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Several high-profile editors have made a lasting impact on Slovenian journalism, but in many ways, Anna Krasna Praček’s work stands apart. In an era when women editors were rare, she successfully ran newspapers on two different continents and helped to give the Slovenian-American community its voice. (The picture is symbolic). Foto: BoBo

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A Slovenian woman’s trans-Atlantic newspaper career

Slovenia Revealed
18. September 2017 ob 06:36
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

Several high-profile editors have made a lasting impact on Slovenian journalism, but in many ways, Anna Krasna Praček’s work stands apart. In an era when women editors were rare, she successfully ran newspapers on two different continents and helped to give the Slovenian-American community its voice.

Krasna Praček was born in the Vipava Valley in 1900. Her childhood was difficult and she lost both parents as a teenager. After World War I, her native region was annexed by Italy, and like many Slovenians, Krasna Praček went into exile – in her case, to the United States, where she decided to pursue a career as a writer. After a few years spent among immigrants in Pennsylvania mining towns, where she learned English, she eventually settled in New York. In her new home, she published numerous short stories and poems. She was also an active supporter of left-wing causes and became frequent speaker at socialist rallies.

During World War II, she began teaching Slovenian in Brooklyn and became an associate editor of Glas Naroda, a Slovenian-language newspaper published in New York. Even though women rarely held executive jobs in journalism at the time, she was a gifted editor, and in 1946, she was promoted and became the newspaper’s editor-in-chief. A few years later, she moved to the Voice of America, where she prepared some of the VOA’s first Slovenian-language broadcasts.

In 1949, Krasna Praček, always a restless spirit, moved to Yugoslavia for a few years. There, she helped to establish the newspaper Novi List in the Croatian port city of Rijeka. Back in the U.S., she purchased her former employer Glas Naroda, which had found itself in financial difficulties. She saved the newspaper from bankruptcy and enabled it to continue publishing for another nine years. All the while, she remained active as a humanitarian and assisted several Slovenian-American organizations.

Ultimately, Krasna Praček settled in her native Vipava Valley and published several collections of her work, much of it focused on workers and immigrants in the United States. The woman who had played such a vital role in both the history of Slovenian journalism and the Slovenian-American community died in 1988. She was 87 years old.

Jaka Bartolj
Slovenia Revealed
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