Friday, January 09, 2004

Feral Going Down?

Feral Tribune, Croatian weekly and one of the best known magazines in this part of the world, didn't appear on kiosks this Friday. Since Feral stopped receiving financial aid from American sponsors, magazine is going to return to cheap paper and daily newspaper format. In next few months all Feral employees are going to receive 30% less salary.

This could be a sad end for the magazine that used to be the legend of Croatian (and former Yugoslav) independent media. Then again, its editors and journalists would have only themselves to blame. They started as satirical supplement of Nedjeljna Dalmacija during Communism, continued as satirical supplement of Slobodna Dalmacija in early 1990s and finally established themselves as the best known satirical magazine in this part of the world. Unfortunately, with death of Tudjman – their prime target – Feral also began to slowly fade away. Attempt to replace Tudjman with George W. Bush failed and, in the meantime, many talented reporters and satirists left for greener pastures. Quality of the magazine deteriorated, especially the stuff that had made Feral great – satire.

I wonder whether Feral would survive. I sincerely hope so. Even as a shadow of its former self, Feral was different and refreshing compared with some other, more "established" Croatian weeklies.


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