Executive Summary

Given the critical role that the media played in the destruction of both Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the on-going role they play in fanning the flames of ethnic hatred, the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina has devoted much time, energy and money to this field. Despite frenetic activity, however, there have been few breakthroughs. Nearly 15 months after the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) came into force, the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina remain divided into three separate and mutually antagonistic components in Republika Srpska, Bosniac-controlled Federation territory and Croat-controlled Federation territory. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has a mandate to support the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina under Annex 3 of the DPA by way of creating conditions for free and fair elections. Otherwise, the international community is also able to influence the Bosnian media via subsidies, training programmes, and its own media presentation. The work of the OSCE's Media Development Unit (MDU) and in particular its Media Experts' commission was extremely disappointing in the run-up to the 1996 national elections. As a result, nationalist media were able to flout minimum standards with impunity. The postponement of the municipal elections, however, has given the media development unit a second chance. Critically, the MDU has new leadership and personnel who appear determined to play a more pro-active role and to respond rapidly to abuses. Foreign donors, in particular George Soros's Open Society Fund, the US Agency for International Development and the European commission ploughed money into media projects in 1996. However, only the Open Society Fund, which unlike the other principal donors has already been working in Bosnia and Herzegovina for many years and is largely staffed by Bosnian nationals with media expertise, appears to have a long-term strategy. Donor rivalry and overlap in both training and subsidies are rife and a cost-benefit analysis of media investment indicates a poor return. Moreover, the very number of media projects, which is out of all proportion to the size of Bosnia's population and, critically, the limited number of able journalists, dilutes their potential impact. The highest profile and most expensive project, TV-IN, which is otherwise known as the Open Broadcast Network and cost $10.5 million in 1996, has been a failure. The fundamental problem was the desire for quick results. The station went on the air one week before elections to give the impression of media pluralism. It was not technically ready and lacked the journalists to make it a success. Worse still, it was built on a network of small Bosniac stations and this has compromised the project in the eyes of both Croats and Serbs. The other high-profile international media project, the Swiss-financed Free Elections Radio Network (FERN) which cost 2 million DM, also had negligible impact on the Bosnian media scene during the election campaign, despite going on air two months before polling day. Although originally scheduled to close after the elections, postponement of the municipal poll gave the station a new lease on life and time to develop a quality product and to build up an audience. It has therefore been able to evolve into an influential medium, albeit concentrated in Bosniac-controlled Federation territory, the part of Bosnia and Herzegovina where media are generally the most open. The media approach of international organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina is unimaginative at best. The principal point of contact with journalists is a daily press conference which is held in English without translation. While the foreign press corps is well catered for, Bosnian journalists feel that they are ignored and consider the international community's approach imperialistic. ICG proposes a series of measures for the international community which, if implemented, could help change the role of the Bosnian media from one which is exacerbating tension to one which could contribute to restoring trust between the country's peoples. They include:

• Switching the focus of press relations from the international media to the Bosnian media and switching media relations work from English into the local language.

• Initiating an aggressive public information campaign in the Bosnian media to explain to Bosnians what the international community is doing in their country. This should include frequent appearances by international spokespeople on local television, weekly columns in Croat, Serb and Bosniac newspapers, and public relations on behalf of the many smaller non-governmental organisations working in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

• Restructuring TV-IN and expanding FERN in such a way that TV-IN breaks away from the Bosniac stations which currently comprise the network, and that both TV-IN and FERN build Serb and Croat legs, in addition to their Sarajevo headquarters.

• Using local expertise to help develop a co-ordinated media strategy that would involve rationalising investment to focus on quality, not quantity.


Given the critical role that the media played in the destruction of both Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the on-going role they play in fanning the flames of ethnic hatred, the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina has attempted to influence their output during the first 14 months of peace. The record to date is mixed, though not for want of trying. This report is the fruit of extensive monitoring of the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina and of international attempts to influence them, interviews with foreign donors, and in particular Bosnian journalists throughout the country. It consists of a brief history of the Bosnian media and their disintegration in war; a survey of the current media scene and of existing international attempts to influence them, and concludes with suggestions for a co-ordinated strategy to boost the non-nationalist media, reduce the influence of the nationalist media and thus contribute to the reintegration of the country. Appendices at the end contain media directories for Republika Srpska, Bosniac-controlled Federation territory and Croat-controlled Federation territory, including a brief description of each medium, as well as a break-down of the media investment of many of the major donors in 1996.

Background 1

Until the very last years of the communist era the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina were dull, conservative and firmly controlled by the republican authorities. Nevertheless, in the best Titoist traditions they aimed to satisfy, if not necessarily please, all three of the republic's constituent peoples. Key newspapers were published in a mix of Latin and Cyrillic with the script of the front-page alternating. Likewise, television subtitles were in Cyrillic one day and Latin the next. The Bosnian media acquired a lease on life as Yugoslavia's League of Communists disintegrated. RTV Sarajevo, RTV B&H's predecessor, was freed from direct government control by act of parliament and Oslobodjenje, the dominant publishing house, began the privatisation process. In October 1990 Sarajevo became home to Yutel, a would-be pan-Yugoslav television network launched by Yugoslavia's last prime minister, Ante Markovic, in an attempt to neutralise the media war then being waged between Belgrade and Zagreb. Yutel leased RTV Sarajevo's second channel and was remarkably popular among Bosnians throughout the war in neighbouring Croatia. It went off the air five weeks after the outbreak of fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the Yugoslav ideal it represented disintegrated. In the course of 43 months of war, the integrated Bosnian media fell apart and split into three completely separate and mutually antagonistic components. The structure of the media also changed. During the war, most of the trade publications folded and the circulation of newspapers and magazines collapsed. By contrast, broadcast media, which was viewed as critical to the war effort, mushroomed. Whereas 377 publications, 54 radio stations, four television stations and one news agency were officially registered before the war, there are now 145 print media, 92 radio stations, 29 TV stations and six news agencies. 2


