Vjesnik Newspaper Documentation
Vjesnik Newspaper Documentation is an archival collection created in the Vjesnik newspaper publishing enterprise from 1964 to 2006. It includes about twelve million press clippings, organized into six thousand topics and sixty thousand dossiers on public persons. Inter alia, it documents various forms of cultural opposition in the former Yugoslavia, but also in other communist countries in Europe and worldwide.
Zagreb Trg Marka Marulića 21, Croatia 10000
HR-HDA-2031. Vjesnik. Vjesnik Newspaper Documentation
Izcelsme un kultūras darbība
Vjesnik Newspaper Documentation (VND) is an archival collection of press clippings created in Vjesnik newspaper publishing enterprise. From 1964 to 2006, its special services collected press clippings from daily publications and other periodicals in Croatia, and, until 1990, also from all of the former Yugoslavia. Upon its establishment, the archives of wartime and pre-war publications, mostly as series collections (Novosti, the then Jutarnji list, Hrvatski narod and others) were incorporated into the collection. In the apportionment following privatization, when the then Vjesnik newspaper publisher’s operating system was partitioned, in 1991 the collection was granted to the publication Vjesnik, but the scope of monitoring and collecting press clippings was reduced. Since 1999, it has been part of the single distribution business Vjesnik Ltd., created by merging Vjesnik and the Croatian printing enterprise. In 2004, digitisation of the collection began in Vjesnik Ltd., but was already halted in the following year. In June 2007, together with the staff working on its organization, the collection was incorporated into the Croatian national news agency HINA with the aim of its overall digitisation and integration into Hina’s EVA database. That project was similarly never finalized, , and in 2013, basically processed in full, the collection was transferred for permanent preservation to the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb. It constitutes a separate series in archival fund HR-HDA-2031. Vjesnik. In 2014, the personal dossiers were repackaged, and subsequently the total amount of material included in collection is 4,781 file folders, 877 archival boxes and 26 card-file drawers . After its transfer, the newspaper editions of Vjesnik (3,945 volumes of newspapers and 826 file folders) and the reference collection of encyclopaedias, lexicons, dictionaries, almanacs and bibliographies (316 volumes and 127 file folders) were separated and handed over to the CSA library.
The establishment of the collection is directly linked to Božidar Novak, the director of the Vjesnik newspaper publisher from July 1963 to the end of 1971. Its foundation should be placed in the context of the successful development and operations of the company in the latter half of the 1960s. Vjesnik then became the largest newspaper company in Yugoslavia, thirty-ninth on the list of the 100 largest companies in the country and among the top ten similar companies in Europe. In Novak’s own words, the company achieved this economic and publishing position thanks to its modern publishing program oriented toward the public and the market, followed by state-of-the-art graphical equipment and the organization of strong sales and marketing. The quality of Vjesnik’s daily newspapers and magazines improved, and branched information gathering and correspondent services were organized from all over Yugoslavia and all major world centres. Evidently, the collection was primarily established for operational needs. The main intention was to collect and arrange materials that would provide a rapid source of information about events, persons or topics to journalists in all editorial departments in that company and other media, as the basis for the creation of new content. The importance that the collection had in the company’s activities at the time is demonstrated by the fact that a staff of 25 employees worked in it, gathering and collating materials, in the mid-1980s. Since the early 1990s, that number declined continuously.
Control and repression of the media by the federal state and party leadership were typical of the entire period up to 1990, despite formal guarantees of freedom of the press and other media and freedom of publishing newspapers and other printed matter, incorporated and declared in the Yugoslav constitutions of 1963 and 1974. Its main levers were the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, state bodies which enforced repression (public prosecutors, judiciary, police), security and intelligence services (UDBA, KOS), the Yugoslav Army whose political departments analysed the media’s writing, pro-regime newspapers, a sophisticated system of black lists and institutionalized moral and political suitability which blocked those deemed politically “unsuitable” from assuming important posts. Until 1990, the framework for restricting journalistic freedom consisted of several laws: the 1960 law governing the press and other forms of dissemination of information, which replaced a similar law from 1946, the 1973 and 1976 law governing the prevention of abuse of press freedom and other forms of dissemination of information, the 1951 criminal code and the 1976 criminal code of the SFRY. Violations of these legal provisions were punishable by imprisonment or fines. The most widely enforced were provisions stipulating charges of disruptive publicity, enemy propaganda and defamation of the highest state officials and institutions. The greater market orientation of newspaper publishers and certain publications was assessed as sensationalism, anarcho-liberalism, or pro-Westernisation, and any criticism of the system was perceived as sabotage of self-management and pro-capitalist tendencies.
