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Angela Cannon, Reference Specialist, European Division
Note: This guide is adapted from an earlier version, which first appeared on the European Reading Room website in 2015.
Created: July 18, 2019
Last Updated: October 27, 2021
The Macedonian press began as early as 1885, although Macedonia did not become a republic of former Yugoslavia until 1946, and did not become an independent country until 1991. At the turn of the last century some inhabitants of Macedonia were agitating for independence from the Ottoman Empire and recognition of the Macedonian language and nationality as separate from Bulgarian, Greek, and Serbian. Many of the early newspapers centered on these issues and were published outside the current borders of North Macedonia. The language of some of the early titles may be debated, for Macedonian was not officially codified as a language until 1944-45. For this bibliography we included titles listed in Pregled na makedonskiot pečat (1885-1992) (Overview of the Macedonian Press, 1885-1992), by Boro Mokrov and Tome Gruevski, as well as any newspaper titles published within the current borders of North Macedonia, in any language.
From 1885 to 1992, Macedonia published over 1,200 periodicals, around 60% of which were general or special-interest newspapers, called vesnici. Newspapers no longer constitute such a large percentage of Macedonian periodical publishing in terms of the number of titles, but they remain the format with the highest circulation. According to the Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Macedonia (Statistički godišnik na Republika Makedonija) for 2014, there are 27 newspapers published in Macedonia, five of which are dailies. Most are published in Macedonian, but one is issued in Albanian and another in Turkish. The circulation figures for the Macedonian-language newspapers are 16,674, versus only 758 and 96 for the sole Albanian and Turkish titles, respectively.
The first Macedonian newspaper was Makedonskij glas, a weekly published in Sofia, Bulgaria, 1885-1887. The articles focused on protesting Ottoman rule over Macedonia. Unfortunately, the Library of Congress does not hold this title. Newspaper publishing in Macedonia in the 19th and early 20th centuries was primarily political in nature, with an emphasis on the "Macedonian question." During World War II, many titles were produced by the partisans to gather recruits, propagandize, and satisfy the need for news of the war. Other titles during this era were published by the occupying powers. The communist era saw steady growth in newspaper publishing, but with an expanded array of subjects, not limited to just politics and daily news. The Library of Congress holds only a fraction of the newspaper output from North Macedonia: over 30 titles, including two principal dailies from the communist era—one in Macedonian and the other in Albanian. Most holdings are from the post-communist period, and one title is from the interwar era. The Library of Congress holds only one diaspora title from the United States, the long-lived Makedonska tribuna, published in Indianapolis.
The major center of Macedonian newspaper publishing is the capital city Skopje, but in earlier decades it was also Sofia, Bulgaria. The largest collections of Macedonian newspapers are in North Macedonia, with the preeminent collection held by the National and University Library "Sv. Kliment Ohridski" in Skopje. For the 19th-century titles published in Bulgaria, the SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library in Sofia is also an important repository.