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BOSNIA MEDIA COVERAGE
COMMENTS ON OBJECTIVITY IN REPORTING
Subject: Bosnia Reporting
From Pascal Pelissier
Date: Saturday, 8 June 1996
As I am preparing to leave in a few days to Sarajevo, I have been using your site for information regarding the region. I would like to command you and your team for an outstanding job.
From Beeri Shuster
Date: Saturday, 8 June 1996
I believe that the Bosnian Serb political entity is styled as the Republic Srpska in the Dayton accords. As such it is misleading to continue to label it as self-styled. Additionally, its legislators were elected in the same Yugoslav elections that chose the parliamentarians of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina. The Irish Free State was formed in the same manner.
Subject: Objective Reporting
From Amir Handzel
Date: Wednesday, 22 May 1996
Since it has been raised in a few letters this month, I would like to clarify a few points regarding the perennial problem of objective reporting on the Yugoslav war, or more correctly the almost total lack of it. This problem appears in several forms, some of which are quite subtle:
1. Almost all the reporters/writers in the Western media have some explicit or implicit premise from which they start their reportage. Since they do not belong to any of the warring parties, it is generally but wrongly assumed that their premises do not carry politically biased implications. One of the best examples is the universally accepeted idea that Bosnia is a legitimate "unpartitionable" state with inviolable borders. Without advocating any other option, I claim that it is gross self deception and a misleading of the public not to realise that there is a genuine dispute regarding this point between the various parties in the former Yugoslavia, and as reporters, you are morally not in a position to decide about the solution. Lest I be misunderstood, I must emphasize here that I refer to the POLITICAL dispute and not to questions of war crimes.
2. Another form of subtle bias, but one with grave implications, is the choice of subjects for reporting. Again, I'll give an example: All journals, Berserkistan included, carry almost daily reports about the progress in hunting down Mladic and others in the Republica Srpska. Yet no-one even mentions Izetbegovic; does anyone believe that his hands are cleaner, or is it just the PC of the day to ignore his crimes?
3. A few networks, most notably CNN, have simply become outlets of DOD's spokesperson office. Again, contrary to common belief, DOD is a side to the Yugoslav mess just as any, having its own interests and plans. The fact that it promotes itself as a neutral outside mediator is completely misleading, and anyone who falls for it is extremely naive.
4. I feel an obligation to commend your reporter Jim Bartlett: his reports are transparent the facts clearly seen, and his personal style is captivating.
5. If anyone truely and honestly wants to have a deeper understanding of the conflict(s) of ex-Yugoslavia, you have to read the local press. There are two WWW sites which provide translated excerpts of official journals, but more important independent/opposition press in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro. For the last few months I have been sifting through their pages day and night and I can tell you that it gives a totally new dimension you realise that the essays of the New York Times are shallow and irrelevant:
Subject: Before Bosnia, Berserkistan
From James M. DiRisio, CPT, CA, USAR
Date: Wednesday, 22 May 1993
I am a US Army Reserve Civil Affairs Officer who has been notified of my impending deployment to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Endeavor. Berserkistan has been an excellent source of information, as I have attempted to sort out the very complex issues I will face.
Jim Bartlett's very personal style of journalism and its presentation on the WWW has made me feel as if I have already been to Bosnia. I have presented information from Berserkistan to my soldiers, so that they too may get this sense of real people, doing real things in a real place. As a planning resource, your work has been invaluable. I have also used text and images from Berserkistan to write my detachment's mission analysis and initial OPLAN for our potential involvement in Operation Joint Endeavor. While the mainstream media has virtually ignored the tactical side of operations in Bosnia, your reporting has enlightened myself and many members of my unit.
Thanks for your truly extraordinary approach to journalism, and keep up the good work!
Subject: Berserkistan Lacking
From Konstantin Konstantinovich
Date: Thursday, 16 May 1996
Your web page is 'quite' well done (in terms of presentation) however the content is very much lacking in objective analysis. Is Berserkistan a subsidiary of CNN? Or is it funded perhaps, by the Germans? Seems like it.
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