Transitions Online
4. Transitions Online (TOL)
4.1. Introduction 
The Predecessors
In November 1994, The Open Media Research Institute (OMRI) published the pilot
edition of a new magazine on the politics, events, and developmental issues
affecting the 27 countries that resulted from the fall of communism and the "break 
ups" of the early 1990 s. 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 Open Society Institute (OSI)
programs in 1997, Transition magazine was renamed Transitions. The new magazine
retained quality analysis, but turned toward a more accessible, journalistic style that
made Transitions relevant to experts and novices alike. Transitions published 21
monthly issues between June 1997 and March 1999, becoming 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.
Transitions Online (TOL)
Transitions Online (TOL) was founded as a Czech non profit organization in April
1999, the month after the final issue of its print predecessor, Transitions magazine,
was published. Four of the print magazine s staff members founded the new
organization. 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 only format also meant
a new 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.
TOL today is a not for profit Internet magazine covering 28 post communist
countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union.
Published by a Czech nongovernmental organization, TOL has three goals, all
focused on improving independent media in the post communist world:
1. To serve as a public service media that covers the events and issues facing
formerly communist countries in a knowledgeable, but still enjoyable and
accessible, manner. TOL seeks to foster informed discussion across professional
categories and political boundaries from Central Europe to Central Asia, and
among the former East Bloc, Western Europe, and North America. TOL seeks to
fill gaps in the coverage of other media, which too often focus on only the day s
headlines, neglecting to provide key background information, regional
comparisons, and in depth analysis.
2. To provide the region s young reporters with a unique blend of professional
journalism development and international exposure for their writing. Though
there is no shortage of motivated, ambitious reporters in the region, virtually no
publications have designated training for their younger staff members, and



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