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Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe

NIJ Weekly Service Archive

The Network of Independent Journalists (NIJ) was founded by the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe in 1993 to counter the entrenched insularity of postcommunist countries by fostering greater cross-border reporting by independent newspapers and publications.  Surprisingly, independent newspapers in postcommunist countries had very little coverage of the region's historic events and the transition from communism. Before 1989, independent journalists had little opportunity to report directly on international events, and few of the independent newspapers established since then have sufficient resources to include international reporting. 

NIJ set out to offer direct and reliable reporting and analysis on postcommunist countries to independent newspapers throughout the region. Coordinated by the STINA Press Agency in Split, Croatia since 1994, the NIJ evolved into an effective news outlet used by key independent newspapers and media organizations in over twenty countries. In 1997, the NIJ Weekly Service Archive, which was launched, publishing continuously until May 2003. Four or five articles were published each week reporting on the region's major political events and analyzing key issues of the transition from communism, including ethnic conflict and regional wars, the process of democratization, economic crisis, privatization, social change and civic developments. Many of NIJ's journalists are leading reporters in their own countries, while others are new, young, talented reporters just emerging in their field. 

As a result of the NIJ, regional reporting is more widespread, allowing for greater understanding of the region's varied developments and traditions. Between 1997 and 2003, well over 2,000 articles were published by the regular users of the NIJ Weekly Service. 

Among the NIJ Weekly Service users were Azadlyg in Azerbaijan, Naviny (formerly Svaboda) in Belarus, Demokratsiya in Bulgaria, Novi List in Croatia, Lidove Noviny in the Czech Republic, Eesty Aeg in Estonia, Magyar Narancs in Hungary, KohaDitore in Kosovo, Puls in Macedonia, Monitor in Montenegro, Rzeczpospolita in Poland, Monitorul in Romania, Vreme in Serbia, and Sme in Slovakia. Use of the Weekly Service is free for most newspapers with financing coming from the National Endowment for Democracy and the Open Society Institute's Regional Media Fund. 

NIJ's Weekly Service was suspended in May 2003 due to a sudden cut off of funding. The NIJ was a basic resource for newspapers in their coverage of regional events. If you would like to help, please visit our How You Can Help page to find out how. 

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