley and David Hazinski.

Ablonczy also had a meeting with Dr. Charles Davis, dean of the Grady College, and talked about how the turmoil in the media industry has impacted journalism and mass communication curricula, and with Dr. William Mounts, Presbyterian pastor and history of religions scholar, and learned about the role of religion in the South.

Drs. Lee B. Becker and Tudor Vlad, director and associate director of the Cox International Center, respectively, talked with Ablonczy about mass communication education in the United States and about the Center's international projects.

“The visit of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research was one of the very important milestones of my fellowship,” wrote Ablonczy. “I had the opportunity in Athens to meet communication professionals to discuss the future of our profession as well as the trends in American and European media.”

Ablonczy said he learned about the US-Russia relationship and the delicate balance between civil liberties and security and the place of religion in American public life.

Ablonczy said he enjoyed watching the journalism students setting up an entire political TV program on Super Tuesday. “I was impressed by their professionalism and by their teachers’s commitment,” he said.

During his stay in Georgia, Ablonczy visited CNN and the Martin Luther King Memorial in Atlanta.

Before his arrival in Athens, the Hungarian journalist visited Washington D.C., North Carolina and South Carolina. After his departure, he was to travel to Austin, San Antonio, Denver, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Milwaukee, Madison (Wisconsin), and St. Louis.