Knjižnica Filozofskog fakulteta
Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Institutional Repository

Transition of traditional publications to e-publications


Downloads per month over past year

Galić, Marin. (2018). Transition of traditional publications to e-publications. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Information Science.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij informacijskih i komunikacijskih znanosti) [mentor Vilović, Gordana].

PDF (Croatian)
Download (9MB) | Preview


Employing the example of Večernji list, this dissertation explores how the relationship between e-publications and traditional print publications developed historically. Electronic publications (e-publications) constitute editorially-shaped programme features published online daily or periodically by e-publication providers for informational and educational purposes (Electronic Media Agency), and they have become an important journalistic subject in the last decade. Večernji list is a newspaper with a 60-year-long tradition and print runs which were groundbreaking already in the time of former Yugoslavia, and is a relevant example of Croatian transition from traditional media (press) to e-publications. This dissertation explores the coexistence of traditional media and e-publications within one media organisation and analyses financial sustainability as well as complementary characteristics of content and organisation within the editorial board. The main hypothesis of the dissertation is that “the e-publication affects both the development and the content of the print edition of Večernji list.” Given that instead of auxiliary claims/hypotheses the dissertation presents qualitative research, it employs the following form of research questions: does the price affect readers’ transitioning from the printed to epublications; are speed and information accessibility decisive when choosing e-publication over printed ones; could media companies reap more success if they combine e-publications with traditional publishing methods? Print is the oldest medium, and the theoretical part of this dissertation deals with the history of daily press in Croatia: from the very first Zagreb weekly Ephemerides Zagrebienses which appeared in 1771, to the latest major press project, the daily 24sata. First e-publications appeared around the world in 1994 and, in this respect, Croatia did not lag behind worldly trends, and that same year the Croatian national television channel, HRT, launched its experimental e-platform. Actual development starts after 1999, while the Book of E-publication Providers lists 261 electronic publications at the end of 2016. The first issue of Večernji list appeared on 1 July 1959, as a result of merging two daily newspapers, Narodni list and Večernji vjesnik. In the time of former Yugoslavia, the print run of Večernji list was lower than the previous year on two occasions only, while it normally exhibited continuous growth, which made it something of a phenomenon. Over the years, it was established as a daily with the largest print run in Yugoslavia, with an average print run of 350,000 copies. Following the formation of the Republic of Croatia, it was initially converted in 1992, and later underwent a dubious privatisation which was formally finalised in 1998. Večernji list was at that point sold to an investment fund, Caritas Fund Limited. It was only two years afterwards, on 16 April 2000, that Pavo Zubak and Ivica Nuić, two businessmen from Zagreb, in a major interview in Večernji list admitted to being the owners of the newspaper, with their respective companies. This, however, failed to assure the public that the one who was behind the whole story was the ten-powerful Ivić Pašalić, a former close associate of the president, Franjo Tuđman. Večernji list was again sold to the Austrian Styria group, who still own the newspaper today. Večernji list marked its groundbreaking print run on 16 January 2000, selling 1.17 million copies. However, this was not a feat of journalism but rather a result of a major prize-giving contest which led people to buy the newspaper as if it were a lottery ticket. This very period saw the start of reduced print runs, which was attempted to be reversed through publishing books alongside the newspaper. However, with the arrival the 2008 recession, print runs plummeted. Parallel to the simultaneous strengthening of e-publications on the market, the crisis of press and Večernji list continues to this day. Večernji list’s e-publication was launched in 1999. Initially, this was a basic website that saw upgrades and expansions over the years. Its actual boost commences after 2008. Večernji list was the first paper to try and introduce fees for parts of its e-publication content (its “Premium Package”), but the project was dropped after showing little success. According to ABC Croatia, the fluctuation of print runs demonstrates that in the period between 2015 and 2017 the print runs of Večernji list dropped from 42,967 to 35,011 (which shows a decline of 18.8 percent), while Gemius Audience informs us that between 2016 and 2017 its epublication saw a 3 percent reader increase, with 1,322,755 unique users. Data provided by HURA (Croatian organisation of advertising agencies) show that the marketing budget for the press edition was reduced from 785 million to 218 million Croatian kuna in the period between 2008 and 2017 (which is a fall of 567 million Croatian kuna), while the marketing budget spent on the internet edition rose in the same period from 30 million to 245 million Croatian kuna. Večernji list financially plummeted in the time of recession. Data collected by Business Croatia show that in 2009 it recorded a loss of 29,620,922 Croatian kuna, in 2010 a loss of 19,879,877 Croatian kuna and in 2011 a loss of 16,627,511 Croatian kuna. Reducing expendituresstabilised business operations, so a gain of 18,226,300 Croatian kuna was recorded in the year 2017. Comparative content analysis showed that out of 50 processed texts which appear in the print edition 29 are published online the very same day, while the e-publication holds on average 3.4 times more textual content than the print publication. Analysis revealed the advantages of the e-publication, which include its speed and multimediality (90 out of 135 processed epublication texts had a photo gallery and/or a video attached), and also the ease with which readers can choose content, out of which political texts receive most comments. Focus groups of readers of Večernji list’s press edition and its e-publication,, demonstrated that gratuity, speed, practicality, considerable information flow, constant information availability and ecology (reduced paper consumption) were the principal strong points of the e-publication in relation to the print edition and also the reason for transitioning from the traditional newspaper to the e-publication. Research also revealed that the press holds an advantage in terms of seriousness, credibility and tradition. The press edition has more carefully selected texts and the remembrance of information read in the paper edition is still more considerable. A structured interview conducted with professionals selected by the “Delphi” method proved that the e-publication has a strong influence on the content and development of the press edition, but also vice versa. The price of the newspaper was highlighted as the chief reason for transitioning to free e-publications, while speed and availability still remain less responsible for the transitioning. Interviewees agree that the e-publication content will have to be provided for a fee in the future, regardless of the focus group members’ unwillingness to pay those fees. Interviewees in the structured interview likewise concur that the current business operations of media houses is more successful if e-publications are combined with traditional publishing. The dissertation affirmed the main hypothesis that the e-publication influences the content and development of the print edition of Večernji list, as well as the thesis that the price is a crucial reason for transitioning from a printed edition to an e-publication. Focus group members also agree that speed and availability play a part in readers’ transitioning to e-publications, while specific interviewees in the structured interview still have doubts. The research question of the necessity of combining e-publications with traditional publishing was likewise confirmed. This dissertation holds a potential for making a scientific contribution as an incentive for further research into the conceptual correlation between traditional media and e-publications in Croatia.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: e-publication; daily newspaper; media transition; Večernji list, gratuitous media, media speed, media availability
Subjects: Information sciences
Information sciences > Media and communicology
Departments: Department of Information Science
Supervisor: Vilović, Gordana
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij informacijskih i komunikacijskih znanosti
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2019 13:22
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2019 13:22

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item