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BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina Presents New Publication

BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina and Konrad Adenauer Foundation promote 'History Overshadowed by Trivia - Regional Media Coverage of Radovan Karadzic's Arrest' in Sarajevo.

On February 10 the BIRN Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Konrad Adenauer Foundation presented the publication 'History Overshadowed by Trivia - Regional Media Coverage of Radovan Karadzic's Arrest' in Sarajevo.

The publication features analyses of media coverage in five countries in the region immediately after the arrest of Radovan Karadzic.

Anisa Suceska-Vekic, Director of BIRN in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lea Tajic, representing the Konrad Adenauer Office, Nidzara Ahmetasevic, BIRN - Justice Report Editor, and Nedeljko Rudovic, BIRN journalist from Podgorica, spoke at the presentation.

"The Publication draws a general conclusion that media reports published right after Karadzic's arrest did not focus on the key story but rather on sensationalism," Nidzara Ahmetasevic, who edited "History Overshadowed by Trivia", said. "What we concluded on the basis of the monitoring is that the media approach in this region is still influenced by political propaganda ... In addition, we can say that, by  trying so hard to obtain exclusive news, the media forgot about victims and, to a certain extent, about professional codes."

Ahmetasevic said that preparation of the publication had begun in September 2008. More than 1,000 articles, published in about twenty daily and weekly newspapers, were monitored.

Lea Tajic, who spoke on behalf of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, said she was proud that the Foundation had participated in the project. She noted that "nowadays the media actually influence general and personal views," and that "during the 11 days covered by our analysis the media were the ones who created the truth."

Nedeljko Rudovic, who wrote the Montenegro analysis, spoke about the changes that had taken place in that country since the early nineties; he also compared the situation before and after Karadzic's arrest.

"This monitoring constitutes evidence that Montenegro has changed, because Karadzic was perceived as a hero in 1991," he said. "but only a small, if aggressive, group of people supports him today."

The Publication was printed in Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian and English. It contains a review of reports published by the daily and weekly print media with the highest distribution rates in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Kosovo in the course of eleven days from Radovan Karadzic's arrest to his extradition to the Hague Tribunal in July 2008.

Analyses were prepared by the following BIRN journalists: in Serbia, Aleksandar Roknic, in Montenegro, Nedeljko Rudovic, in Croatia, Goran Jungvirt, in Kosovo, Krenar Gashi, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Merima Husejnovic and Nidzara Ahmetasevic, who was also overall editor of the publication.

'History Overshadowed by Trivia - Regional Media Coverage of Radovan Karadzic's Arrest' can be downloaded at the webpage.

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