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The CER Story...

Central Europe Review (ISSN 1212-8732) was founded in June 1999 by Andrew Stroehlein to offer new perspectives on Central and East European politics, society and culture. The magazine grew exponentially in the following months and very quickly became an authoritative source of information on the region, cited widely and winning awards and commendations around the globe.

Compellingly written, Central Europe Review provided authoritative news and analysis from across the region. We concerned ourselves with the region's present and future more than its history, and with this in mind, we endeavoured to overcome the traditional "East/West" mentality associated with so much writing on this region. In two and a half years, we produced over 100 issues, and thousands of articles dedicated to this ideal.

Many of our thousands of weekly readers never realised, however, that CER was always run solely by volunteers. Not one of our writers, editors, proof-readers or photo-editors ever received a penny for their work. And CER volunteers have been always been top-notch: experienced journalists, seasoned editors and distinguished academics.

At that point, everything was run on the caffeine-injected energy of extremely dedicated, some might say slightly insane, volunteers, who often worked through the weekends without sleep to get the magazine published every Monday. Amazingly, we never missed a publishing deadline.

Everyone who toiled for CER felt it was an exciting project to be involved with. The creativity and drive were astounding. We edited around the clock and around the planet; our office was always virtual, and our texts would fly from Stockholm to San Diego to London to San Jose, Costa Rica for all the work they needed: translation, first edits, second edits, proof-reading and HTML mark-up. With 30 or 40 articles per week and as many as 100 contributing editorial volunteers located all over the world, it was a significant managerial challenge.

In the first year, everyone was so wrapped up in the creativity of online publishing and the elation of universal acclaim that no one worried about the practical side of things. The informal structure of the magazine in those early days said it all: legally CER was no more than a URL owned by one person for the first year of its existence.

But the lack of sleep and our need to pay mortgages was catching up with us, and we longed for a bit of stability. With the editorial and managerial pressures only ever increasing, everyone began to realise it could not continue in such an idealistic manner forever.

We began to think more about structure and systems, and with this in mind, in summer 2000, Central Europe Review Ltd. was established as a company limited by shares in the UK by four people: Andrew James Horton, Catherine Lovatt, Kazi Stastna and Andrew Stroehlein.
NetMedia 2000 Award
The idea was to offer shares in the company to the volunteers who continually dedicated the most time to the magazine. We saw ourselves as an independent, employee-owned publisher, and in time, other CER editors joined the ranks of shareholders, namely, Robert Young, Paul Nemes and Ildikó Vámos-Wentworth.

Still, a new legal structure did not solve the real nature of the stability problem: lack of money. Everyone was working on CER as a part-time job, spending nights and weekends slaving away on it for no financial return. The true root of our difficulties was that no matter how many people would volunteer to write, edit and even manage the magazine, we never found volunteer fundraisers. We can take comfort in the fact that, unlike a lot of other Internet projects, we were always in the black, but we have to admit that for all our journalistic and academic expertise, we were not very savvy in the fundraising game.

Finally, in January 2002, we took a break from publishing to concentrate on making the magazine more financially stable, and we are very happy to say that our efforts have paid off.

Central Europe Review has merged with Transitions Online, an online leader in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries with a long tradition of print publishing behind it, as well. It is an exciting time for everyone in CER's vast network of contributors, and we are looking forward to relaunching CER with our new partner.

Central Europe Review has been:

Susan Abbott, Senior Editor

Sue Bagust, Assistant Editor for Music

Andreas Beckmann, Environment Editor

Alina Ghimpu-Hague, Development Co-ordinator

Julie Hansen, Books Editor:

Andrew James Horton, Culture Editor, Shareholder

Gusztáv Kosztolányi, Hungary Editor

Catherine Lovatt, Acting Editor-in-Chief, Shareholder

Sandra Medearis, Baltic Editor

Paul Nemes, Senior Editor, Shareholder

Eleanor Pritchard, Essays Editor

Kazi Stastna, Founding Editor

Andrew Stroehlein, Founder, First Editor-in-Chief, Shareholder

Ildikó Vámos-Wentworth, Managing Editor

Tom Vild, Technical Support

Robert Young, Senior Editor, Shareholder

Editorial Assistants:

Jesmia Avery
Jim Gulka
Anna Keshelashvili
Karen M Laun
Andrea Mrozek
Joan O'Donnell
Kristin Smith



