Večernji list is one of the most recognizable daily newspapers in Croatia. In fact, when you say ‘newspaper’, one in three Croats will associate the term with the Večernji list. Since its establishment in 1959, it has served the readers with the most important global and local news, comments, sports and entertainment. And, for the last two decades, not only in paper form but in digital, too.
The beginning and history
Večernji list (Eng. Evening Paper) is a daily newspaper in Berliner format, the perfect size for reading while drinking your coffee. It was established in 1959 by merging two popular daily papers – Narodni list and Večernji vjesnik.
The aforementioned newspapers had different publishers who decided to join forces and make one editorial office under the new editor in chief Tomislav Golubović.
The first issue was introduced on July 1st 1959. The black and white cover with a touch of red lured future readers with the main headline in the form of a question — ‘Kiše… Dokle?’ (eng. ‘Rain… For how long?’), bringing a short story illustrated with a photo of a car driving through a deep rain. Apparently, the weather in Zagreb wasn’t ‘nice’ to the locals at the time.
The other news on the cover was a bit more serious, like changes in the criminal law (replacing a death sentence with a maximum 20 years prison sentence), a report from Paris about the shortage of flats, and a small bordered story about the fusion of the two newspapers, among others.
That cover established the tone and the politics of Večernji list going forward. The price was 10 dinars, it came out 6 days a week (except Sunday) and it had 10 to 12 pages on workdays.
The volume and the price was double on Saturdays, with half of the pages filled with ads which say a lot about its popularity among readers and advertisers from the start. The first number had an edition of 63.500 copies. Only two months after, it went up to 100.000 copies a day.
The main idea behind Večernji list was to make a newspaper for the people and, despite the changes in the society and even the country, it remained the same – with the exception of the period during war years when the focus was to document history. Večernji list was a home of some of the best, award-winning editors, journalists and photographers. Not to forget famous Croatian cartoonist Ico Voljevica and his character Grga. Today, the daily comic is drawn by another well-known cartoonist Srećko Puntarić and his character Felix.
The first Večernji list office was placed in an ex-brothel in the centre of Zagreb, in Masarykova street, near the National Theatre. They moved to the new Vjesnik building in Savska in the 1980s, when Zagreb was having a large-scale makeover to get ready for a major sporting event – Univerzijada (held in 1987).
Since the 1970s, Večernji list and the people working at the newspaper, have been active participants in the community. They established Večernjakova turistička patrola (a tourist patrol) and Večernjakova biciklijada (a recreational bicycle ride) that became a tradition, as well as many awards, including the prestigious Croatian Footballer of the Year award.
But, perhaps the most important is Večernjakova ruža – a yearly media award established in 1994. Awards are given in seven categories such as TV and radio personality of the year, TV and radio show of the year, best actor and best musician and one for best newcomer.
Večernji list was the first Croatian newspaper to have a digital edition, launched in 1999. In 2000, the company and the newspaper were sold to Austrian Styria Media Group which recognized its value in content as well as its advertising potential.
Today, Večernji list continues to deliver the news to the Croatian, Bosnian and international readers with four editions, the three aforementioned and one made for the city of Zagreb.
With over 160.000readers and over 1.6 million users online in 2019, according to the MediaPuls research, Večernji list is now more than a newspaper. The older generation still prefers the paper one but the younger consume its content on the screen and through all-important online channels like YouTube and social networks, making Večernji list a relevant media outlet for a time to come.