Newspaper – The First Printed Document of History
A selection of specimens from The Newspaper Museum
Newspapers will become extinct, they say. If this does happen, the beauty of news, which newspaperman Phil Graham called “the first rough draft of history,” will also die out with them.
The first issue of the Delo newspaper was published on 1 May 1959. In 1961, Yuri Gagarin was the first human to journey into outer space. In November 1963, an assassin’s bullet killed John F. Kennedy. In 1968, the Warsaw Pact troops marched into Czechoslovakia. Humanity’s first lunar landing took place fifty years ago. Newspapers often lavished praise on rulers, but regimes were replaced also through the influence of the press. Newspapers contributed to nations gaining independence. Newspapers reported on wars, won some wars and lost others. Lost credibility. Newspapers lost the privilege of being the first to report on President Richard Nixon’s resignation. Still, newspapers were a major factor that prompted that resignation.
When Josip Broz Tito died, Ljubljana made it to the front pages of the Beijing, New York, Vienna, Milan, London and Hamburg newspapers. John Lennon’s death just barely made it to the cover of The New York Times. He was shot dead shortly before the newspaper went to print.
Although newspapers are the first rough draft of history, they generally end up in a paper recycling bin. Nevertheless, people tend to keep some issues. The issues that report on historic events. Newspapers are the common denominator of the reading public. They are an artistic achievement, a meeting place of illustrators, photographers, designers, wordsmiths and their civil courage. The collected newspapers are the material remains of the society's collective memory. The society’s shared pool of memories – including those of our blunders.
The specimens on view have been compiled during visits to flea markets, garage sales, antiques shops and rummages through basements and attics. Invaluable copies have been donated to The Newspaper Museum by the relatives of Dušan Benko, Delo’s legendary editor, and Jože Marčan, a Slovenian national sports icon. Some copies derive from the legacy of journalist Davorin Ravljen. Single copies have been donated or loaned by Ciril Ulčar, a Ljubljana Flea Market legend, Jaka Prijatelj (Carniola Antiqua), Tomo Levovnik, Marko Igličar, Bojan Velikonja, Joe Valencic, Zvonka Makuc (the legacy of Ivan Makuc), Marko Rajakovič, Andrej Doblehar, Antiša Korljan, Marjan Horvat, Marcel Štefančič jr., Igor Medjugorac, Lev Centrih, Kostja Gatnik, Irena Štaudohar, Mladina magazine and the Delo newspaper archives.
The exhibition layout has been designed by studiobotas.