Joseph and Claudia Balogh, on Joseph's 85th birthday
Joseph F. Balogh
(April 27, 1922 – November 17, 2017)
Founder, Editor and Publisher of the Magyar News (1990-2007)
Claudia E. Margitay-Balogh
It has been stated that one can do anything as long as one has the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support. These words certainly ring true for the dedicated staff who created the Magyar News – first in printed newsletter format and then on the internet.
From November 1990 to January 2007, Joseph F. Balogh (Balogh József) of Stratford, CT was the Editor and Publisher of the monthly newsletter the Magyar News. For seventeen years, Joseph Balogh informed, motivated, and educated the American-Hungarian community. In doing so, he performed a great service to all who made claim to Hungarian origins.
Mr. Balogh kept his readers in touch with their Hungarian roots by including in each issue interesting and challenging articles on such topics as Hungarian history, politics, the arts, and current topics of interest both in America and in Hungary. He also highlighted and covered events that were happening in the Hungarian communities in CT. By inviting many others to write about their ancestry, their experiences growing up in a Hungarian family, or their trips to the Motherland, Joseph Balogh allowed the writers to show their pride and joy to others. Since Joseph was a photojournalist in Hungary, the numerous photographs and illustrations that accompanied his articles enhanced the reader’s experience.
Creating the Magyar News was truly a labor of love for Mr. Balogh. He never received any money for his efforts – on the contrary, there were times when the gap between expenses and income was covered from his own pocket. It was the advertisers’ fees that covered the cost of printing. The Magyar News was distributed to Hungarian churches and Hungarian businesses free of charge. As time went on, many people living outside of Bridgeport, Fairfield, Norwalk, CT learned of this publication and wanted it to be sent to them on monthly basis. At one point, Magyar News was being sent out to 35 states in the United States.
Mr. Balogh’s reward came from his subscribers’ notes saying how much they enjoyed reading the Magyar News, how much they learned from it, and how, from time to time, their children and grandchildren were able to find out something about their own ancestry.
In 2007, Mr. Balogh who was then 85 years old, realized that researching and writing articles, taking photographs, corresponding with other writers, creating the ten-page format, soliciting for ads, and meeting deadlines was becoming overwhelming. Hence, he realized that that it was time to step away. In his January 2007 issue, the front-page headline read ”...with a broken heart...”
In this heartfelt piece of writing, Balogh József, my dear beloved husband, thanked the many people who had helped him in so many different capacities throughout the years. He was always so grateful for their dedication and their support.
The last line of of Joseph’s swan song reads, ”I thank everybody, including our readers for being with us, and hope someone will find a way.” That someone, who has been the editor of Magyar News Online for the last 12 years, is Erika Papp Faber. Needless to say, Joseph was thrilled that Erika took the baton and has successfully run her journey with the online version of the Magyar News. She and her staff have dedicated themselves to the Hungarian community. Each issue has always been created with integrity, professionalism, and reader appeal. Thank you, dear Erika for being that someone who found the way.
Editor’s note: It was originally Bob Kranyik who ”took the baton” and got Magyar News Online started in 2007. He handed it on to me only a year and a half later. EPF