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Dear Transitions Online Reader:


We need your help.


Two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union and the breakup of Yugoslavia, days when so much optimism reigned, all is not well. Earlier this year Freedom House rated 10 of the 12 non-Baltic former Soviet republics as “not free” – meaning that “basic political rights are absent and basic civil liberties are widely and systematically denied.” More than 200 million people are living under authoritarian or semi-authoritarian regimes in those countries.


Following decades of communist rule, the process of building open and well-functioning democracies is neither natural nor inevitable, it turns out. Indeed, the task is nearly impossible without a free, independent, and aggressive media possessing the skills and determination to shine a light on corruption and cronyism, dig into the issues, and hold leaders accountable.


Yet throughout the region, many newspapers and other media outlets continue to come up short. The ethics of journalistic independence and balanced reporting that people in the West take for granted remain scarce. Political and commercial pressures against critical reporting are immense, training for journalists scant or non-existent, expectations low.


That’s the reason for Transitions. For the past 11 years, our organization has dedicated itself to nurturing the development of a healthy and robust Fourth Estate in the former Soviet sphere. But to maintain our crucial ability to help reformers, we could use your assistance.


If we must say so ourselves, we’ve been making a big difference.


  • Our highly respected flagship publication, Transitions Online, long ago emerged as one of the leading media outlets anywhere for analysis of the region and has published thousands of articles that have scrutinized the ups and downs of transition.
  • By offering opportunities for local journalists to publish in-depth coverage and features in Transitions Online, and providing them with coaching and training, we’ve nurtured the careers of hundreds of aspiring writers throughout the region.
  • Through our publishing and training activities, we’ve engaged brave reporters in the darker spots of the region, keeping alive the flame of independent journalism and helping these often isolated individuals eke out a living.
  • And through our issue-targeted projects, we’ve brought long overdue media attention to crucial but under-reported topics like discrimination against the region’s Roma minority, environmental degradation, failures in educational reform, and human rights violations.


That’s why we’re writing to ask for your donation today.


So please, if you have a moment and can spare a few dollars or euros or rubles, we urge you to click here and support our efforts to bring the benefits of a free press to this crucial part of the world.


If you would prefer to help TOL by volunteering your time to edit or write for us, please click here.  


And, lastly, if you would like to stay informed about our training projects, please sign up for the relevant newsletter. 


Thank you,

Jeremy Druker

Executive Director and Editor in Chief

© Transitions Online 2019. All rights reserved. ISSN 1214-1615
Published by Transitions o.s., Baranova 33, 130 00 Prague 3, Czech Republic.