The Bosnian media remain divided into three almost totally separate markets in Republika Srpska, Bosniac-controlled Federation territory and Croat-controlled Federation territory. Broadcast signals cross the former front lines and enable Bosnians to watch television or listen to radio originating from territory controlled by another people. However, few journalists dare to travel to regions outside the control of their nation's armed forces because they fear for their personal security. Moreover, telephone links, which are poor between Croat and Bosniac-controlled territory, hardly exist between the Federation and Republika Srpska. 3 One feature common to all three media markets is the overwhelming influence of state television. An opinion poll in the Sarajevo monthly magazine Dani indicated that 46.6 per cent of people in Bosniac-controlled Federation territory declared television to be their principal source of information - far ahead of the second most influential medium, the daily newspaper Dnevni avaz, which, according to the same poll, was the principal source of information for 7.54 per cent. 4 In Republika Srpska and Croat-controlled Federation territory the influence of state television was even more pervasive, since virtually no alternative medium exists in those parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Given the lack of contact between the three media markets, each must be considered in turn. (See appendix for a directory of the Bosnian media.)

Republika Srpska

In Republika Srpska the most important media are directed by the most powerful politician in the ruling Srpska demokratska stranka (SDS). Momcilo Krajisnik, the Serb member of the Bosnian Presidency and close colleague of indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic, chairs the management board of RTV Srpska and carefully controls the content of state radio and television. The consequences are predictable. Indeed, the output of the official Bosnian Serb media is frequently so offensive that High Representative Carl Bildt accused them of putting out propaganda that "even Stalin would be ashamed of". 5 TV Srpska's news output and especially the flagship early evening Novosti u 7.30 is less than subtle. According to the Institute of War and Peace Reporting, "Novosti provides unreserved support to Republika Srpska authorities. It fully upholds the policies, ideology and national euphoria propagated by the ruling SDS. Its relentlessly negative stance towards the Federation—and especially towards Bosniacs—aims to rule out any possibility of coexistence and reintegration." 6 Bosniacs are still frequently referred to in derogatory terms, and reports from the Federation are regularly placed in the section Iz sveta (From Abroad), thereby suggesting that Republika Srpska is not part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Republika Srpska is home to 25 newspapers and other periodicals, 36 radio stations (seven of which are privately-owned), seven television stations (i.e. production units or studios) and one official state news agency, SRNA. 7 Of the broadcast media none apart from RTV Srpska has an independent news-gathering capacity and even the handful of privately-owned stations rely almost exclusively on the SRNA wire. In addition to TV Srpska, Sarajevo-based radio and television B&H, as well as Croatian and Serbian radio and television, can be watched in much of Republika Srpska. Of these, Serbian television is naturally the most influential, though its image has recently taken a severe beating because of its coverage, that is lack of coverage, of the mass demonstrations in Belgrade which could be watched on TV Srpska. Otherwise, the Belgrade press is also generally available and read far more than anything published in Republika Srpska.

Alternative Media

After several years of darkness, alternative media began cautiously to emerge around the time that the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed. The first medium to make an impact, however, was hardly independent. Radio Krajina, an army-run station in Banja Luka which was headed by indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic's spokesman Colonel Milovan Milutinovic, became an unlikely yet influential forum for alternative points of view. Indeed, according to IWPR, it was the "lone broadcaster to act as something other than a government transmission belt" 8 and in the run-up to the elections it consistently produced lively political phone-in debates featuring every party which wished to take part. The elections were a great spur to the alternative media since the ruling party had to give the impression, at least temporarily, that it would tolerate other points of view. In this way, a handful of newspapers, Nezavisne novine and Novi prelom in Banja Luka, Alternativa in Doboj and Panorama in Bijeljina, all of which had been launched or relaunched since the signing of the DPA, became mouthpieces of the opposition. Of these, Nezavisne novine was by far the most influential, evolving, with financial assistance from the UK's Overseas Development Agency, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and George Soros' Open Society Fund, from a fortnightly newspaper into a weekly in June and a daily in August. Moreover, the daily boasted a circulation of 4,000 and the weekly of 9,000, which though objectively low was, nevertheless, far greater than any other publication in Republika Srpska. The backlash came as soon as the elections were over and the SDS was confirmed in power. In October journalists with Alternativa were put on trial for libel, Radio Krajina was closed and Glas Srpski, the state-owned and only printing press suitable for newspapers told Nezavisne novine that "for technical reasons" it could no longer be printed. If the intention of the SDS was to silence all dissenting voices, it had the opposite effect. Reporters from throughout Republika Srpska who had been working for alternative media came together in December to form a union of independent journalists. Meanwhile, Nezavisne novine switched printing to Belgrade and continued to come out as a weekly, continuously pushing back the boundaries of the possible with, for example, interviews with the chairman of the Bosnian Presidency Alija Izetbegovic and a joint-venture of sorts with the Sarajevo-based bi-weekly Slobodna Bosna. In January, as it became clear that the clamp-down was counter-productive, Glas Srpski relented and agreed to print Nezavisne novine again.

Croat-controlled Federation Territory

The most closed media market is in Croat-controlled Federation territory. Of 10 papers and magazines, 15 radio stations, five television studios and one news agency, Habena, 9 no media organs, not even those which are privately owned, deviate from the line of the ruling Hrvatska demokratska zajednica (HDZ). Not even during the election campaign did any of the media give any space to alternative points of view. The most important local medium, HTV Mostar (which is a privately-owned television station) is, according to IWPR, "one party television for a would-be one-party state". 10 Newspapers from Croatia dominate the news-stands and the Split daily Slobodna Dalmacija devotes a page every day to events in so-called Herceg-Bosna. Dissident Croatian publications, however, such as the satirical Split weekly Feral Tribune, are difficult to find. Otherwise, Hrvatska Radio-Televizija, that is television from Croatia proper whose signal covers much of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the principal information source. On 1 February an outpost of Hrvatska Radio-Televizija called TV Herceg-Bosna began broadcasting to Croat-controlled Federation territory from Siroki Brijeg. In December a weekly newspaper called Horizont was launched in west Mostar. While too early for a definitive analysis, the newspaper is nevertheless already the most positive media development in Croat-controlled territory since the end of hostilities.

