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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 20 - 2013, No. 1

Now We Are Twenty. Happy Birthday!

, pages: 5 - 6

When I think about the first issue of Javnost—The Public, it seems as it were yesterday when it was published. Yet, it was exactly twenty years ago when the founders of the European Institute for Communication and Culture decided to complement Euricom’s main activity – international yearly Colloquia on Communication and Culture (http://euricom.si/colloquia/) – with its own publication outlet. Ever since the first colloquium organised in 1987, Euricom colloquia gave an impetus to book projects; the proceedings of the colloquia have been regularly published in a book form or as special issues of scholarly journals. Eventually, these efforts resulted in the foundation of Javnost—The Public in 1994, to enable a more systematic and continuous publication of ideas discussed at the colloquia and beyond. With this issue, Javnost—The Public is entering its twentieth year of existence. The quarterly – the flagship of the Institute – was established in 1994 as an interdisciplinary journal in the social sciences providing a forum for those interested in problems of the public sphere on national, international, disciplinary and cross- or transdisciplinary levels. It aims to stimulate the development of theory and research in the field, and to help understand and bridge the differences between cultures of publicness. In the first years, the major part of each issue concentrated on a key theme, whereas the remainder of the issue was reserved for manuscripts centred on general topics covered by the journal. In more recent years, however, the editorial policy shifted from predefined (often guest-edited) issues towards a more flexible scheme, which is primarily a consequence of the increase in the number of quality papers submitted to the journal. With its third volume, the journal has joined the most prominent journals listed under the subject category “communication” in the Social Sciences Citation Index; in addition, it is included in more than 15 other international bibliographical indexes and abstract banks. Since 2008, Javnost—The Public is also available online at http://www.javnost-thepublic.org/. The Journal’s website receives almost 20,000 visits per year, half of them from Europe, followed by North America and Asia. During the 19 years since its foundation, the journal covered a number of resounding topics. In its early period, the journal was specifically aimed at bridging gaps between the Western and Eastern, post-communist scholarship. Later on, it developed into a more generalist scholarly journal covering a variety of different topical issues including the role of (media) communication in fostering human freedom and social change; public service broadcasting; media democratisation in East-Central Europe, South-East Asia and China; digitisation of broadcasting; new developments in journalism; the importance of communication for class relationships; public opinion and political representation; perspectives of small-scale media and community media; tabloidisation of the media; globalisation of media and media policies; popular culture as political communication; media (in) war and peace; democratic rhetoric and duty of liberation; transformations in the public sphere(s) and the development of a European public sphere; E-networks and democratic life; “forgotten communication scholars,” and many others. Although the primary objective of the journal is to contribute to intellectual understanding of transformations in the democratic process, it is also meant to contribute to improved political practice, policy, and civic engagement. A 2005 study of internationality of scholarly journals (Lauf 2005) based on articles published between 1998 and 2002 in communication journals covered by SSCI revealed that Javnost—The Public ranks second most “internationalised” journal in the field, following Discourse & Society. In contrast to the majority of international communication journals which are dominated by authors and editors from the English speaking countries, Javnost—The Public has a high percentage of non-U.S. editors (over 80 percent) but does not discriminate against the non-EU countries (scholars from Asia, Australia, the Arab world, Canada, and the U.S.A. are represented in the editorial board). According to the study, in the period 1998-2002, no more than 21 percent of contributors to Javnost—The Public were from the U.S. and 55 percent of authors were from English-speaking countries, and a “diversity score” (indicating the probability that two randomly selected authors come from different geographic areas) was .95. Each scholarly journal stands and falls not only with is contributors but also with its editorial board and reviewers. We are proud of many worldly scholars from all continents – Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Americas – who contributed to a continuous progress of the journal in terms of its quality and prestige. Regretfully, we cannot share the proud with two founding fathers of EURICOM and its journal Javnost—The Public, Mike Traber (1929-2006) and Hanno Hardt (1934-2011), but their outstanding merits for the journal will always be gratefully remembered. Slavko Splichal Editor

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