Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Extensive Articles on the Bosnian Media

An extensive article focusing on journalism and journalist ingretity of Sarajevo based newspapers & journals (albeit from 2005) by Ozren Kebo.


Another article, although not as narrowly focused, on the Bosnian media.

BTW, I really enjoy the Media Online website, tons of interesting, very indepth articles on the media in the Balkans.


Srebrenica Massacre said...

How do you find all these good Bosnian sites? Good job!

Bg anon said...

Yes, what a brilliant article by Kebo.

I feel really sorry, I cant help thinking that the war impacted more on people than they realise.

I didnt realise that the Bosnian media was so hostile towards anybody not sharing their own (editorial) view.

In Serbia we have Kurir and the recently deceased Nacional (horray) which represent the true gutter press but generally the tabloids dont fill their pages with professional vendetas / insults against politicians / fellow journalists who dont abide by their principles.

Perhaps the striking back with full force tactic used by even independent journalists, as Kebo pointed out, is an inevitable consequence of the agression against Bosnia. The thinking behind it is maybe almost instinctive - fight force with force, dont waste time by being fair.

In fact, although it isnt my fault, I do feel somehow a bit responsible. Still, in the end primary responsiblity must rest with the individual. There can be no excuses for extremely low standards of journalism and campaigns against those that think differently.

I think that one should never be changed by circumstances no matter how hard they are - because then one becomes the true victim or prisoner of those that sought to change or liquidate them.

Easy to say of course but true none the less.

Shaina said...

Thanks! Usually I find them by accident. I found this one through the SENSE News site (although not directly)

Bg anon,
I agree the article by Kebo is very well written and very informative as well.
I agree with you that there is no excuse for using vulgar insults, personal vendettas etc in a newspaper.
But, I think I perhaps have a more naunced view on the Bosnian media.
Yes, there are certainly problems with the Sarajevo based press. Kebo's article vividly explains the editorial attacks, vulgar language and hostility that takes place.
But, of course the Sarajevo media cannot be lumped together. "Ljiljan" cannot be compared to "Start" "Slobodna Bosna" or "Dani". Not that the latter three are beyond reproach by any means (the Kebo article gives a few examples of when those papers fail the test of journalist ethics) but on the whole, both in terms of journalist ingretity and editorials they seem to be in a higher class of ethics as well as journalism and investigative reporting. And of course both SB and Dani were the first Bosnian papers to investigate and report about war crimes committed by members of the ABiH; often when the war was still going on.
Oslobodenje still appears to be a very respected paper, although perhaps not as influencial as it used to be.
While editorial indiscretions by those papers should certainly be condemned and are disapointing, they don't appear to be systemetic to those papers. (Which perhaps makes the times they do use insults etc, all that more disapointing). With SB, Start and Dani, from various essays I've read on the MediaOnline website it is that the "good" outweighs the "bad."
The same certainly can't be said for Walter! What a piece of crap. Just reading the excerpts from Walter in the essay, it sounds like it makes "Kurir" look like the epitome of good journalism.
There certainly does need to be improvements in the media, especially along the lines of ethics and not using vulgar insults against those who don't agree with you; but I also think the Sarajevo based media is very complex and cannot be all lumped together.
Now exactly how to improve the media is a much longer and more complicated problem.

Owen said...

Sounds like some of the British tabloids would feel quite at home among their Sarajevo counterparts.

Kirk Johnson said...

I can't keep up with you, Shaina--as always, you've found some great reading here.

Kirk Johnson said...

The first article is incredibly depressing; the insults described are not only hateful but juvenile. It's extremely disheartening to see public discourse reduced to such a debased level.

Shaina said...

One observation I noticed, is that compared to the gutter press in the US/Britain; the gutter press in the Balkans seems much more ideological and politically based.
Most of the US tabloids are filled with stories of celebs. dooms & glooms, Aliens in the supermarket, and stories of the end of the world.
From what I looked at from reading those "lovely" excerpts from Walter and looking at "Kurir" online; is that the Balkan tabloid press is much more nationalistic and ideological. Both Walter and Kurir seem to take a very strong ultra-nationalist, cheap, abusive stance on the issues and commentators. The language of Walter seems particularly vulgar and abusive; and the paper has absolutely no journalistic intregity at all. Is it still in business?
One inference I made from the Kebo article is that things have gotten worse as time went on. During the war and immediately following the war, several of the Sarajevo based papers: Oslobodenje, Dani and SB set a name up for themselves. Oslobodenje recieved international fame & acclaim for its war time writing. Both Dani and SB were the first papers to investigate and write about crimes committed by the ABiH. Given that they were both based in Sarajevo, which was under siege during the time period, it is even more remarkable act of journalism.
However, it seems that across the board in the Sarajevo press, even occassionally amongst the more respected papers, insults have increased.
BTW: "Start" magazine does sound really promising. They also have their own website with a few of their articles and interviews posted there as well.

Boo Friedmann said...

Hi Shaina,

Great article ... it is amazing the effect the past has on a culture.