Latest News from Transitions (TOL)

Past Events

TOL project managers meet in Prague

Transitions’ project managers from around the region got a chance to meet one another in person – many for the first time – at an event in Prague on 26-27 April.  Over the course of two days, project managers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and the Czech Republic were able to network, talk about their programs, and propose new ways to cooperate. Together with TOL’s project staff, they also discussed ways to improve project indicators and reporting methodologies to help increase impact and program sustainability.

And since the managers are each experts in their own fields, they had a chance to share some of their personal observations with the rest of the team. For example, Emin Huseynzade, TOL’s project manager for the Caucasus, talked about Internet safety and what everyone could do to improve their own online security. 

The highlight of the meeting was a trip to the public broadcaster Czech Television to see a live taping of Hyde Park, the channel’s innovative news and interview show.  The hour-long nightly program incorporates social mediato allow viewers to submit questions and interact in real time with politicians and other national newsmakers.  During the visit, project managers had the opportunity to sit down with Pavlina Kvapilova, the creator of the program and one of the show’s former moderators. Kvapilova, who is now director of new media at the station, also shared her philosophy of how the 24-hour news channel should be incorporating social media to increase the quality and reach of its reporting and improve the experience for the channel’s audience.
Funding from the National Endowment for Democracy and the Transition Promotion Program at the Czech Foreign Ministry made this meeting possible.  

Handing out prizes to the best in Czech journalism

Transitions Executive Director Jeremy Druker took part on 24 April inNovinářská cena 2011, the annual ceremony that awards the highest quality journalistic work performed over the past year in the Czech Republic. Journalists from the weeklyRespekt, the daily Lidove noviny, and news website, as well as from public broadcasters Czech Television and Czech Radio, were among those who took home some of the top prizes. The Open Society Fund Prague, in cooperation with the Czech branch of Google, presented the event, which was held for the second time. Jeremy sits on the five-member advisory councilfor Novinářská cena, which ensures the transparency of the competition and selects the jury members for each award.

What do you know about new media?

Net Prophet, Transitions’ blog that tracks new media and tech developments across Central Europe and Eurasia, is looking for volunteer bloggers and editors to help expand our coverage.  For almost a year, Net Prophet has been one of the only sources of information devoted specifically to how technology is shaping and reshaping lives in the region. 

We cover 29 countries, and to do this, we need bloggers from every country and from many different walks of life. Currently we have bloggers on the ground in Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and the Czech Republic, but we would love to get more voices from Russia, the Balkans, Central Asia, and the Baltics. We would also be interested in hearing from bloggers devoted to specific issues around the region, such as net freedom, online security, e-government, data journalism, social innovation, online activism, and tech trend-spotting. Familiarity with a local language or two would be great but isn’t necessary; the same goes for knowledge of WordPress, Twitter, and other social network platforms.

If interested in becoming a Net Prophet volunteer correspondent or if you just have a question, please contact .

As always, you can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
Featured Content

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

In Kyrgyzstan, a Mountain of Trouble
The Kyrgyz government desperately needs the money generated by gold mining. But can it live with the growing international criticism?
By Bakyt Ibraimov and Temir Akmatov
5 March 2012

Giving Up Their Homes for a Song
With police at the ready, Baku evicts families and razes residences to make way for Eurovision.
By Shahla Sultanova
7 March 2012

Reform with a Bulldozer
The Lithuanian mayor who crushed a car with a tank makes a similar, and controversial, move against an illegal Roma settlement.
By Linas Jegelevicius
9 March 2012

In Kyrgyzstan, a Feeling for Felt
TOL video: Nomadic tradition makes a mark in haute couture, and in Kyrgyz women’s economic lives.
By Dina Tokbaeva
15 March 2012

Bull’s Eyes on Their Backs
Threats, sleazy blackmail attempts, and assaults are nothing new when you’re a reporter in Azerbaijan.
By Shahla Sultanova
16 March 2012

Houses of the Holy
A diplomatic deal to restore crumbling Georgian monasteries in Turkey faces stiff Orthodox opposition.
By Eka Chitanava
21 March 2012

A Pressure-Resistant Entrepreneur in Kyrgyzstan
How an Italian businessman became a fixture in the Bishkek business community, against all the odds.
By Askar Erkebaev
26 March 2012

In Moldova, the Limits of Power
Can a little-known president chosen by 62 legislators really be his own man?
By Zakhar Koretsky
30 March 2012

Current Projects

Azerbaijan and Moldova
Promoting the use of new media and social media among journalists, civil society organizations, and young people.
Training journalists to cover issues related to the environment.
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.
Roma Multimedia Training
Training Roma and majority community journalists in multimedia story-telling, with a special focus on Roma issues.

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