Transitions Online

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Transitions Online (TOL) "was founded as a Czech nonprofit organization in April 1999, the month after the final issue of its print predecessor, Transitions magazine, was published. The new organization was founded by four of the former print magazine's staff members who were dedicated to keeping the widely respected, cross-border coverage of the magazine alive. With the financial and professional support of the Open Society Institute's (OSI) Internet program and the Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF), TOL was resurrected online in July 1999. The new Internet format also meant a renewed stress on working with the region's young, up-and-coming journalists and on taking advantage of electronic communications for journalism training throughout the vast post-communist region." [1]

Affiliated partner of the International Relations and Security Network.

The Predecessors

"In November 1994, the Open Media Research Institute (OMRI) published the pilot edition of a new magazine covering the politics, events, and developmental issues affecting the 28 countries that resulted from the fall of communism and the breakups of the early 1990's: the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia's velvet divorce. Transition, the new bi-weekly, began regular publication the first week of January 1995. Primarily targeting academic readers and experts, Transition provided in-depth information on issues at the heart of post-communist transformation, with in-house OMRI analysts providing the bulk of the content.

"When OMRI was closed as part of a restructuring of OSI programs in 1997, Transition magazine was renamed Transitions. The new magazine retained quality analysis, but turned toward more of an accessible, journalistic style that made Transitions relevant to experts and novices alike. Transitions published 21 monthly issues between June 1997 and March 1999, becoming--through its informative and readable articles and eye-catching artwork--the premier English-language magazine on Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. The magazine, plagued by exorbitant distribution and printing costs, folded in 1999 after further OSI cutbacks.

"As an online magazine, TOL has continued that renowned heritage in new and innovative ways, increasing the timeliness, amount, reach, and area of coverage, and adding a network of correspondents that stretches across the region. TOL has the energy of a young Internet project, but with the solidity, knowledge, and confidence of a media tradition dating back a decade of transition. With a network of more than 50 correspondents, and a reputation for insightful and local-oriented coverage, TOL has grown into a reliable, internationally recognized brand that continues to challenge and change convential media wisdom." [2]

Media Training

"TOL has held recent conferences and conducted post-conference training on:"

  • "From November 5-15, 2007, TOL's Internet Publishing Training Course brought six journalists from Central Asia to Prague. The program included workshops on writing and editing, fundraising, business, marketing, new media/blogging, online security and more. As part of the training, the participants also visited several successful Prague-based media outlets, including Lidove Noviny, iDnes, Reuters, The Fleet Sheet, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The training was funded by the National Endowment for Democracy.
  • "From October 31 - November 3, 2007, TOL organized a conference in Bishkek on the latest trends in online publishing and new media for 27 media professionals from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. TOL staff and special guest trainers discussed the latest trends in the international and Central Asian media and offered their visions for the future of the media in the Central Asian region and abroad. The conference was presented with the generous support of the National Endowment for Democracy, HIVOS, and the Open Society Institute...
  • "In April 2005 TOL held a two-day training workshop for journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia focusing on media coverage of war crimes cases transferred from the ICTY to local courts in those countries. Regional and international experts and journalists conducted training sessions on a wide variety of issues related to the trials, with the goal of helping journalists improve their coverage of the courts. The workshop was supported by funding from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP)." [1]


In 2004, according to their Annual Report TOL's total revenue was just over $502,000; of this, $438,000 came from grants.


Transitions Online would also like to thank the following individual donors:



2001 and 2002

2006 Management Committee


Board of Advisors

2001 and 2002

  • Sava Tatic - Chairman of the Committee, Managing Director of the Center for @dvanced Media-Prague (C@MP), Czech Republic
  • Daniel Butora - Deputy Director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Slovak Service, Czech Republic
  • Vicken Cheterian - Journalist and Director of the Caucasus Media Support Project, Armenia
  • Steven Erlanger - Central and East European Correspondent,The New York Times, Czech Republic
  • Pavel Kalasek - General Manager of Hewlett Packard, Czech Republic
  • Michael T. Kaufman - Founding Editor,Transitions, and Contributor,The New York Times, USA
  • Sean Maguire - Editor, Central and Eastern Europe, Reuters, Poland
  • Alexei Pankin - Director, Media Program, Open Society Institute-Moscow, Russia
  • Jonathan Peizer - Chief Information Office of OSI and Director of the OSI Internet Program, USA
  • Peter Rutland - Professor of Government,Wesleyan University, USA
  • Kees Schaepman - Journalist, Media Trainer, and former Transitions Executive Editor, Netherlands
  • Linda V.Yelton - Manager, International Research,Travel Industry Association of America, USA
  • Kresimir Zigic - Senior Researcher and Assistant Professor, Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education-Economics Institute (CERGE-EI), Czech Republic

2000 Annual Report


In 2002 two additional people joined TOL's board of advisors:

2002 Annual Report



Related SourceWatch


  1. Training, TOL, accessed January 8, 2008.