Sonja Merljak Zdovc
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Sonja Merljak Zdovc (born 26 October 1972 in Koper) is a Slovenian journalist and author. She is known for her columns and stories in the Slovenian newspaper Delo, for her writings on literary journalism in Republic of Slovenia, her novels Dekle kot Tisa and Njeni tujci, as well as for her books on history of journalism in the Slovene Lands. She is the editor-in-chief of Časoris, Slovenia's first online newspaper for children.
Sonja Merljak Zdovc was born in Koper, Slovenia. After finishing the gymnasium in Koper, she enrolled in the University of Ljubljana, where she studied English language and journalism. After graduation, she began to work as a journalist for the national daily newspaper Delo. In 2001/2002, she spent a year in the United States as a Fulbright scholar. She became acquainted with literary journalism, while studying at the University of Missouri's Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Missouri. Among her professors was also the Pulitzer Prize winner Jacqui Banaszynski. In 2004, she successfully defended her PhD thesis on Tom Wolfe's New Journalism in Slovenia and USA at the University of Ljubljana. Soon she began teaching journalism courses at different universities in Slovenia. In the 1990s, she became an active member of media watch movement that strives to improve the quality of journalism in Slovenia.
Sonja Merljak Zdovc first gained recognition as a feature writer working for the national daily newspaper Delo. She focused on the stories from everyday life and of those who rarely gain access to the mainstream media. Later, she began to mostly write analytical articles about education, discrimination, inequality and violence. As a scholar, she is researching the state of journalism, literary journalism and media literacy; in the past she was researching also history of journalism; as a teacher she was teaching journalism courses at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana and Faculty of Humanities Koper, University of Primorska. She is a member of International Association of Literary Journalism Studies; in 2008-2010 she was its membership committee co-chair (with Lynn Van Luven). She is now the editor of Slovenia's online newspaper for children Časoris.
- Njeni tujci (Her Strangers: a novel), Ljubljana: Miš, 2011;
- Pricevalci Delovega casa (Witnesses of Delo's Time), Ljubljana: Delo, 2010;
- Dekle kot Tisa (A Girl Like Tisa: a novel), Ljubljana: Miš, 2008;
- Literary journalism in the United States of America and Slovenia, Lanham: University Press of America, 2008;
- Literarno novinarstvo: pojav in raba sodobne pripovedne novinarske vrste v ZDA in Sloveniji, Ljubljana: Modrijan, 2008;
- Preteklost je prolog: pregled zgodovine novinarstva na Slovenskem in po svetu (The Past is a Prologue: the brief overview of history of journalism in Slovenia and abroad), Ljubljana: FDV, 2007.
- 2019: as the author of Časoris's Stories of Children from around the World, she received the Intercultural Achievement Award in the Category Media.
- 2019: as the editor-in-chief of Časoris she was among the ten finalists for the first European Media Literacy Award.
- 2016: as the Slovenian finalist shortlisted for the European Journalism Award on Diversity.
- 2008: nominated for the Slovene Woman of the Year Award.
- 2008: the Slovene candidate for the 'For Diversity. Against Discrimination.' Journalist Award.
- 2007: the Slovene candidate for the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All Special Award.