Bosniac-controlled Federation Territory

The most open of the state-run media in Bosnia and Herzegovina is by far that in Bosniac-controlled Federation territory. They, nevertheless, leave much to be desired, and while relatively open to the Bosniac opposition, have little positive to say about either Republika Srpska or, more worrying, their Croat partners in the Federation. Though TV B&H, the most influential medium, attempts to portray itself as a public service broadcaster for the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, its news output is generally slavishly obedient to the ruling Bosniac nationalist party Stranka za demokratsku akciju (SDA) and amounts at best to a version of events from the perspective of a broad-minded Bosniac. The situation is considerably bleaker in the local, municipality-owned media outside Sarajevo, especially in Cazinska Krajina, the area of northern Bosnia around Bihac, which are firmly under SDA control. Since the state-run media are so much more reasonable and tolerant in Bosniac-controlled territory than elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosniac nationalist media with close links to the ruling SDA also exist. These include Dnevni avaz, the best-selling daily newspaper, Ljiljan, the weekly with especially high sales abroad, and Hayat Radio. Moreover, a Bosniac nationalist television linked to the newspaper Ljiljan is scheduled to come on air in the near future.

Alternative Media

At first glance the alternative media scene appears to be thriving, diverse and dynamic. News-stands are packed with a plethora of publications and the air waves are clogged by the frequencies of the many radio stations. In addition, privately-owned, local television stations are everywhere. Indeed, there are 110 print media, 41 radio stations, 17 television stations and four news agencies on Bosniac-controlled Federation territory. 11 The reason is donations from abroad. An estimated $7 million were ploughed into the media in Bosniac-controlled territory between October 1992 and the end of 1995. 12 Since there has been no shortage of deep-pocketed donors, the scale of the alternative media and the number of journalists is out of all proportion to the size of the population. Moreover, as foreign donors appear prepared to continue subsidising the Bosnian media, the number of media ventures and radio projects in particular, appears to grow by the day. Despite a handful of quality publications, however, circulations are generally small and most of the industry would collapse if the donations dried up.


Only Annex 3 of the DPA, the Agreement on Elections, refers explicitly to the media and only in respect to conditions for the organisation of free and fair elections. It states: "The Parties shall ensure that conditions exist for the organisation of free and fair elections, in particular a politically neutral environment...; [and] shall ensure freedom of expression and of the press. 13 And later: "The Parties request the OSCE to certify whether elections can be effective under current social conditions in both Entities and, if necessary, to provide assistance to the Parties in creating these conditions." 14 As long as the OSCE is supervising elections, it has a mandate to help ensure freedom of expression and the press. To this end the Provisional Election commission (PEC), the election rule-making and supervisory body, drew up an Electoral Code of Conduct containing standards for the media and journalists and created a Media Experts commission (MEC) 15 to monitor compliance. The MEC was also mandated to monitor the security of journalists, to gauge whether the access provided to political parties and candidates was equitable and to observe erroneous news reporting. It was chaired by the OSCE Senior Advisor for Media Development, and included representatives of the three nationalist parties, "media specialists" appointed by each of the parties, representatives of the Ministries of the Interior of both entities, a representative of the High Representative, and two human rights officers of the OSCE. In each of the OSCE regional centres, Media Expert Sub-commissions (MESCs) were also constituted. The MEC can only report serious violations to the PEC which has the power to impose fines or other appropriate penalties. The conclusions of the London Conference of 5 December 1996 contain a section on independent media. In this the authorities undertake to:

• "agree a new legal framework which will enable the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to facilitate the creation and operation of independent broadcasting stations and networks throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Transparent and non-discriminatory procedures will be established by the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are supplied by the ITU with frequencies, for licences to be issued to such stations and networks, whether they are granted at national, Entity of Cantonal level. The authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have a particular responsibility for ensuring that cross-Entity networks have the opportunity to receive frequencies, and they will look favourably on all such applications;

• take the necessary measures so that technical equipment and programming material for such stations and networks are exempt from customs duties or other import taxes;

• issue the necessary licences to enable the Open Broadcast Network (OBN) and TV-IN to operate throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and to permit the establishment of additional facilities to enable OBN and TV-IN to be received throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina;

• ensure that any laws and regulations governing the media are fully consistent with relevant international agreements, respect the right to freedom of expression and are applied in a non-discriminatory way;

• agree a new legal framework which will permit the establishment and circulation of newspapers, magazines and other published material by repealing all restrictive laws or administrative regulations governing the right to set up newspapers, magazines and other published material and newsprint without restriction." 16


