New at ToL

Political Turncoats: Superficial Switch or True Change of Heart?
A doctor changing political colours to gain a new specialization; council members of a dying town swapping sides to support the president in “fighting for Serbia”; a local politician switching parties live on TV — these are some of the “turncoats” turning Serbian local politics inside out.
18 November 2019

Around the Bloc – 18 November
In the news today: a new government in Chisinau; protests in Tbilisi; a three-way spy swap; Bulgarian music; and Mongolian power-sharing.

People: The Clock Ticks for Albania’s ‘Demographic Dividend’ 
Albania’s population is still comparatively young and the number
of its elderly relatively low —but that could change fast.
From Reporting Democracy. 14 November 2019

How an American Became an Optimist in the Czech Republic
I didn’t realize how well things had turned out until I started to reflect on the early ’90s. 15 November 2019

Around the Bloc – 15 November
Headlines from around the region: new suspects in MH17 case; Hungary’s EU funding; Belarusian parliamentary elections; Nord Stream 2; and Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor.

Around the Bloc – 14 November
Regional news highlights: Ukraine to reward whistleblowers;
backroom deals among the Kyrgyz elite; Poland claims it foiled
far-right attack; Slovenian anti-migrant patrols; and outrage
over a gruesome murder in St. Petersburg.

Ivory Tower: Putin’s Y2024 Problem
Whoever is chosen, the Kremlin will need to come up with a
powerful narrative to convince people that it is time for Putin
to leave – and that his successor is up to the job. By PETER RUTLAND, 13 November 2019

Around the Bloc – 13 November
TOL’s news roundup: Lukashenka in Vienna; LGBT in the
Caucasus; worst traffic offenders in the world; Czech aid
group banned; and Russian fat cats.

Around the Bloc – 12 November
News from around the region: Moldovan government falls;
a Balkan common market; segregation in Tallinn; Poland at
odds with Netflix; and Nazarbaev the peacemaker.


Cardboard Nationalists
For the leaders of Bosnia’s Serbs and Muslims, not making
things worse, but not making things better, has paid off
handsomely. Don’t expect next week’s elections to change that.
By Tihomir Loza 23 September 2010

Staging Stalinism
The revival of a play about Hungarian communists brings to
the forefront questions that are as pressing in modern-day
Hungary as they were in 20th century Europe.
By Peter Rutland, 6 December 2018

Velvet Memories Slipping Through Our Fingers?
As the 30th anniversary of 1989’s anti-communist revolution approaches later this year, many young Czechs will likely wonder what all the commotion is about. 12 February 2019

Divide and Be Conquered
Autocracy survives in Belarus in part because its citizens cannot agree on who they really are. 29 November 2010

— Announcement:  NEW VACANCY 

CEE BANK WATCH NETWORK looking for Executive Director
The executive director will be responsible for the further
development and implementation of the network’s strategy as
devised by our 17 member groups, to oversee the overall
management of the organisation, to represent Bankwatch
towards public institutions and funder, and to lead and support
staff based in several countries. Apply.

— Announcement: The Solutions Journalism Network is launching its very first Solutions Journalism Train-the-Trainers. It will happen on
December 7&8 in Prague, right after the What’s Working conference. Over 1.5 days, Samantha McCann (VP of Practice Change at SJN) and Nina Fasciaux (SJN manager, Europe) will work with journalists and journalism trainers to share best practices in teaching solutions journalism. We’ll kick off with the official solutions journalism training. We’ll then dissect the training they just received, and explore how to teach what solutions journalism is, why it matters, and how to do it according to their local context and work. We’ll dig into the four criteria, case studies of best practices, and engaging exercises that will help them teach journalists and newsrooms to engage deeply around and embrace the practice. More information can be found here.