London magazine catering to Czechs and other young immigrants from East


Since European Union enlargement two years ago, hundreds of thousands of young people from the new, mostly ex-communist member states have gone to the United Kingdom and Ireland in search of work and opportunity. At the end of February a free weekly magazine directly aimed at such young immigrants was launced in London. It's called Fusion, and its Czech editor is Klara Smolova. On the phone from the British capital, she explained the thinking behind it.

"The aim of Fusion is to cater to people from central and eastern European countries, mainly those that entered the European Union in May 2004, to basically give them all the information they need for life in London and the UK in general.

"They're looking for basic information, and for information about their community, about where to go to have fun, where to eat, good tips, travel and stuff like this."

How much of it is in English and how much of it is in the different languages of the countries you cover, so to speak?

"It's all in English. The only section that is translated into the various languages, into all of the eight languages, is a section called First Aid, which gives very essential information about how to open a bank account, how to get insured, how to find a job, how to travel around London and that kind of thing.

"But everything else is in English, because it's the one language of communication between all the nations. Plus when people come here they need to speak English to be able to live properly here."

I understand there are something like half a million east Europeans in London now - how many of them are Czech, roughly?

"Yes, that's the unofficial estimate, that there are about half a million. The biggest community is the Polish, which is about 58 percent. The Czechs - they're supposed to be about 6 percent of the whole amount."

What kind of things are they doing in general, the young Czechs in London?

"According to the statistics from the workers registration scheme, all of these nations when they come here they mostly engage in administration and business management, and then hospitality and catering. And in third place is agriculture, which is rather seasonal work. But I've also met a lot of people that are studying or want to advance their career."

Given the fact that the Poles are the biggest group of east Europeans in London, does their predominance influence the content of Fusion magazine? Is there more stuff for Poles than for other countries?

"We are trying to be very equal and offer information for everybody, and treat all the nations equally. But inevitably if there is a bigger group of one of these nations it means that you find more case studies, you find more shops that are designed for them, you find more entertainment for them.

"So inevitably you end up writing more about people from that community than from the others. But we are trying to really keep it as equal as possible."

For more information go to