OSCE Media Development and the MEC

As with so much of the OSCE's supervision of elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina last year, the work of its Media Development Unit was disappointing. Part of the problem was the defeatism which seemed to pervade the entire organisation. But the absence of leadership and expertise within the media development unit was especially acute. Nevertheless, the OSCE did manage to bring journalists from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina together for media discussions, buy newspapers in one entity and distribute them through its own offices in the other entity, and help set up the Free Elections Radio Network (see below). It also persuaded both RTV Bosnia and Herzegovina (RTV B&H) and RTV Srpska to adopt the PEC's code of conduct and eventually to broadcast voter education material. HTV Mostar, the Croat broadcaster, however, rejected any code of conduct. The work of the MEC in the run-up to the September election was especially disappointing. Mirza Hajric, representative of the Bosnian government in the MEC, resigned on 8 September citing his frustration with the ineffectiveness of the commission. In his resignation letter to Ambassador Robert Frowick, head of the OSCE mission in Bosnia, he wrote: "Though the MEC received a mandate from the PEC, the most powerful body within the OSCE, and has all necessary facilities to do its job, I consider that the results of its work and that of its five regional commissions is well below an acceptable minimum." 17 The MEC held nineteen meetings between 3 May and 5 September 1996. The first ten meetings addressed mainly technical issues—including definitions and terminology—and very few complaints. The MEC used the better part of the first 10 meetings to reach a decision on the issuance of press accreditation. 18 Altogether, the MEC addressed some 30 complaints, most of which it dispensed with by asking for additional explanations. In the few cases in which the MEC decided to take action, it merely required apologies or referred complaints to the PEC for further action. One of the MEC's few substantive decisions illustrates its ineffectiveness. On 11 July the Federation representative in the MEC complained to the MEC about a commentary broadcast of Bosnian Serb television on 29 June by its director, Ilija Guzina. The MEC decided to review a video recording of the broadcast at its next meeting on 18 July. No video was produced until 25 July. At that meeting the MEC decided to send a letter to Guzina demanding a retraction and an apology. He refused, and the MEC forwarded the case to the PEC. On 11 August Guzina gave an interview to a Belgrade newspaper in which he declared his refusal to comply with the MEC's "order", which he said violated his journalistic freedom. Finally, on 27 August, the station read a retraction on Guzina's behalf (because Guzina had been hospitalised). The MEC considered this a "successful" conclusion, despite the fact that the apology, such as it was, had been broadcast a full two months after the offending statements were made. The MEC failed to follow through on several decisions: its regional sub-commissions failed to monitor the media in their areas; the MEC was unable to persuade Republika Srpska's Minister of Information to set up a system of media monitoring there; the MEC never issued guidelines distinguishing between access and political advertising, despite having decided to do so on 8 August. 19 Having received on 26 July a detailed complaint of bias against Bosnian Serb television from the Democratic Patriotic Block, the MEC invited the station's editor-in-chief to a meeting which he declined to attend. On 5 September the MEC decided to forward the complaint to the Election Appeals Sub-commission (EASC), but failed to do so until 20 September, six days after the election when the EASC no longer had jurisdiction. 20 Although all broadcast media in Bosnia and Herzegovina were supposed to broadcast OSCE voter information tapes from June, the MEC allowed Bosnian Serb television to avoid broadcasting the tapes until 6 September and never compelled HTV Mostar to do so. The MEC also failed to take any action to stop broadcasters from airing statements by party leaders and candidates that challenged the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, in violation of the DPA and the PEC rules and regulations. 21 In a complaint regarding press accreditation in Republika Srpska, local police denied entry to a Finnish journalist who had IFOR press credentials. After considering the complaint for four weeks, the MEC recommended that the official responsible for the incident be censored by the Republika Srpska authorities so that "in the future he will not be in a position to hinder journalistic work on the territory of RS". 22 However, harassment of journalists in Republika Srpska continued unabated. 23 The postponement of the municipal elections gave the OSCE's media development unit a second chance to do what it should have been doing in the first place. While it is generally difficult to breath life into a moribund institution, key measures have already been taken. In particular, the MDU has new leadership and staff who appear determined to turn the MEC into a media watchdog able to respond rapidly to abuses and set minimum standards. The MEC itself has decided to expand its membership by adding three independent journalists of the Federation and Republika Srpska. Since January, the MEC has investigated attacks on journalists, fires and break-ins at media offices, and inflammatory statements made during "call-in" shows, editorials and news broadcasts. The five Media Expert Sub-commissions (MESCs) have begun meeting and the Mostar MEC held emergency sessions to consider the media response to violence in West Mostar in February.

Media Monitoring

The London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) set up in June 1996 a comprehensive media monitoring operation together with Media Plan, a Sarajevo company specialising in media matters. 24 The Open Society Institute and the Winston Foundation for World Peace, both of the USA, and Germany's Friedrich Naumann Stiftung provided start-up funds. Principal project support came from the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA). Between June and the September elections, IWPR put out a weekly monitoring report in English. It hit a funding crisis soon after the elections and monitoring reports dried up for a month. They are now back, though principally in the local language with an English-language version published every second week. Media Plan also puts together a daily summary of key news broadcasts for the OSCE which is available in the local language every morning.

