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Mladina logo.png
Editor Grega Repovž
Categories News magazine
Frequency Weekly
Circulation 20,000 per week
First issue 1920
Company Mladina časopisno podjetje d. d.
Country Slovenia
Language Slovene
Mladina online

Mladina is a Slovenian weekly left-wing current affairs magazine. Since the 1920s, when it was first published,[1] it has become a voice of protest against those in power. Now it is printed weekly throughout the country and is considered one of the most influential political magazines in the country.[2]

History and profile[edit]

Mladina was first founded in 1920 as the official herald of the Youth Section of the Yugoslav Communist Party in Slovenia. Thus, it was started as a youth magazine.[3] After the prohibition of the Communist Party in 1921, the journal kept circulating in a semi-illegal position. During this period, it was the herald not only of Communists, but of the radical leftist and anti-capitalist youth in general. Famous figures such as the poet Srečko Kosovel, writer Ludvik Mrzel and historian France Klopčič published in the magazine. In the 1930s, during the dictatorship of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, the journal ceased to exist due to the repressive pressure of the authorities. It was re-established during World War II, in January 1943,[4] as the journal of the underground anti-fascist resistance movement. After 1945, it was again transformed in the official herald of the Youth Section of the Communist Party of Slovenia.

By 1984, Mladina was in crisis. A new generation of editors then took charge and transformed the tired party journal into a teenager's fanzine, of which the sales at first rose to a modest 7,000 copies. However, the new image was not just a vehicle to cover pop events, and it soon became a political paper that was the voice of opposition. It gained immediate popularity. Revelations of corruption scandals in Slovenia drove the circulation up to 30,000.[1]

In 1982, the Congress of the Alliance of Socialist Youth of Slovenia decided to transform Mladina by increasing its editorial autonomy and elevate it to the voice of the growing internal opposition of the young Communists against the mainstream of the Communist Party in Slovenia. Thus, by the late 1980s Mladina's main focus became to promote democratic transformation through political criticism. It pursued its change in focus from youth culture to exposing political conflicts within Yugoslav society, including a critique of Josip Broz Tito's legacy, the Federal Government, the Communist Party and, especially, the Army. At the time, Mladina was monitored by the authorities because of its pacifist stance, manifested, among other things, in its firm opposition to Yugoslavia’s arms sales to developing countries.[5]

The 2003 circulation of Mladina was 19,300 copies, making it the most read weekly in the country.[6]

The Ljubljana trial[edit]

Mladina's most controversial period was the spring of 1988 with the Ljubljana trial, also known as the Trial against the Four (Proces proti četverici) or simply as the JBTZ trial, after the initial of the four arrested men (Janša-Borštner-Tasić-Zavrl).[7] In early 1984, in fact, four men were arrested and prosecuted for their handling of military documents found at Mladina's offices. These documents clarified acts of martial law, to be imposed in Slovenia in an emergency. One of the men arrested was the freelance journalist Janez Janša,[8] at that time a prominent member of the League of Socialist Youth of Slovenia who had been expelled from the Communist Party of Slovenia in 1983 (he later became the Prime Minister of Slovenia). The others were two editors of the magazine, David Tasić and Franci Zavrl, and an army sergeant, Ivan Borštner.[8] The arrest of two of its editors elicited strong protest, pushed the circulation to 70,000 and gave the magazine prominence across Yugoslavia in 1987–1988 at a time of differences between Slovenes and other groups in Yugoslavia. "We are the official press, they the alternative", claimed Mladina editors proudly and boldly at a congress on alternative youth culture in Southern Europe in Bologna in December 1988.[1]

The subsequent trial held in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, was carried out in Serbo-Croatian rather than Slovene, and this caused much offense to many Slovenes. The trial was a unifying time for Slovenes prior to their separation from Yugoslavia and sparked protests around Ljubljana. Around 15,000 people joined a central Ljubljana protest in June of that year.[9] As a result, the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights (CPHR) was set up.[5]

Other coverage[edit]

Generally speaking, Mladina was and is a radical newspaper. For example, in 1991, a comment in an article stated that the European policy on the Balkans was simple "political idiocy".[10]

Mladina's deputy editor, Ali Žerdin has said that the magazine's contributors are not hostile to the government, but just sceptical journalists pushing the government to make better choices.[11] For example, in 2003, as Slovenia was entering NATO, statements in Mladina led to accusations that it was anti-NATO. Žerdin defended the magazine by saying that the government would not consider a rebuff in the referendum a vote against NATO.[12]

