Brief history of journalism in Croatia
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Translation: Fairpress

Author: Fairpress editorial

Journalism in Croatia has had a very rich history and has produced many quality papers and journalists throughout the years. I this article we bring you a brief history of journalism in Croatia. Starting from the first Croatian newspaper to the first coratian female journalist.

The first newspaper in Croatia was the Zagreb weekly paper Ephemerides Zagrebienses. It was established in 1771. The newspaper had four pages and  it was written in Latin. Fifty issues of the four-page newspaper were published by Antun Jandera, who was a Czech-born printer. Not much else is known about the newspaper, due to the fact that there are no surviving copies. This newspapers was followed by another weekly, Agramer Deutsche Zeitung (1786) and a third Zagreb newspaper called Chroatischer Korrespondent (1789). They were both written in German language.

The first newspaper published in Croatian language was Il Regio Dalmata – Kraglski Dalmatin. It’s importan to note that this newspaper was a bilingua, i.e. it was published in Italian and Croatian language. It was issued by the French government in Zadar between 12 July 1806 and 22 January 1808. it changed name to Il Regio Dalmata somewhere between 29 January 1808 and 1 April 1810. The first fully Croatian newspaper was called Novine Horvatske. This newspaper was established in 1835 by Ljudevit Gaj. In 1836 the paper switched from Kajkavian to Shtokavian dialect and it was renamed Ilirske narodne novine. It should be emphasised that this newspaper played an important role in the Illyrian movement. Afterwards, when everything connected with the Illyrian movement was forbidden, the newspaper changed the name to Novine, later to Narodne novine and under that name it is published today as an Official Gazette.

Narodni list from Zadar is the oldest living Croatian newspaper. Through history it was published as a weekly and a half-weekly. The first issue of the Narodni list came out on March 1, 1862. The paper was published in the Italian language under Il Nazionale,

which had an Annex to Narodni list in the Croatian language. Since 1876, Narodni list was issued only in Croatian. It  represented a turnover in newspapers editing by introducing informative press era. Since Novi list covered mainly the Rijeka and Zadar region, the press in Zagreb had to meet the challenge. The only newspapaer that was able to handle this task was ObzorObzor was the successor of the Pozor, journal of Strossmayer`s National Liberal Party, launched in 1860. It was renamed first in 1867 into Novi pozor, then in 1869 into Zatočnik, somewhat later it was renamed to Branik, and in 1871 it became Obzor, which was the most influential journal of Croatian liberal civic intelligence. The founders of Pozor-Obzor were Bogoslav Šulek (he was the first professional Croatian journalist), Mojsije Baltić and Edvard Vrbančić. It is also important to highlight that Pozor was forbidden at the beginning of January 1864, and it`s owner and editor in chief Ivan Perkovac was imprisoned. Perkovac then became first Croatian journalist sentenced to prison in the 19th century.

The first female journalist in Croatia was Marija Jurić-Zagorka, an associate of Obzor. She was also one of the most famous Croatian writers. She was born in 1873 in a small village near Vrbovec. Her first article Egy Percz, published in Obzor, was noticed by the bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer who took her under his wing and he got her a job at that newspaper as a political correspondent for Hungarian – Croatian relations. Strossmayer saw the potential in Zagorka and incited her to write fiction. Obzor published her first novel Roblje (eng. Slaves) that was filled with revolt towards Hungary’s hegemony. She fought against discrimination of women and became a role model for many generations to come. During her working period she participated in political struggles. She was a load and harsh opponent of hungarizationa and gernamization. She wrote many novels, among which the most famous are: ‘Grička vještica’, ‘Plameni inkvizitori’, ‘Gordana’, ‘Jadranka’, ‘Kćer Lotrščaka’ and ‘Kneginja iz Petrinjske ulice’.


This article was created with the support of the Fund for the Promotion of Pluralism and Diversity of Electronic Media within the project “Media Reality” – Developing and Encouraging the Media Literacy Programme



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