Latest News from Transitions (TOL)

Past Events

Getting tech savvy in Georgia

Given the recent political turbulence in Georgia, a free press and a vocal civil society are more important than ever.

As part of our work to bring new tools to independent media, a team from our partners atSourceFabric traveled to Tbilisi to conduct their fifth and final training with two media organizations (Tv Kavkasia and The training, made possible with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy and the Czech Foreign Ministry, focused on uploading articles (both new and archived) to their new websites in order to prepare for a public launch.

The overall objective of this one-year project is to increase the impact of a targeted group of independent media institutions, allowing them to play a greater role on the media scene and as public watchdogs over Georgia’s democratization.

Both organizations have expressed excitement about the fresh design and increased functionality of their sites, which are built on SourceFabric’s respected Newscoop content management system. Nino Jangirashvili, director of Kavkasia TV, told us she was looking forward to the increased audience the new site would bring. “We are so pleased that we will have a website that will allow us to not only upload the programs broadcast on TV but also create unique content,” she said.

You can get a sneak peek at what both news organizations have in store here ( and

We need your feedback about education

We are in the process of overhauling our education website, Chalkboard, and we would like to know a few things from you in order to improve the site and make it more useful for those working in education or reporting on it. Please take a minute (literally 60 seconds) and answer the five-question survey. Chalkboard is a collaboration between Transitions and The Open Society Foundation’s Education Support Program.

If at first you do succeed, try again … but bigger

Based on the overwhelming success of our last major Roma journalism project, Colorful, but Colorblind, we are excited to announce we are delving into an even more ambitious endeavor devoted to raising the visibility of problems that Europe’s Roma communities face throughout Central Europe.

The project, Europe: A Homeland for the Roma,will be funded by the European Union and will bring together five media development and Roma rights organizations from Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia.

In cooperation, these media organizations will train Roma journalists to report and produce multimedia content, which will then be incorporated into a festival-length documentary and broadcast around Europe and the United States.

Hosted by Transitions, representatives from each country met in Prague in late January to hammer out details for the project.

We at TOL are extremely excited about this project, and we look forward to sharing more details soon.

Room for two more

Thanks to the support of the National Endowment for Democracy, we were able to provide two scholarships for January’s Foreign Correspondent Training Course held in Prague.

The scholarships went to two Moldova journalists, Irina Gotisan and Dorin Scobioala. Dorin is a correspondent in Moldova for Reuters TV and Antena 3 TV, and Irina is the chief editor of the online news portal for women pentruea.mdand a reporter for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

During the course, the two – along with several other participants from around the globe – got hands-on experience taught by professionals in the field on how to find and file stories after hitting the ground in a foreign country. The course also focused on the realities of freelancing and how to pitch stories to the international market, as well as other journalism mainstays like photojournalism, radio and multimedia reporting, advance research, and video journalism.

The course participants had the opportunity to find and report on their own story here in the Czech Republic under the guidance of the trainers. Irina, who looked into the story behind Prague’s Museum of Communism for her project, said the course was a unique and rewarding experience.

“I loved the photojournalism sessions because I am interested in this field and because the instructors – who are professional photojournalists – showed us several photo essays and gave us a lot of useful information about how to choose the appropriate subject and about composition,” she said. “Also, our trainers gave us good advice on how to put together a very good journalistic story and how to sell it.”

The result of Irina’s project can be seen on Radio Free Europe’s Moldovan service.

And now for a little something different

TOL has just published our first e-book: Middle Europa, a collection of writings by award-winning TOL columnist Martin Ehl. This first publication in our e-book line is part of TOL’s ongoing efforts to generate income through non-grant sources and add new pillars to our sustainability model.Subscriptions to TOL’s magazine and our international training courses also contribute toward our goal of diversifying our income streams.

Featured Articles

Transitions Online ( often showcases the work produced through our grant programs. Some of the highlights from January include the following stories:

2 January 2013
Baby Bust
Though Belarus has some of the world’s most permissive abortion laws, the country has other, less visible restrictions on reproductive rights.
Katerina Barushka

4 January 2013
A Deal With the Devil?
Azerbaijani media accept critical financial aid from the same government that many say aims to silence them.
Shehla Sultanova

9 January 2013
In Azerbaijan, Free Education Comes at a Price
Public schooling is so inadequate for those preparing for university that expensive tutoring is the norm.
Arifa Kazimova

10 January 2013
Looking Back to the Future
TOL slide show: Daily life is often a struggle for survival in Tajikistan’s remote and restive east.
Alec Forss

11 January 2013
Stalin, Restored
With a new government in power in Georgia, monuments to the Soviet strongman and native son are finding their way back home.
Tamuna Kikacheishvili

17 January 2013
Little Big Men
In his analysis of an obscurely influential collection of Cossack lore, a distinguished scholar shines light on Ukrainian history and Russian neuroses.
Mykola Riabchuk

22 January 2013
Moldovan Schools Fail to Tackle Sexual Abuse
Victims are too often left to fend for themselves in an alarming problem Chisinau is just waking up to.
Natalia Ghilascu

23 January 2013
With Ergneti Gambit, Tbilisi Goes Shopping for a Deal
Georgia’s government mulls re-opening a major market on the South Ossetian border in a bid to repair severed ties.
Maia Edilashvili

24 January 2013
Among the Mugat
A Tashkent photographer penetrates the secretive world of Central Asia’s last nomads.
Dengiz Uralov

28 January 2013
Unfriendly Fire
A soldier’s suspicious death spurs public anger in Azerbaijan, and brings grieving parents into the streets.
Shehla Sultanova

31 January 2013
Selling Themselves
More Moldovans discover the Internet as a place to sell their organs, as the authorities adapt to stem the trade.
Iurie Sanduta

31 January 2013
Not A Pretty Picture
A new study of Russia’s women’s prisons is a gripping look at sadism and alienation.
Galina Stolyarova

Current Projects

Azerbaijan and Moldova
Promoting the use of new media and social media among journalists, civil society organizations, and young people.
Central Asia
Promoting the use of Internet media and new media techniques to produce, promote, and distribute new forms of content.
Improving the quality of environmental investigative journalism while increasing the impact of the environmental movement in Russia.
Education Reporting
Using distance learning courses, workshops, and other resources to improve reporting on education-related topics.

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