Religion is also a frequent topic in Mladina. The magazine has been critical of the Roman Catholic Church, such as its opposition to the rehabilitation of Gregorij Rožman,[13] and has opposed the policies of the Slovenian cardinal Franc Rode, the Opus Dei and other conservative currents in the Church. It has also been accused of inciting anti-Catholic sentiment, most famously by the writer and essayist Drago Jančar in his essay "Slovenian Marginalities", published in 1999. In 2004, a controversy on whether or not Muslims should be allowed to build a mosque in Ljubljana broke out.[14] Many of Slovenia's Muslims are first or second generation descendants of immigrant workers from other former Yugoslav regions (mostly Bosniaks and Albanians) and several chauvinist and right-wing groups have opposed the building of a mosque in Ljubljana, while Mladina fully supports its construction. However, in line with its liberal stance, Mladina was one of the few printed media in Slovenia that published the controversial cartoons of Mohammad in 2006.[14]

Mladina has had several prominent dedicated professionals. Ivo Standeker was a feature editor for Mladina working in Sarajevo when he was killed in June 1992.[15]

Famous contributors[edit]

Several famous people have collaborated with the magazine during its history. They include: sociologist and musician Gregor Tomc, journalist and politician Janez Janša, philosopher Slavoj Žižek, philosopher and literary theorist Rastko Močnik, political theorist Tomaž Mastnak and Vlasta Jalušič, journalist Jurij Gustinčič, sociologist and publicist Bernard Nežmah, film critic Marcel Štefančič Jr., jurist and human rights activist Matevž Krivic, cartoonist Tomaž Lavrič, and many others.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Europe Against The Current 1985–1989
  2. ^ Jill Benderly and Evan Kraft, Independent Slovenia (New York: NY, 1994) 95
  3. ^ David H. Weaver; Lars Willnat (2012). The Global Journalist in the 21st Century. Routledge. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-415-88576-8. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b John K Cox, Slovenia: Evolving Loyalties. (New York: NY, 2005) 77
  6. ^ Martine Robinson Beachboard; John C. Beachboard (2006). "Implications of Foreign Ownership on Journalistic Quality in a Post-Communist Society: The Case of Finance" (PDF). Informing Science Journal. 9. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  7. ^ John K Cox, Slovenia: Evolving Loyalties. (New York: NY, 2005) 71
  8. ^ a b John K Cox, Slovenia: Evolving Loyalties. (New York: NY, 2005) 77
  9. ^ Sabrina P Ramet and Danica Fink-Hafner, Democratic Transition in Slovenia. (Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2006) 31
  10. ^ Jill Benderly and Evan Kraft, Independent Slovenia (New York: NY, 1994) 108
  11. ^ Peter Green, "War is Seen Influencing Slovenia's Vote on NATO". The New York Times, 22 March 2003, late ed.
  12. ^ Peter Green, "War is Seen Influencing Slovenia's Vote on NATO", The New York Times, 22 March 2003, late ed
  13. ^ An article entitled Opravičilo kolaboracije (Justifying collaboration) following the decision of the Slovenian Supreme Court to overturn Rožman's conviction for collaboration:
  14. ^ a b Slovoj Zizek, “Defenders of the Faith,” New York Times 12 March 2006, late ed.
  15. ^ Rumeni Internet – Slovenia. Mladina Magazine, Slovenia. What is Mladina Magazine. 2007 20 September 2007 <>


  • Benderly Jill and Evan Kraft. "Independent Slovenia: Origins, Movements, Prospects". New York: NY, 1994
  • Cox John K. "Slovenia: Evolving Loyalties". New York: Routledge, 2005
  • Green, Peter. “War is Seen Influencing Slovenia’s Vote on NATO.” New York Times 22 March 2003, late ed.:
  • Ramet Sabrina P. and Danica Fink-Hafner. "Democratic Transition in Slovenia". Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2006
  • Rumeni Internet – "Slovenia. Mladina Magazine, Slovenia". What is Mladina Magazine. 2007 20 September 2007 [1]
  • Žižek, Slavoj. “Defenders of Faith.” New York Times 12 March 2006, late ed.:

External links[edit]