Media Investment

Foreign donors have maintained their wartime financial support for the Bosnian media in the first year of peace. Indeed, the level of subsidy has risen sharply as new donors with large budgets, such as USAID and the European commission, have entered the market. (A break-down of subsidies given by the major donors and compiled by the Office of the High Representative is contained in an appendix to this report.) Moreover, this level of support is likely to continue at least for the forthcoming year. George Soros' Open Society Fund says it has a budget of $3 million, and this will be increased by $2 million if matching funding can be found; USAID says it expects to give between $10 and $15 million; and the European commission has earmarked 10 million ECU for the former Yugoslavia, much of which will go to media projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the first post-war year investment has consisted of substantial subsidies, some innovative programming, including in particular broadcasts of war crimes trials from The Hague, and professional training of journalists. Despite frenetic activity, however, there have been few breakthroughs. Though disappointing, this should not be a surprise since the media are generally more effective, at least in the short-term, at destabilising a situation, than at rebuilding trust. Reconstruction of the media, as any other field, will be a difficult and drawn out process. Moreover, as illustrated above, the ruling nationalists retain a vice-like grip on the key media throughout the country. Nevertheless, money allocated to the Bosnian media could be invested more wisely. A cost-benefit analysis of media investment in 1996 indicates a poor return. The problem is a lack of overall strategy and absence of expertise. Instead of analysing the Bosnian media in detail, then working out a long-term approach to help improve it and combining forces to implement such a policy, donors have for the most part done their own thing. Worse still, they have on occasions even been competing with each other over which projects to back. One example of this is the proposed project to build a printing press in Republika Srpska to help the fledgling alternative media and prevent the authorities from closing newspapers down by preventing them from printing. Initially, both USAID and the European commission appeared determined to finance the venture, irrespective of the relative merits, because it was an obvious prestige project. While both parties still appear keen on the project, neither has as yet fully committed itself. A still worse example of donor rivalry and overlap this year has occurred in the area of media training. Since many Bosnian journalists are young and only started working during the war, they often have no experience of peacetime reporting and never received any formal training. The need for training therefore is obvious. However, in the course of 1996 hordes of media consultants, few of whom had any prior knowledge of the country, descended on Bosnian news organisations (almost exclusively in Bosniac-controlled Federation territory) offering short-term training courses to journalists. While the foreign visitors were welcomed at first, news editors quickly tired of the procession. The visits were generally too brief and unstructured for the Bosnians to get much out of them. During the war donations were critical to preserving and ensuring the survival of media in Bosniac-controlled regions. Because of the prevailing conditions and the importance of media for boosting morale, donors did not have to devise a sophisticated media strategy, they merely had to keep the money coming. In peace, however, media subsidies often create problems of their own. The market becomes entirely artificial and the viability of a particular publication or radio or television station, for example, depends not on the quality of the product but on the ability of the management to drum up donations. In the course of 1996 virtually any existing or potential news organisation anywhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina, not overtly controlled by one of the ruling parties, which has sought financial support has received it, though usually in the form of computer equipment. The list of beneficiaries of USAID's largesse (see appendix), in particular, is impressive. The substance and integrity of some of those beneficiaries, however, are dubious. Take Ekstra magazin, a fortnightly publication from Bijeljina. This newspaper, the recipient of 18,400 DM from USAID, is ostensibly independent. However, it is owned and edited by Jovica Petkovic who during the war was the head of the Bosnian Serb Army's press centre and one of Republika Srpska's most chauvinist propagandists. Worse still, the contents of the newspaper leave much to be desired with Sarajevo journalists complaining that articles they wrote for other publications are reprinted without permission and edited in such a way as to skew the original message. Whoever chose to give a subsidy to this newspaper clearly had not investigated its editor's past, let alone read it. Or take Flash, a news agency of sorts in Banja Luka which received 38,000 DM from USAID to set up a daily media monitoring service ostensibly for the benefit of political parties and international organisations. The fact that many of the radio stations they proposed to monitor had no independent news-gathering capacity and therefore relied virtually exclusively on the Tanjug and SRNA wires appeared not to matter. Suffice it to say, local political parties were not queuing up to subscribe to Flash. The equipment, however, has not gone to waste since it is being used to publish Knina, a nationalist newspaper published by the Croatian Serb refugee community in Banja Luka. One media donor clearly stands out from the rest, namely George Soros' Open Society Fund. This is hardly surprising given that the organisation has already been operating in Bosnia for most of the war, generally employs locals who have both media experience and expertise, and, critically, it is making an open-ended commitment to Bosnia intending to continue working in the country for many years to come. Instead of sending trainers into news organisations on flying visits, the Open Society Fund built a school for journalism within its media centre in Sarajevo. Trainers at the school are working journalists supplied by the BBC and paid for by the UK's Know-How Fund, and students, who attend 10-week courses, come from all parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is Republika Srpska as well as the Federation. 25 When it comes to media subsidies the Open Society Fund is generally extremely cautious, aware that excessive generosity can skew the market and that certain publications which claim to be independent do not deserve support. Before making funding decisions, therefore, the Open Society Fund attempts to assess the long-term economic viability of a project, demanding to see, for example, a business plan. In addition, as part of a process akin to "due diligence", the Open Society Fund often commissions an analysis of the work of any media organisation seeking financial support from Media Plan. Given the number of media donors and the potential for both rivalry and overlap, the Office of the High Representative has attempted to co-ordinate media investment. It has, for example, compiled a database of the disbursements of the major donors to try to minimise overlap and make sure that potential beneficiaries are not, at the same time, taking money from several sources. However, the Office of the High Representative has failed to develop an overall media strategy and, with the departure of its media specialist, lacks the expertise to come up with such a framework. Internews, the US non-governmental organisation specialising in the media, has produced some of the most innovative television programming to be shown in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the past year. 26 Live broadcasts of the first war crimes trials from The Hague, which were shown on TV B&H, had an immediate impact as Bosnians in both the Federation and Republika Srpska tuned in in droves. After initial curiosity wore off, however, and in the absence of the most notorious indictees, interest faded rapidly. Otherwise, Internews focused on high-brow programmes linking up colourful individuals who used to work closely together but who have been divided by the war. This included Goran Bregovic, the Belgrade-based musician from Sarajevo's most famous rock band Bijelo Dugme, and Abdulah Sidran, the author of the screen play to When Father was Away on Business, who remained in Sarajevo throughout the war.

Local-language Radio and Television Services from Abroad

International broadcasters have for decades produced radio programmes in Yugoslav languages and beamed them at what was Yugoslavia. Most of these services pre-date the conflict and have therefore had many years to build up audiences. Since the outbreak of fighting in the former Yugoslavia, however, there has been an explosion in the quantity of programmes and services (Croat, Serb and even Bosnian). The most influential of these services are BBC world service, Deutsche Welle, Radio France Internationale, Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. BBC world service, Radio Free Europe and Voice of America have especially large networks of correspondents in Bosnia and Herzegovina and indeed throughout the former Yugoslavia. Local radio stations in Bosniac-controlled Federation territory, such as Tuzla's Radio Kameleon and Sarajevo's Radio Zid, have made the most of these services and broadcast them instead of producing their own news programming. Since September 1996 Prague-based Liberty Television, which like Radio Free Europe is funded by the US Congress, has been producing 30 minutes of television a week in the local language on news features relating to Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is far and away the most professionally-produced and interesting television programming on offer in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sadly, however, since it is produced in Prague, it is usually a little behind the news. In Sarajevo it can be seen on the private television station TVX, in Mostar on RTV Mostar, in Zenica on Zetel and in Tuzla on FS3. It is not being shown in Croat-controlled Federation territory or in Republika Srpska.


