Central Europe Online (http://www.centraleurope.com/)
Excellent site for browsing through the latest news, planning a trip to the region and finding dozens of pages about the Visegrad Four, Romania, Slovenia and the Balkans.
Features include the top handful of Reuters news stories from Central Europe, and a selection of regional stories culled from the Web sites of AP, UPI, CNN, Yahoo and others.
Viewers can also watch CEO's daily video broadcast and submit questions to controversial Czech television magnate and ex-dissident Vladimir Zelezny for his weekly "Ask Zelezny" Web cast.
A weekly travel section includes a monthly cultural calendar, train schedules, guidebook reviews, and travel services for accommodation, car rentals, tickets and tours.
CEO has direct links to the Web sites of general-interest English-language newspapers such as the Prague Post, the Slovak Spectator and the Warsaw Voice. For business readers, it features daily exchange rates against the dollar and the German mark, links to the region's stock exchanges and a nascent business classifieds section, in addition to a general classies section with more than 140 ads.
You can read nine back issues, search the site, access old interviews and special features, check the weather and read CEO's sister publications Russia Today and Inside China Today. Perhaps best of all you can link to Web sites from each country, broken down into a dozen categories.
CEEBIZ.COM (http://www.ceebiz.com/) While CEO has no full-time reporters of its own (although it plans hiring), CEEBIZ can claim around 30.
The site, which is owned by New World Publishing, posts almost all the content of NWP's weekly Business Journals in Budapest, Warsaw and Prague. There are also daily updates from NWP's morning fax news services in each country. This amounts to around 20 weekly articles from each paper (including Q&As, restaurant reviews, columns, earning reports and personnel moves), plus another 20 daily news briefs from each service culled from the local press, Reuters, Bloomberg and staff.
CEEBIZ also has a calendar of upcoming events, daily exchange rates and stock prices and weather reports.
Internet Securities (http://www.securities.com.pl/)
Subscription-only service geared toward investors interested in the region. Provides daily news, company profiles, financial statements, macroeconomic numbers, analyst reports, stock prices and more for the Visegrad Four plus the Baltics, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia and more than a dozen other emerging-market countries.
Culled from about five sources per country, including the national news services, press reviews, central banks and individual companies.
RFE/Radio Liberty, Central & Eastern Europe Newsline (http://www.rferl.org/newsline/3-cee.html)
A dozen or so daily briefs from the region, reported by Radio Free Europe's staff. RFE/RL's home page includes much more news from across the ex-Soviet Bloc, with audio files available.
The site includes archives, selected special reports on topics such as NATO expansion, Internet in the East, European Union expansion, politics and self-censorship in the Russian media.
There are also links, mostly to official bodies such as the State Department, U.S. embassies and the governments of the countries covered.
HVG Online (http://www.hvg.hu/english/menu.htm).
Five or so excerpts from the leading Hungarian-language business weekly and a handful of earnings reports. Another five or so daily excerpts from the fax news service Hungary Around the Clock. In the run-up to the May elections, HVG is publishing the latest polls. Full translations of current and past stories are available for a fee.
Slovakia Today (http://www.sia.gov.sk/sltoday.html)
Typical of the Slovak government, Slovakia Today is slow and incoherent. It comes out monthly, providing a nearly unreadable batch of five long stories praising the country's performance under Vladimir Meciar.
To give an idea what to expect, here's the opening of an introductory letter from Director Jan Izak of the state-run Slovak Information Agency, which publishes the site:
"In the time of growing availability of all-kind information, when comparing two seemingly inconsistent facts yields, without much trouble a third one, this might be, after all, the natural way of the world. And yet when, in all history, could man use a more sophisticated instrument of concealing the truth, misrepresenting facts and enforcing lies into people's minds, if not in the age of limitless possibilities of media manipulation?"
You bet, Jan.
The site also provides a roundup of weekly government press releases of the same ilk.
More poorly translated government apologia from the Slovak Press Agency, but at least it's daily. Around 12 articles and archives going back a week.
Geocitizen's Unofficial Guide to Slovak Politics (http://www.geocities.com/Capitol Hill/7502/index.html)
Daily news compiled and occasionally reported by 19-year-old Slovak high school student Miro Sedivy. Offers around 10 daily briefs, some straight and some tweaking Meciar on his pug nose.
There are also past features on Slovakia's failure to join NATO, the botched referendum of 1997 and international reports on the country's human rights.
Viewers can vote in political polls, read the Slovak constitution in English and listen to Meciar's barking speeches in Slovak. Sedivy is tickled when he receives communication from the outside world, so read his site and drop him a line.
Slovakia Unofficial Magazine (http://members.xoom.com/ohen/now/art02.htm)
A sort of junior site to Geocitizen's, offering a half-dozen weekly news briefs written by 17-year-old high school student Marek Dravecky.
Polish World, News from & about Poland (http://www.polishworld.com/news)
Daily news about Poland compiled from Central Europe Online, the Washington Post, AP and CNN. Weekly updates from the Warsaw Voice, real audio from Polish Radio Warsaw, plus a homepage filled with links to navigate the country. There are weather reports and links to the Warsaw Stock Exchange, a travel section and a guide to exploring your Polish roots, plus ads for buying Polish books and airline tickets.
Polish Press Agency, Daily News (http://www.pap.com.pl/dziennik/New/new.html
Runs five or so briefs daily from the state press agency, plus zloty cross rates.
THE CZECH REPUBLIC
CTK (http://www.ctknews.com/) Ten to 15 daily briefs from the Czech Press Agency, plus five briefs from Slovakia, press reviews from both countries and a week's worth of back issues.
Special reports summarize the past year (1997) in politics and economics, a list of upcoming events and anniversaries. A section divides archived news by subjects such as President Vaclav Havel, former prime minister Vaclav Klaus, foreign policy, religion and relations with Germany.
CTK provides the latest soccer and hockey stats as well as selected speeches by politicians on audio, and a guide to the terrible Czech pronunciation.
Czech Radio (http://www.radio.cz/english.html)
Transcripts of daily news, available via audio or text in five languages. Also features a daily press review, commentary, sports, the week in politics, highlights from Czech weeklies, a roundup of international press about the country and installments of a Czech history section.
Ethnic Czechs can trace their roots, beer lovers can read a breakdown on the world's best brew and art lovers can visit a virtual museum and even a virtual cemetery. Provides links to government institutions, guides on navigating labyrinthine Czech bureaucracy and selected special reports.
Weekly news from Czech journalism students at Prague's Charles University. About 15 stories on average.
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