Jeremy Druker

Ashoka Fellow
Czech Republic,
Fellow Since 2010
Transitions o.s.

Citation

This profile was prepared when Jeremy Druker was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
The New Idea
Jeremy is creating the foundations of professional journalism in areas of the world where independent media remain fragile and journalists often work in an atmosphere of apprehension. Across Central Asia and Central Europe, Jeremy places young journalists at the center of changing these region’s media industries. He believes that benchmark values for independent and professional journalism must be constantly reinforced in transitioning communities, and that the solution lies in emerging local journalists themselves. Jeremy’s organization, Transitions (TOL), acts as an independent keeper of that vision by seeding the field with professional journalists who are trained to uphold only the highest core professional journalism standards in some of the most difficult contexts.

TOL offers journalists critical skills and on-the-job training to defend these standards and make their communication more effective, even as the industry undergoes drastic evolution toward citizen-produced media and new ways of content production that may undermine quality. TOL trains over 700 underserved and sometimes isolated journalists annually across 29 countries on topics such as writing sensitively about religion or ethnic minorities, new media techniques, election reporting, education, Roma issues, and many others. These journalists are encouraged to leverage new technologies, such as podcasting or blogging, in order to produce more “trendy” journalism while maintaining the highest standards and ethics. TOL also provides them with first-hand journalism experience by giving them the opportunity to be content producers for the Transitions Online news platform, where they are continually provided with feedback on their stories. Often for the first time, with access to professional support, local journalists are better equipped to dig deeper into social issues and act as watchdogs for their respective communities.

With the right training, tools, and networks, these journalists go on to create new ideas and further develop the industry in their home countries or elsewhere. By acquiring new skills and becoming part of a pan-regional peer network, young journalists play the role of “media multipliers,” the most powerful force to change the industry. TOL acts as a catalyst for innovation led by local journalists by connecting them into theme-based communities and regional networks that represent the highest independent journalism standards in the region.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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