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The Bulletin, Green Horizon

Implementation period:

The Bulletin, Green Horizon

“While attending the opening press conference at the 2000 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, as editor of Green Horizon, I seized the opportunity to ask a question directed at then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The question placed Central and Eastern Europe at the centre of discussion as a region from which other regions undergoing transition could learn valuable lessons on how to achieve sustainability. My question and Mr. Annan’s reply were broadcast live around the world by CNN and other global news networks. That was a proud and exciting moment, both for myself and the REC as an organisation.”
Pavel Antonov, former editor of The Bulletin and Green Horizon

The Bulletin and Green Horizon: The REC’s solid, steady voice
It is now somewhat difficult to remember (or, for younger people, to even imagine), but in the pre-Internet age — to say nothing of the pre-dawning of Facebook and Twitter — print publications were vital means of news proliferation. When The Bulletin emerged in 1990, this thin, printed publication was the REC’s main, or even sole, source of environmental project and policy-related information for a generation of experts, decision makers and activists across the CEE region.

A motivated and professional team produced The Bulletin until 2004. An editorial board consisting of all department heads and senior management members, headed by the executive director, conceptualised and discussed each and every edition. Newsletter meetings, called and chaired by the Bulletin editor, were a primary venue for analysing policy processes, approaches, risks and opportunities in the environmental field of CEE. Heated debates, emotional outbursts and robust analysis were regular — and not unwelcome — features of these editorial board meetings.

Early Bulletin editors included Wendy Muzzy and Paul Csagoly — accomplished journalists, good communicators and analytically adept. By the end of the 1990s, The Bulletin was being published in the local languages of 15 signatory countries of the REC. Alongside the REC’s pioneering website, The Bulletin became an important source of information on programmes and other key processes and projects through which the REC began shaping the region’s environmental policy landscape.

A dream come true was the first colour cover in 2001, followed by the business planning and launching of Green Horizon as a full-colour illustrated magazine to replace The Bulletin. Marta Szigeti Bonifert, as incoming REC executive director, threw her support behind the new publication, which was launched at the 2004 Environment and Health Ministerial Conference in Budapest. Magazine editor Pavel Antonov and the REC’s Publications unit, headed by award-winning arts director Sylvia Magyar, brought the publication to life with engaging feature articles and top-notch graphics to rival any professional-oriented magazine on the market.

As for content, Green Horizon strove to cover the region’s hottest environmental topics — from post-war recovery in former Yugoslavia to EU accession, from toxic waste disposal and the Tisza River disaster to climate change and burgeoning opportunities for sustainable development. A network of contributing authors made it possible for Green Horizon to cover the length and breadth of the CEE region. Local-language versions of the magazine soon appeared in Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Over time, the Green Horizon mailing list grew to 5,000 subscribers.

During his tenure as Bulletin and Green Horizon editor, Antonov conducted a series of trainings for environmental journalists from Croatia, Latvia, Kosovo*, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Russia and many other countries — reaching more than 100 regional journalists in total.

Nathan Johnson took over from Antonov as editor of Green Horizon in 2007 and oversaw the transition of the magazine from print to online format in 2009. Green Horizon Online remains a valuable repository of REC-sponsored environmental journalism and continues to publish news about the latest REC-related projects and events.

As a steady and solid voice of the REC throughout the organisation's history, The Bulletin/Green Horizon remains one of the organisation’s most uniquely creative and successful endeavours.

Contributors: Pavel Antonov, Nathan Johnson

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

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