László M. Lengyel, Executive President, Hungarian Press Union

  • 27 Apr 2021 6:35 AM
László M. Lengyel, Executive President, Hungarian Press Union
Born in Mohács, High School is Szeged (1974), student in Moscow, Diplome with excellent mark in 1979. MTI Hungarian News Agency foreign desk journalist, senior editor, Moscow Correspondent up till 1988.


1990 Moscow Correspondent of the weekly magazine 'Ország-Világ'
1993 Moscow Correspondent of the Népszabadság Daily
1997 Senior editor, travelling reporter (Népszabadság)
2000 Dep. Editor in Chief, charged of the foreign desk and newsflow Népszabadság Online internet site.
2020 Senior Editor, Newsroom editor at the MTI
Retired, senior editor af the Diplomatic Magazine (by contract)
2000 - 2014 lecturer, teacher of journalism
2004 - co-chair, executive co-chair, executive president of the Hungarian Press Union, different elected positions in the Hungarian Journalists Association

1. Where did you grow up?

Born in Mohács, lived in Baja as a child, grown up in Szeged.

2. If you could be an expat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

I lived 17 years in Moscow, that is the second longest in my life after Budapest. Maybe in an English or French speaking town or city or somewhere near the Adriatic sea (Croatia, Montenegro). Georgia, Armenia possible too. Language, communication is very important.

3. What would you miss most if you moved away from Hungary?

Relatives, friends, a bit of influence, esteem and respect I hope.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?

Buda Castle, Centre, Aquincum. Go to a bath and visit a good Hungarian style restaurant, to taste wine. 

5. What is your favourite food?

In my opinion I am a gastro-traveller and even adventurer. My experience and knowledge is wide and rich, I think. But to be strict to the point I like seafood very much, lamb, beef, the Austro-Hungarian, Central European, the Ukrainian, Russian, Caucasian, Central Asian and South African kitchen. I can prepare a lot of dishes. If there must be one, then the favourite is the South-Danube 'Halászlé' (fisherman's soup).

6. What is your favourite sport / form of exercise?

Off to go. Excursions. When I was young, I played basketball, tennis, badminton. 

7. What is your favourite place in Hungary?

Everywhere, where there is a river, a mountain, a forest, sky with stars at night. Szeged, Pécs, Szentendre and the Curve of the Danube, Baja and the Zemplén mountains. 

8. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?

Maybe a lawyer or scientific career in biology, geography.

9. What’s a job you would definitely never want?

Politician, businessman, manager.

10. Where did you spend your last vacation?

Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries outside Hungary. The lake Balaton and Jászszentandrás inside the country.

11. Where do you hope to spend your next one?

On shipboard on the Volga river, Sankt Petersburg, Moscow (that is my younger son's will). 

12. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?

The Rolling Stones and the Creedence, Clearwater, Revival. Easy Rider or the Little Big Man, the Midnight Cowboy. Theater. 

13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?

Good wine and good friends' company.

14. Red wine or white?

It depends on the food. As if to decide, red wine.

15. Book or movie?

Book, definitely.

16. Morning person or night person?

I was a night person and I'm still in my mind and dreams, but as an old man in everyday life I am a morning person.

17. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?


18. Buda or Pest side?


19. Which achievement in your life are you most pleased about?

The appreciation of my colleagues: Prizes given by colleagues, not by bosses.

20. What would you say is your personal motto? 

I never promise but always keep my word. Or Yogi Berra's 'When you come to a fork in the road, take it'.

  • How does this interview make you feel?