Geert Lovink on Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:49:12 +0100

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Syndicate: about the magazine 'transitions'

[I think it worth to have a look at the website of the Prague-based
magazine 'Transitions' (and the magazine itself, of course): It has gone a magnificant on-line archive with all
the articles. Transitions also has its 'article reprint syndicate'. geert]

Transitions: A rare forum for the exchange of ideas and criticism on
political, economic, social, and cultural issues and events

Transitions monthly is published by the Institute for Journalism in
Transition (IJT), an independent, nonprofit, media-development
organization based in Prague. 

Although the magazine is three years old (first issue:  December 1994),
Transitions underwent some defining changes in May 1997. One is that the
old name, Transition, was pluralized, because we've seen that when it
comes to disengaging from a Moscow-dominated past, one prescription does
not fit all. And as the magazine covers all 27 countries of Eastern Europe
and the former Soviet Union, this diversity is very great indeed.

Essentially, our mission is to stimulate and encourage discussion and
debate over this ongoing process. More than any other print organization,
we are concerned with the divergence of post-communist experience. It is
notable that in the days before 1989, when the lands of the Warsaw Pact
were marked by a convergence of political, economic, and social 
institutions on a Soviet model, many institutions from all parts of the
world, both government and private, spent billions of dollars studying and
monitoring the bloc.

But now, even though this current divergence is arguably more fascinating
and determinative for the rest of the world than the earlier forced
conformity, the region is commanding less attention than it deserves. The
contours of Europe, after all, are being shaped here; foreign troops are
keeping the peace here, and hot spots are percolating from the Caucasus to
the Balkans. Why, then, would a major newspaper decide to move its East
European bureau from Warsaw to Vienna, and why is Western university
enrollment in Russian and Slavic Studies in sharp decline?

We at Transitions think it is important to buck such trends. That a huge,
important part of the globe has made an unprecedented and largely peaceful
historical leap from a closed dictatorial system into some as-yet-unclear
future still provides the greatest stories around. We are involving more
and more people from more and more places to help us understand and
report it, and we proudly offer their ideas and insights. That, perhaps,
has been the biggest change in the magazine: bringing in new voices from
the region to augment and balance the expertise that continues to be
provided by the foremost Western analysts and scholars. There is probably
no other publication in the world that regularly presents so eclectic,
authoritative and informative a mix of contributors as we have been able
to gather.

The July issue of Transitions focuses on the phenomenon of extreme right
in post-communist countries. Excerpts of selected articles, as well as the
full-text version of our regular departments, Topics and In Their Own
Words, are available below. The full text of the rest of July-issue
articles will be available online approximately three months after the
issue's publication. 

About Transitions's Article Reprint Syndicate.

By offering articles from Transitions magazine to regional
publishers--free of charge--to publishers in Central and Eastern Europe,
Russia, and Central Europe, IJT hopes to create a forum where ideas and
criticism on political, economic, and cultural issues can be regularly
exchanged. The Article Reprint Syndicate provides local newspapers,
academic journals, and broadcast media with viewpoints, analyses, and news
from areas where they may not have foreign correspondents or colleagues.
Please tell your colleagues in the media about this opportunity.

There is absolutely no fee to use this service, which now reaches
approximately 400 media organizations in more than 20 countries.

All publications are strongly encouraged to send us articles to be
distributed to other participants in the syndicate. 

Please contact Article Reprint Syndicate at the address below if you wish
to receive free monthly summaries of articles available for reprint or if
you have any questions or comments about this service:

General inquiries:

Tel.: (420 2) 627-9445
Fax: (420 2) 627-9444