Two international media projects dwarf all others - the Free Elections Radio Network (FERN) and TV-IN, otherwise known as the Open Broadcast Network. Both are ambitious ventures which have been on the receiving end of much criticism and which do suffer from major shortcomings. However, these shortcomings are largely the result of political pressure exerted from beyond Bosnia and Herzegovina which demanded the establishment of some form of nation-wide alternative media in Bosnia before the September 1996 elections. The fact that both FERN and TV-IN are focused on Bosniac-controlled Federation territory, where the state-run media are the most moderate and the alternative media the most developed, yet virtually ignore Republika Srpska and Croat-controlled Federation territory, where state-run media are all powerful and broadcast daily incitements to ethnic hatred, did not matter. Nevertheless, both FERN and TV-IN have the potential to make a difference in the longer term and, if carefully nurtured, even to transform the Bosnian media scene. FERN is the media success story in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Financed by Switzerland to the tune of 2 million DM, it was originally scheduled to be on air only until the September elections. With an initial staff of 20, including stringers, it claimed that its signal covered 81 per cent of Federation territory and 66 per cent of Republika Srpska. Journalists received two weeks of training and the station began broadcasting on 15 July, that is less than two months before polling day. Without an advertising campaign to announce its appearance and so little time, the station had no chance of having any influence on the election campaign. Moreover, the Republika Srpska authorities temporarily banned FERN's broadcasts because it had not sought their permission. 27 Postponement of the municipal elections extended FERN's existence and gave it the time both to develop a quality product and to build up an audience. In the intervening months FERN has evolved into a powerful medium producing consistently high-quality programming. Critically, by paying regular salaries to journalists (an unusual event in Bosnia), covering health insurance and even implementing incentive schemes, the station has attracted and is attracting many of Bosnia's better reporters, has generated genuine camaraderie among staff and operates with high morale. That said, the FERN structure remains fundamentally flawed. It is based in Sarajevo and relies excessively upon freelance contributions to cover Republika Srpska and Croat-controlled Federation territory. It has also had many technical problems, going off the air temporarily in some regions and never reaching others, principally in Republika Srpska and Croat-controlled Federation territory. In effect it provides a good alternative to Radio B&H, but not to Radio B&H's Serb and Croat equivalents. In addition, FERN only has guaranteed funding until the municipal elections. At that point, unless new funds are allocated, according to a confidential document agreed between the station and the entity authorities, its equipment will be divided between the entities. FERN's problems pale into insignificance besides those of TV-IN, the $10.5 million television network sponsored by the Office of the High Representative. While FERN had a two-months run into the elections and a small but dedicated staff who had undergone training together, TV-IN went on air on 7 September less than a week before polling day with barely any staff and no time to practice. Moreover, to get it up and running so soon, the network had to operate using satellite up-links, rather than a cheaper and longer-term terrestrial alternative. The results were predictable - technical glitches, sloppy production and in-fighting. At the beginning the picture quality was too poor for most Bosnians to tune in, and even now its reach is limited. Indeed, when on 1 January the satellite link failed and TV-IN went off the air for a week, few Bosnians even noticed its demise. A major shortcoming of TV-IN is that it was put together by the Office of the High Representative and not by Bosnians. It is thus generally viewed as a foreign creation and treated with suspicion. A week before it went on air, it lacked key staff and the original news editor, Goran Milic (the former head of Yutel), had to be brought in from Croatia. The key to any media organisation is its journalists and even now TV-IN just does not have enough of them. The news editor says that he only has four reporters at the hub. Moreover, staff complain that they do not know themselves where the station stands, who is running it or where it is heading. They also say that technically they form part of the black economy and are thus working without standard benefits such as health insurance. Ostensibly, TV-IN is based on a network of nominally independent television stations, all of which were founded during the war on Bosniac-controlled territory, with a news hub in Sarajevo. Originally, five stations set up the network, Sarajevo-based NTV 99 and TV Hayat, TV Mostar, Zenica-based Zetel and TV Tuzla, and each received a large donation of television equipment which accounted for much of the international community's investment. The stations were expected to broadcast TV-IN programming several hours a day. Having received its share of the equipment, however, NTV 99 promptly left the network and has since been one of its fiercest critics. The other member stations have formally remained in the network and broadcast programming produced at the hub (when available), but themselves frequently join the chorus of criticism. TV-IN can only be seen in those parts of Bosnia covered by one of the member stations, that is Sarajevo, Zenica, Tuzla and Mostar, as well as in Banja Luka in Republika Srpska courtesy of a transmitter installed last year by IFOR. Programming consists of a central news programme broadcast at 8 o'clock in the evening and lasting 30 minutes. There is also a weekly programme on refugee issues which TV-IN produces itself, as well as a programme on women's issues which was broadcast for the first time last week. Otherwise, however, the hub appears to have a minimal budget for domestic productions and the bulk of programming, including South American soap opera, is bought in from abroad. The little stations are a major embarrassment. They fail to contribute much in the way of news reports to the hub, as originally anticipated, and what they do contribute is often amateurish and/or as biased as the state broadcaster. Worse still, some of their practices bring the entire network into disrepute. Hours of programming are filled with videos of recently-released western films for which no payment is ever made, thus breaking international copyright law on a daily basis. During ramadan TV Hayat used its largely US-bought equipment to broadcast many hours of religious programming a day supplied by Iran. While there is nothing wrong with Iranian programming per se, the fact that TV Hayat is broadcasting it will not endear TV-IN to Serb viewers just the other side of the inter-entity boundary line. And TV Mostar's output is generally so one-sided that Croats in west Mostar who are only able to watch TV-IN on TV Mostar's frequency cannot take the network seriously. Indeed, many senior journalists in both Republika Srpska and Croat-controlled Federation territory consider that the network is already too compromised among Serbs and Croats to ever have an impact. Despite much of the above, there is much to commend in TV-IN as well. Anyone who has ever launched or worked on the launch of any media venture must be aware that television stations cannot be set up rapidly. Technically the project was very difficult to put together; and politically, it proved even more problematic because of successive Bosnian government protests and obstructions. Realistically speaking, two years of preparation would be about the minimum required to get a project of such magnitude up and running. As a result, the mere fact that the station exists is no mean achievement of itself. In addition, given the lack of journalists working at the hub, some of what has been produced there, and especially the themes selected, is a clear improvement on state television. Here much credit is due to Kosta Jovanovic, the current news editor who replaced Goran Milic in November. Jovanovic, a Bosnian Serb with more than 20 years' experience of television who remained loyal to Sarajevo but was edged out of state media during the war, is determined to make TV-IN a success throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina by, among other projects, setting up proper coverage of Republika Srpska.

