The Slovak Spectator is Slovakia’s only English-language newspaper. It is published bi-weekly by The Rock, s.r.o. publishing house and covers local news, culture and business. The company also publishes five special publications that appear throughout the year, including the acclaimed Spectacular Slovakia travel guide, the Book of Lists business directory, and comprehensive guides to local real estate, investment environment and human resources.
Meet the Team
The Rock s.r.o. was founded in 1995 to fulfill a specific, important role in Slovakia's development as an independent member of the international community. As Slovakia was becoming more widely known in the world, the world was eager for more information about this young state located in Central Europe on the border of East and West. But for someone who does not read or speak Slovak, precious little information is available. Since English is increasingly the language of global communication, it is vital for the world's and Slovakia's understanding of each other that there be an English-language medium to promote this mutual awareness.
The idea for The Slovak Spectator found its roots in late October 1994. Richard Lewis, Daniel J. Stoll and Rick Zedník were working for The Slovak Mirror, an eight-page monthly English-language newspaper that lasted three issues. They believed the Slovak market could support a larger English-language newspaper published more frequently. Along with Eric Koomen, they founded The Rock (publishing house), which was officially registered as a limited liability company (spol. s r.o.) on January 3, 1995. Lewis and Zedník were co-editors, Stoll the business manager and Koomen the financial manager. They decided to start with a 12-page bi-weekly.
The Slovak Spectator's Timeline
The Slovak Spectator becomes a bi-weekly and launches its new website www.spectator.sme.sk.
Travel guide Spectacular Slovakia is published for the first time in a 300-page book format with a new modern design.
The Slovak Spectator is awarded the Via Bona Main Award for a Responsible Small or Medium-Sized Enterprise, for its CSR programmes.
The Slovak Spectator launches Reporting Diversity programme, which is aimed at training young journalists to report on diversity and minorities within Slovak society. The programme is prepared in cooperation with Comenius University’s School of Journalism and is supported by the US Embassy in Bratislava.
The Slovak Spectator starts to publish the special section Spectator College, prepared especially for the secondary school graduates.
The Slovak Spectator launches the programme Cooking with Ambassadors in cooperation with TV Sme.
The Slovak Spectator launches its specialised business-oriented media highlights service, Business Spectator.
The Slovak Spectator is awarded the Via Bona prize for Socially Responsible Market Impact, in particular for its education project Get Trained and Then Get Published.
The Slovak Spectator joins PIANO, Slovakia’s nationwide pay-wall system for premium online content.
The Slovak Spectator, in cooperation with the Petit Academy, the Tatra Banka Foundationand Comenius University, launches the Best Media Traditions programme to bring a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to speak every year before the Slovak public. The programme features a public lecture in the main hall of Comenius University and its live broadcast, workshops with students from different Slovak universities, and meetings with professionals and the academic community with a focus on journalism.
Launch of The Slovak Spectator’s educational project for students Get Trained and Then Get Published, in cooperation with the Journalism Department of Comenius University.
The Slovak Spectator, in cooperation with the firm Sugarbooks, launches a new project: Bringing the World to the Classroom focuses on bringing a variety, knowledge and understanding of other cultures to students, and on developing their English-language communication skills. The programme includes the holding of discussions in selected schools with prominent individuals from the international community living in Slovakia (e.g. diplomats, CEOs, foreign journalists, and others).
A special supplement is published with The Slovak Spectator weekly as part of the Visegrad Countries Project.
The Slovak Spectator initiates a new specialised service – the Diplomatic Package – with a daily overview of events in Slovakia, combined with weekly analyses covering topical developments in Slovakia.
The Slovak Spectator launches its its new sub-site, living.spectator.sk focusing on real estate. The site contains a wide range of properties, user-friendly navigation and extensive photographs, as well as information on different regions of Slovakia, and several articles on the subject of real estate and housing.
The Slovak Spectator website (www.spectator.sk) gets a complete redesign, bringing daily updated news and more comprehensive services.
The Slovak Spectator launches a project called Na Slovensku po anglicky (In Slovakia in English) that distributes free copies of its weekly to universities across Slovakia.
The debut issue of Spex magazine hits newsstands across Slovakia.
The Slovak Spectator launches an electronic version of its annual Spectacular Slovakia travel guide magazine. The website (www.spectacularslovakia.sk) becomes a source of tourist information about Slovakia.
The Slovak Spectator launches an electronic version of its annual Book of Lists magazine. The website www.greenpages.sk becomes a source of information and contact details for companies and organisations across Slovakia.
The Rock, s.r.o. becomes part of the German-Slovak publishing house Petit Press, a.s. as it takes over a 75 percent share of the company.
The first issue of Investment Advisory Guide is published.
The first issue of Career and Employment Guide is published.
The first issue of Book of Lists is published.
The first issue of Real Estate and Construction Guide is published.
The Slovak Spectator becomes a weekly and launches its website, www.slovakspectator.sk (now www.spectator.sk).
The first Spectacular Slovakia travel guide is published with 35 colour photos, six maps, information on 103 hotels, and 34 ads on a total of 11 pages.
March 1, 1995
The debut issue of The Slovak Spectator hits newsstands across Slovakia.