Meet the People: Dr. Sonja Merljak Zdovc, Editor of Časoris

By , 02 Feb 2018, 12:34 PM Meet the People
Meet the People: Dr. Sonja Merljak Zdovc, Editor of Časoris Photo from the collection of Dr. Sonja Merljak Zdovc

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Dr. Sonja Merljak Zdovc is the force behind Časoris, the online newspaper for children that makes a weekly appearance here as part of our efforts to provide more material for adult learners of Slovene. She’s a long-time friend of Total Slovenia News, and was kind enough to answer some questions about her life and work. 

February 2. 2018

How did Časoris start, and what’s the aim?

It was created in April of 2015 – in the aftermath of the January’s terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

At the time, many parents were wondering how to explain what happened to their children.

An article about how a French newspaper for children did just that landed in my Facebook feed, and it reminded me that we have no such medium for children and their parents in Slovenia. That is how it occurred to me that I could create it.

I strongly believe that children can and want to understand the news if it is put in context for them and presented in kids-friendly language.

With Časoris I am trying to help them to understand the news, to critically think about what they’re reading, and to apply their knowledge to the real world.

casoris logo.png

How would you describe the media market in Slovenia?

I am not sure what I can say. In many ways it is not that different to other markets. The fact that Slovene is a language spoken by just two million people makes it special. In certain ways the media in Slovenia are privileged because they do not have to compete with other publications in English. However, I am not sure that they are able to use this advantage.

The smallness of the country has also its disadvantages, one being that everyone knows everyone. In every country the media have problems and I think it is very sad that media outlets are being closed and journalists are being laid off, as I believe in the necessity of curated information just as much as I believe that media and the information they provide should be paid for, and that journalists should be able to live from their work.

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Screenshot of Časoris

Where do you live, and what’s it like there?

I live in Ljubljana, Šiška. I like living in Ljubljana as it is just the right size. Small enough that you can walk or cycle everywhere and big enough not to be boring.

What kind of things do you do on your day off, and where?

Day off? What is that? With Časoris and because of Časoris I am online 24/7. However, I do take some vacation in summer and then I like to go to Bol on the island of Brač. My day off in Ljubljana would include reading books, going to the cinema, spend some time with friends in the city center, or go to a park with my children.

Where do you like to travel in Slovenia?

I really love Soča Valley, the coast (for example Soline, Piran and even the old town of Koper) and the Karst region, but I think that there are many hidden or not so hidden jewels in Slovenia.


The Open Air Musem at Rogatec. Photo:

What are some things you’d like to recommend?

For stores, I like browsing in nice place like 1001 dar or Dota. For a restaurant, definitely Hiša Franko in Kobarid (even though I guess t must be overwhelmed now that Ana is such a world-renowned chef). For a cultural product I'd say Soline and Piranska Sol [salt]. But the Open Air Museum in Rogatec is also very lovely.

I’d also recommend Časoris, of course, and I also think the site Slovene Dream offers a nice introduction to the country. And right now my favourite Slovene band is Mi2, so I’d invite people to listen to them, too.

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