International Organisations' Media Presentation

The approach of the international organisations operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina was inherited from the days of UNPROFOR and has not in essence been changed during the first 14 months of peace. The principal point of contact with journalists is a daily press conference held at a media centre in Sarajevo's Holiday Inn leased by SFOR at a cost of 110,000 DM per month. Typically, press conferences begin just after 11 in the morning and last for about half an hour. Spokesmen from a handful of the key international organisations operating in the country give a brief update on the events of the past day and raise matters of concern. The press conference takes place entirely in English without any translation. 28 As international media interest in Bosnia and Herzegovina wanes, turn-out at the press conferences diminishes. Moreover, TV B&H, which is short of television cameras, does not generally bother attending. And the Serb and Croat nationalist media never attend. The current approach would be fine if Bosnians were native English speakers, the mandate of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina was obvious and understood by all Bosnians, and the DPA a straightforward document which was being implemented without problems. However, this is not the case. While the increasingly minute foreign press corps is exceedingly, indeed excessively, well catered for, Bosnian journalists feel that they are left in the dark and consider the international community's attitudes and approach to be imperialistic. Whether imperialistic or not, the international community has largely failed to explain to ordinary Bosnians what it is doing in their country and why. Moreover, the High Representative Carl Bildt, who represents the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is frequently on the receiving end of overtly personal attacks in the Bosnian media and, partly as a result, has a poor image within the country which he does not deserve. Ironically, Michael Steiner, Carl Bildt's deputy, is popular among Bosnians, at least, that is, in Bosniac-controlled territory where, for example, the daily newspaper Dnevni avaz voted him personality of the year in 1996 and the monthly magazine Dani declared him number four. This is largely a result of Steiner's personal style and his eagerness to communicate with Bosnians. For not only does he always make time to talk with Bosnian journalists and explain exactly what the international community is trying to achieve, he also addresses gatherings such as Circle 99 (Krug 99), Sarajevo's intellectual forum, whenever possible. However, given the many other commitments he has, Steiner alone cannot also be expected to cultivate the image of the international community among Bosnians and explain again and again what it is doing in their country. Moreover, by virtue of living in Sarajevo, Steiner does not have the same contact with or influence in the media in Republika Srpska and Croat-controlled Federation territory. The international military have attempted to use the media more than any other international organisation in order to build a positive image of their work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. IFOR television produces packages which it distributes free to Bosnian stations which, at least on the Bosniac side, occasionally broadcast them, though not at peak viewing times. In addition, IFOR radio stations throughout the country broadcast the best in western rock music with occasional public information announcements. And in 1996, IFOR troops distributed free a new sheet called the Herald of Peace which was published in both the local language - Cyrillic and Latin - and in English. This is now being phased out and replaced by a monthly magazine along similar lines called the Herald of Progress.


The following are concrete steps which, if implemented, could help change the role of the Bosnian media from one which is exacerbating tension to one which could contribute to restoring trust between the country's peoples. It presumes that donors will continue to make a large financial investment in the Bosnian media throughout 1997 and 1998, but that from 1999 Bosnian news organisations will largely be on their own. The issues of telephone links between the entities and uniform vehicle registration are not considered, though these are obviously fundamental both to rebuilding an integrated Bosnian media market and something resembling a Bosnian state.

Radically Alter Media Presentation

• Switch Focus of Press Relations to Bosnian Media and Operate in the Local Language

Communication is the key to a successful media policy, communication, that is, with Bosnians. The most important first step, which could and should be implemented immediately, is to switch the focus of press relations from the international to the local media. This means, in particular, addressing Bosnians in their own language. Since last December the principal international organisations operating in the country have at least been holding weekly press conferences with a consecutive translation in the local language. But this is not enough. As a first step, the daily Holiday Inn press briefings should, if only as a matter of courtesy, be simultaneously translated. Beyond that international organisations should switch the bulk of media relations work into the local language.

