A 10-year media scrapbook

"English-language newspaper debuts in Slovakia"

"Slovakia's only English-language newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, hit the newsstands on Thursday, to cater for a rapidly growing number of English-speaking visitors and residents. Czechoslovakia's first post-communist, English-language newspaper, the Prague-based weekly Prognosis, announced on Wednesday it was folding after four years."

March 2, 1995
Reuters Bratislava bureau

"Against the Coalition"

"Guidelines used by The Slovak Spectator's reporters in conducting interviews and preparing articles are new to us. Until now, the unwritten law of our journalistic practice was the authorization of an article by a person who granted information and who is featured as a source. If you grant the Spectator an interview, you can't change your original quote while authorizing it, you can only add a remark or statement. In other words, everything you say may be used against you or others, even if the source detects possible harm caused by his quotes before the article is published."

April 20, 1995
Slovenská Republika

"An English newspaper has taken hold in Slovakia"

"The Slovak Spectator differs from typical Slovak periodicals not only because it comes out in English, but also because it has a specific style of writing. The Anglo-American style of journalism is based on an analysis of events and their consequences. It is focused on their substance, not only on appearance. Their articles must be balanced and they must interpret the standpoints of opposing sides, supported by arguments, facts and quotes."

December 20, 1995

"Despite the politics, The Slovak Spectator organized a pleasant evening at West"

"It was not a bad idea. Two 'top' politicians in the spotlight, in front of the cameras, with the eyes of an audience glued on them and under fire from 'top' journalists - all that in the form of American presidential campaign debates. As one of the protagonists said, 'We need dialogues like this.' On Friday evening, Dušan Slobodník and Ján Čarnogurský stood on the West theatre stage in order to 'fight each other' in American style on the topic of Slovak foreign policy."

March 4, 1996

"Convicted in advance"

"The Slovak Spectator, which is published in Slovakia, is financed by an American party and is dedicated to foreigners living in Slovakia. (You can find The Slovak Spectator in hotel rooms all around Slovakia, where tourists receive them as obligatory 'information'). It is another very well planned maneuver in the mass media war. This 'independent' paper breathes the opposition's breath. And when they offer objectivity and plurality to express pro-Slovak and pro-government opinions, they do so only as a camouflage of objectivity."

January 23, 1997
Slovensko do toho!,a newsletter of the HZDS ruling party

"Rewriting history"

"The Slovak Spectator has more of a problem than other English-language newspapers in central and eastern Europe, to report the facts while at the same time staying in business in a climate that has become increasingly hostile to independent reporting. It is alarming that many nationalist supporters of the present government are trying to re-write history in a more favourable light, and the Spectator must be applauded for its courage."

May 2, 1997
Central European
Business Weekly

"That thing..."

"The Slovak Spectator proudly calls itself 'Slovakia's English-language newspaper' and is published by some limited liability company (!) called The Rock. It is very unlikely there is another democratic state in which a limited liability company would allow itself such arrogance and start an inflammatory campaign in its newspaper against the constitutional bodies of the state in which it is operating."

July 2, 1997
Slovenská Republika

"Unknown men beat up Slovak Spectatorreporter"

"Three unknown men on the evening of January 11 attacked and beat up Thomas Nicholson, a reporter with an American bi-weekly newspaper, The Slovak Spectator. "Three men broke into my room at the Družba student hostel. They started beating me up, tied my hands and legs together and told me that they were Mafia and would kill me if I didn't hand over the documents they were looking for," said T. Nicholson for SME. "They then tied me by the hands, legs and neck to the bed and left, locking the door behind them." Nicholson managed to free himself, break out of his room and call police."

January 15, 1998

"Slovak Spectatorto be weekly"

"The English-language Slovak Spectator, published fortnightly since 1995, is now to emerge in a new improved shape as The Slovak Spectator international weekly, with a new format and contents."

September 8, 1998
TASR news agency

"Optimism remains with the young in Slovakia"

"A recent article in The Slovak Spectator, a feisty English-language weekly, showed how government politicians had sold valuable state companies to friends at risible prices."

November 4, 1999
The Irish Times

"VMV purchases The Slovak Spectator"

"From April 1, 2000, the majority owner of The Slovak Spectator, an English-language weekly in Slovakia, will be the publishing house VMV. VMV's portfolio includes the dailies SME and Roľnícke noviny, the weekly Domino forum and a chain of regional periodicals."

March 15, 2000

"The Slovak Spectator a screech owl in Bratislava"

"Newspapers must not be (although they are) smeared with articles taken from "Slovak Spectator", a magazine that is published in Bratislava by a third-rate journalist named Nicholson, who is a steadfast anti-Slovak screech-owl and mediator of anti-Slovak elements."

April 2, 2001
Nový deň, citing article in Canadian Slovak newspaper Naše Slovensko

"Bush to show Slovaks gratitude over Iraq"

"Keeping open lines of communication with Russia while standing unabashedly shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States has been a tricky balancing act for Slovakia. It has meant "leaning towards tradition and historical identity on one hand and extending the other to hold hands with bigger nations that promise protections from all kinds of events, wars, crises and conflicts," Beata Balogová, editor of The Slovak Spectator newspaper, wrote in a commentary."

February 23, 2005
Associated Press

THE SLOVAK Spectator's Spectrum Live debate series in 1996 and 1997, which pitted political and economic foes against each other in verbal combat over current events, came to symbolize the paper's journalistic mission: To give a voice to both sides of every issue, and to pursue every newsworthy topic with equal tenacity. Guests on the series included financier Jozef Majský (below), current Economy Minister Pavol Rusko (right bottom), then-Christian Democrats chairman Ján Čarnogurský (right top, at left) and the late Dušan Slobodník of the ruling HZDS party. Among the journalists that anchored the show and quizzed the guests was Zuzana Martináková (left), then of the Slovak service of the BBC, currently chair of the Freedom Forum party.

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