Since the mid-1960s, contrary to the imposed framework of activity, the newspaper publisher Vjesnik advocated democratisation, editorial independence, greater freedom of expression and information and break-up of the so-called unified Yugoslav information space, in which the federal media had a privileged position. According to the Novak’s assessment, the operating philosophy of Vjesnik set forth from 1964 to 1972 was to systematically and independently provide information and to defend Croatian interests in Yugoslavia, advocating for every possible reform attempt which encouraged the creation of the institutions of an open society and move the state into contemporary global political and economic trends. By doing so, together with RTV Zagreb, Vjesnik became one of the main forces of the Croatian Spring, supporting through its publications the struggle against unitarism, and for greater autonomy for Croatia, political and economic reform, its market orientation and integration into world-wide processes. A demonstration of its strong editorial independence can be seen in a case from the end of 1969, when Vjesnik refused to print texts about the Andrija Hebrang case, which was reviewed and recommended for publication by Josip Broz Tito himself. That same year, Vjesnik refused to print a series of articles attacking Hrvatski književni list, a monthly literary journal of the TIN Union of independent Writers. Repression against members of the Croatian Spring in 1971 and later also affected Vjesnik as a company. The newspaper Vjesnik and the company’s other publications, its managing director at the time, Božidar Novak, Vjesnik editor-in-chief Milovan Baletić, as well as the editors of many columns were condemned by the communist party. Repression was constantly present in the subsequent period as well, especially in the latter half of the 1980s, when Vjesnik’s editorials openly discussed and spoke about the political crisis in Yugoslavia.
Under such circumstances of dissent demonstrated by Vjesnik, especially in the latter half of the 1960s, the early 1970s and the latter half of the 1980s, it is important to underscore continuity in the creation of the collection and its integrity. According to Jasminka Cesar-Miličević, a documentalist who worked on collecting and arranging of the collection since 1981, and since 2013 has been an employee of the Croatian State Archives, the survival of the collection was never brought into question in the socialist period . The significance of the collection has been recognized in democratic Croatia, and in 2013 it was registered in the List of Protected Cultural Goods of Croatia.
The collection includes approximately twelve million press clippings, organized into six thousand topic headings and sixty thousand dossiers of public persons. The press clippings were initially classified into five categories (domestic affairs, foreign affairs, sports, culture, society). Over time, as the collection grew, some units within them were further sorted into substantive topical units, fourteen in all: 1. Public persons in all fields; 2. Society, health and social welfare; 3. Environment; 4. Economy, business and finance; 5. Croatian foreign policy, world, international relations; 6. Communications, media; 7. Culture and the arts; 8. Education; 9. Transportation; 10. Religion; 11. Sports; 12. Judiciary, crime; 13. Domestic affairs; 14. Science. Within these, the press clippings are grouped into topics and sub-topics. At the lowest sub-topic level they are mostly arranged chronologically, and each clipping has printed on it the name of the publication in which the clipping was published and the date of publication. The technical catalogue of the entire collection, based on the structure described above, was compiled in the newspaper company Vjesnik Ltd. in 2006. The structure remained unchanged even after the acquisition of the collection by the Croatian State Archives in 2013. Then a new technical catalogue was made, in which all the original names of categories, topics and content descriptions remained unchanged, but new codes for technical units were also added, so that archival materials can be ordered for use. The technical unit code consists of a letter abbreviation for a category and the current number of the technical unit in each category. In 2014, all dossiers in the category “public persons” were arranged alphabetically and listed analytically.
The collection documents the status of journalism over the last three decades of communist Yugoslavia and Croatia. Based on the collected press clippings, one can research what forms of cultural opposition were then present in society, which of them were covered by the press, and how often. They show the editorial policies of newspaper companies and press publications in Croatia and Yugoslavia in that period, as well as their agreements and disagreements with the ideological dictates of the ruling communist party. It reveals the actions of the Yugoslav state and party control over the media in a period of almost 30 years, from 1964 to 1990.
It includes press clippings dealing with censorship and suppression in various areas of artistic production and information (literature, film, theatre, newspapers and magazines, music). They document alternative culture, sub-culture groups (skinheads, hippies, etc.), and women’s, environmental, student and other social movements. Some topics deal with the status of national minorities, religious activities, the legal status of religious communities and their relationship with communist regime, arrests, trials and other forms of persecution of religious leaders. Some press clippings refer to democratic and national movements (the Prague Spring, the Croatian Spring), and to the activities of émigré groups and individuals. Also documented are cases of trials and convictions for the crime of enemy propaganda, hostile action against the social and state order, damage to the reputation of the state, state officials and institutions, as well as the actions of the bodies of state control themselves (the public prosecutor’s office, UDBA, State Security Service).
Press clippings covering the aforementioned forms of opposition are included in dozens of topics. They cover the entire territory of the former Yugoslavia, but also other communist countries in Europe and worldwide. Press clippings from the whole period until 2006 are relevant, because some of them, especially from the early 1990s, contain commentary or an overview of various forms of opposition during the socialist period.
- publikācijas: 1000-
Svarīgi notikumi kolekcijas vēsturē
- A newspaper reports on court trials for the offences against the people and the State by enemy propaganda, Vjesnik, 1972-1973. Press clipping
- Kolike su škare cenzorske (How big are the scissors of censorship), Vjesnik u srijedu (VUS), 1974. Press clipping
- Matvejević, Predrag. Književnost i Informbiro (Literature and Cominform), Start, 1982. Press clipping
- Newspaper reports on trials for offences of enemy propaganda, Vjesnik and Oslobođenje, 1973. Press clipping
- Petrović, Olivera and Marko Lopušina. Šta je uznemiravalo javnost (What disturbed the public), Intervju, 1987. Press clipping
- publiski pilnībā pieejams
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