By: Vida Kocjan
26 years ago, on September 5th, 1996, the first issue of the weekly Demokracija, as we know it today, was published. We were published in the form of a newspaper, and it quickly became clear that we were introducing different content into the Slovenian media space, that we follow what we committed ourselves to and what our slogan was: “Weekly of Slovenian Spring”.
After only a few numbers, inspectors started visiting us, checking everything from a to z. We were also under the scrutiny of the media inspectorate. The regular publication of lists of employees of the State Security Service (SDV, colloquially Udba) broke the bottom of the case. Almost everyone on the list filed claims for damages against the company, the publisher of Demokracija, and the responsible editor. In the courts, they quickly proved that they were wronged. Lawsuits were being lost like on an assembly line. When that did not work, the deep state came at us in other ways. Some were quite painful, but they did not expect that their grips would not break us.
The team worked enthusiastically, initially day and night, with a heart for the Slovenian spring. We were predicted decline, collapse, the seventh year was supposed to be the most critical.
We survived everything, the attacks strengthened us, no one could take away our belief. What is in the heart cannot be torn out.
In the meantime, Demokracija changed into a magazine, and we updated it as well. Some colleagues joined us a year or more later, today we can write with pride and enthusiasm that the core team is still roughly the same, and the new colleagues only enrich everything.
A journalist or technical associate who has not tried working in such an opposition media as Demokracija does not know what he is missing. That is why – dear Demokracija, for the next 26 years and many times over. The Slovenian nation deserves it.