Publisher's letter on the 14th anniversary of The Slovak Spectator

IT WAS the media challenge of the decade for this newspaper’s four founders to establish The Slovak Spectator, Slovakia’s first English-language newspaper, back in 1995.At the time, the country was still only just appearing on maps of the world. During the same period, the country was treading a perilous path towards international isolation as a result of the controversial conduct of the former government of Vladimír Mečiar.

IT WAS the media challenge of the decade for this newspaper’s four founders to establish The Slovak Spectator, Slovakia’s first English-language newspaper, back in 1995.At the time, the country was still only just appearing on maps of the world. During the same period, the country was treading a perilous path towards international isolation as a result of the controversial conduct of the former government of Vladimír Mečiar.

But despite the challenging situation, Richard Lewis, Daniel J. Stoll, Rick Zednik and Eric Koomen believed there was a need - and the space - for an English-language newspaper in the Slovak media market. They started The Slovak Spectator as a 12-page bi-weekly. Its debut issue hit newsstands across Slovakia on March 1, 1995. Over the past 14 years The Slovak Spectator has consistently brought to Slovaks and the wider international community all the crucial events affecting Slovakia and its place in the world.

Led by Editor-in-Chief Beata Balogová, and her predecessors Rick Zednik, Dan J. Stoll, Richard Lewis, Tom Nicholson and Rachel Salaman, The Slovak Spectator has delivered news to its readers driven by the honest aspiration to serve as a leading source of information about Slovakia in English.

Over the past 14 years we have grown and become part of the German-Slovak publishing house Petit Press, following its purchase of a 75-percent share in the company. Today we publish The Slovak Spectator weekly and five annual special publications throughout the year, including the English-language travel guide Spectacular Slovakia, our Book of Lists business directory, and comprehensive guides to the local real estate, labour market and investment environment.

Or website www.spectator.sk, which has also grown and developed over the past couple of years, is updated on a daily basis and we plan to add even more online content in the near future.

The Slovak Spectator celebrates its anniversary in turbulent and almost unprecedented times, as all print media face the tough challenge of maintaining professional standards in covering news and current affairs. I would like to thank all those who have supported The Slovak Spectator by reading it, sharing their comments, advertising with us, using us as a reference source, or even as a study tool.

Today, just like our founders at the start, we believe that the Slovak market is not only able to support an English-language newspaper, but still needs it as a unique tool to bring everything about Slovakia closer to the international community and help its wide readership understand what is happening in this small central European country.

Thank you for being a member of our family of readers. I hope you enjoy reading all that The Slovak Spectator team has to offer.

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