This edition of the newspaper Vesnik (the Herald) was published in Skoder, Albania, on 17 December 1915. It was supposed to be printed every second day, to inform Serbian troops in Albania of the situation on the frontline and also to boost morale. But it only ever had one edition.
It was printed in the Roman alphabet, used for most western European languages, not the Serbian language. The newspaper explains this is because there was no Cyrillic printing press in Skoder, one that prints Slavic languages. In addition, there were no Serbian letters. The letter Ć or Č was replaced by CH. The Albanian press was conditioned to print mainly in Italian, so letters absent from the Italian language were not available for this publication.
[partial transcription]For the last month since we have been in Skoder we have often felt the need for a newspaper which should inform our audience about political and war-related events in this country and abroad. In order to satisfy the need we have decided to start ‘Vesnik’ [the Herald], which will have one specific goal: to inform readers about political and war-related news in this country and abroad.
The technical conditions in Skoder are poor. The lack of Cyrillic and Serbian Latin letters is forcing us to print Vesnik with letters the only letters that are available in the sole printing establishment in Skoder. It is a fact that this will tire our readers, especially because of the lack of our (Serbian) letters, which are not present in Latin, but we believe that our readers will be grateful even for this kind of publication as a way of getting information about what is going on around us and also in Allied countries.
We felt it necessary to say these few words to explain and excuse ourselves to our readers.
- Article by:
- Stephen Badsey
Professor Stephen Badsey reflects on how letters, parcels, and newspapers – although subject to censorship – kept family and friends in touch with soldiers serving in World War One.