Jens Boysen
Martin D Brown
Oliver Craske
Dan Damon
Židas Daskalovski
Marius Dragomir
Delia Dumitrica
Ivana Gogova
Madeline Hron
Beth Kampschror
Wojtek Kość
Caroline Kotvun
Natalya Krasnoboka
Dave Lovatt

Matilda Nahabedian
Kristin Marmei
Artur Nura
Inga Pavlovaitė
Magali Perrault
Tiffany G Petros
Brian J Požun
Ieva Raubiško
Joanna Rohozińska
Nadia Rozeva
Llazar Semini
Robin Sheeran
Yuri Svirko
Sam Vaknin



Zoltan D Barany

Michael H Bernhard

R J Crampton

Jan Čulík

Eva Hahn

Charles Ingrao

Ojārs Kalniņš

Paul G Lewis

George Schöpflin

Josef Škvorecký

Rudolf L Tőkés

Pavel Tychtl


Elke de Wit
Mike Frank
Seán Hanley
Robin Healey
Michael J Kopanic Jr
Heather McDougall

Catherine Miller
Andrew Princz
Vana Suša
Peter Szyszlo
Maria Vidali


Neil Bermel, of the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies University of Sheffield

Ales Debeljak, Associate Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies, School of Social Sciences University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

David Fanning, musicologist and music journalist with a special interest in the music of Shostakovich. He is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Manchester, UK.

Tom Gallagher, Professor of East European Politics at Bradford University in the UK. He is the author of Romania After Ceausescu: The Politics of Intolerance (Edinburgh University Press 1995) and of Outcast Europe: The Balkans From the Ottomans to Milosevic which will be published in January 2001 by Harwood Academic Publishers.

Peter Hames, leading expert on Czech film and the author of The Czechoslovak New Wave and Dark Alchemy: The films of Jan vankmajer

John Keane, Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Professor at the University of Westminster, London

David M Kotz, Professor of Economics and Research Associate at the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA

James Naughton, Lecturer in Czech and Slovak Language and Literature at Oxford University

Anthony Ozuna, Head of Humanities at the Anglo American College, Prague, Czech Republic

John Massey Stewart, founder of the London Initiative on the Russian Environment, former Special Consultant to the House of Commons on UK enivironmental aid to programmes to Central and Eastern Europe and author of numerous books on Russia and its environmental problems

Hrvoje Turkovic, Editor-in-Chief of Hrvatski filmski ljetopis (Croatian Film Journal) and Assistant Professor at the Academy of Drama Art in Zagreb

Kieran Williams, Political Scientist at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London

Our Gratitude to:

Internet servis, a.s. for technical support, graphic design and server administration.

David Lovatt for his help with organising our activities in the UK.

Eccephoto for photographs and images.

FreeFoto.com for photographs and images.

Our Partners Include:

Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk -- the Internet bookshops which help us with the CER Book Shop.

Arts & Letters Daily -- with whom we exchange links and share knowledge.

Blue Ear -- global writing worth reading. CER is working with Blue Ear on a variety of projects.

Britské listy -- the Czech Internet daily, with whom we exchange articles and expertise on the Czech Republic.

The Central and East European New Media Initiative -- which supports electronic publishing projects in the region.

Central Europe Online -- to whom we provide content on a weekly basis. Central Europe Online offers a wealth of free information about the region every day.

Domino Forum -- the Slovak Internet weekly, with whom we share articles and knowledge of politics, society and culture in Slovakia.

Donosy -- who offer a direct e-mail news service on Polish affairs and contribute to our weekly updates on Poland.

EurActiv -- with whom we exchange articles on issues of EU enlargement.

Guardian Unlimited -- with whom we exchange articles every week. Read the latest article in CER from Guardian Unlimited.

Inside World -- to whom we provide content weekly. Inside World offers excellent, daily direct e-mail news services for each Central and East European country.

IWPR -- the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, with whom we are working on various projects.

Krasnogruda -- quarterly published by the Pogranicze (Borderland) Foundation, based in Sejny, north-eastern Poland.

Kurier Poranny -- is an independent local daily, based in Białystok, north-eastern Poland, with whom CER exchanges articles. Kurier Poranny covers regional affairs, often emphasizing the Białystok region's ethnic differentiation.

mediachannel.org -- with whom we exchange article links.

Moreover.com -- with whom we share links and Webfeeds.

MirHouse.com -- helping us in the CER eBookshop.

Transitions Online -- with whom we have recently merged. Transitions Online is one of the premier sites on the Web concerned with Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries.

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