• Initiate Aggressive Public Information Campaign

International organisations should initiate an aggressive public information campaign within the Bosnian media. They must not sit back passively waiting for Bosnian journalists to approach them for interviews or merely respond to crises. On the rare occasions that the High Representative has appeared on local television, most notably when he spoke about Srebrenica on Bosnian Serb television, he has been remarkably effective. The OSCE's spokesman David Foley also made a successful foray onto Bosnian Serb television in October to explain his organisation's policy on voter registration for the municipal elections. However, these appearances are few and far between. They should be a daily occurrence. Spokespersons should aim to be continuously in the local media, in particular the nationalist media, speaking the local language and explaining what the international community is doing in Bosnia and Herzegovina and how and why it is going about its work. The potential benefits of such a policy are manifold. In the first instance, representatives of the international community have more chance of expressing alternative points of view in the nationalist media than anybody else. On live television it is possible to put forward arguments which would otherwise not be heard. And it is critical that, for example, the international community's position concerning war criminals is articulated in both the Serb and the Croat media. Indeed, if the international community does decide eventually to move against indicted war criminals, it must also prepare a media campaign to justify the action and spokespersons must be prepared to appear on Bosnian Serb and Croat television to explain the policy. In addition to television and radio appearances, the international community and especially the Office of the High Representative should promote its views via the local press. Instead of simply agreeing to the occasional interview with a local journalist, the High Representative should have his own column in the Bosnian press in one newspaper in Republika Srpska, another in Bosniac-controlled Federation territory and another in Croat-controlled Federation territory. In the same way that, when he first arrived in Sarajevo, Carl Bildt was eager to put his name to articles in western newspapers such as The Financial Times and The Observer and thus explain his actions to the international audience, he should now put his name to pieces in, say, Nezavisne novine, Oslobodjenje and Horizont. An aggressive public information campaign in the Bosnian media would also help Bosnians understand what the foreigners in their four-wheel drive cars are doing in their midst and improve the image of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is important because if, as appears increasingly likely, displaced persons are unable to return to their homes during 1997, the international community will increasingly be viewed as the scapegoat. The Office of the High Representative, as the co-ordinating body, should effectively act as a public relations company on behalf of all the smaller organisations working in Bosnia and Herzegovina to draw attention to their work and explain exactly what they are doing and why. Effective public relations may also help improve the quality of Bosnian journalism. By providing journalists with tailor-made stories featuring real people, real problems and real lives, it may even be possible to begin weaning local journalists off the staple news diet which largely consists of the regurgitation of press conferences.

Restructure TV-IN and Expand FERN

• Radically Restructure TV-IN

By all objective criteria TV-IN is a disaster which should be scrapped. If it was a business, it would already have folded, and, unless radically reconfigured, further cash subsidies will simply be throwing good money after bad. However, since television is far and away the most influential medium in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the TV-IN concept has the greatest potential to challenge the predominance of the nationalist media. Moreover, donors have sufficient money earmarked for Bosnia to continue financing the project at least for another year. To have any chance of success, TV-IN must be radically restructured.

• Break Links with Bosniac Stations and Build Serb and Croat Legs to Network

TV-IN needs to break away from the network of small Bosniac television stations it is currently shackled to and stand entirely on its own. It also needs to build serious stand-alone components in both Republika Srpska and Croat-controlled Federation territory, and to hire many more and better journalists. Breaking away from the network of small Bosniac stations will help TV-IN to be taken seriously in Republika Srpska and Croat-controlled Federation territory. But the station will only have genuine influence among Serbs and Croats if it builds separate legs with independent anchors in both Banja Luka and west Mostar. There should, in effect, be three hubs which share news items but use different running orders according to local interests. Staffing is crucial. TV-IN has to recruit high-calibre journalists to be a success and will only be in a position to do this if it can offer journalists a competitive package.

• Aim to Broadcast on TV B&H's Second Frequency

Instead of using satellite uplinks and broadcasting via the transmitters of the network's constituent stations, TV-IN should become terrestrially based and use TV B&H's second frequency as Yutel did before the war. Though this approach requires a lot of repair work in the short term, it is more efficient in terms of potential viewers and indicates to Bosnians that TV-IN is a long-term project. Moreover, it should also be more politically acceptable to the Sarajevo authorities since the station will be attempting to cover the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina and not just Bosniac-controlled Federation territory. In effect, TV-IN would become the public broadcaster for the whole country, leaving TV B&H as the television station of the Federation. Such an arrangement should be possible, given that the parties agreed at the London Conference to: "issue the necessary licences to enable the Open Broadcast Network (OBN) and TV-IN to operate throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and to permit the establishment of additional facilities to enable OBN and TV-IN to be received throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina." 29

• Invest in Journalists and Locally-Produced Programming

TV-IN has to look after its journalists if it is to flourish and attract talent. The status of existing employees should be clarified. This includes providing health insurance and contributing to pension funds. If the network can offer its employees a secure future, it should also be able to persuade some older, more experienced journalists to join. Such hands-on talent will do more for professional standards and the formation of young reporters than any number of training programmes. In order to become a genuine network, TV-IN must also produce more than merely the news. Money has to be allocated for domestic productions which can either be prepared in-house or commissioned from private production companies.

• Secure Long-Term Funding for FERN and Add on Serb and Croat Legs

Though FERN has been the success story among international media projects, its continued existence remains in doubt and it too has little influence outside Bosniac-controlled territory. Given the degree to which it has become established in a short period, FERN deserves similar long-term backing to TV-IN. However, it too should be restructured with legs in Mostar and Banja Luka as well as Sarajevo so as to build an audience in both Republika Srpska and Croat-controlled Federation territory.

Co-ordination and Rationalisation

• Focus on Media Quality not Quantity

The key to effective alternative media is quality, not quantity. The Bosnian media must, in particular, be viewed in the context of the size of the population. At the time of the 1991 census the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina was marginally greater than that of Madrid. After the exodus of more than a million people during the war, however, the Spanish capital now has considerably more inhabitants. Yet Madrid does not have anywhere near as many media as Bosnia and Herzegovina. This does not mean, however, that the media scene in Bosnia and Herzegovina is healthier than that in Spain, rather it is indicative of the level of outside support and the artificial nature of the market. The very number of media organs and international media projects dilute the impact of alternative media. Competent, experienced reporters are scarce commodities because many of the best have left the country. As a result, remaining talent has to be concentrated on a handful of media to give them a chance of having genuine influence.

• Use Media Plan to Develop a Co-ordinated Media Strategy

Choosing which media should survive and which should be left to their own devices is fundamental to any strategy designed to build sustainable and influential non-nationalist media. Three daily newspapers in Sarajevo alone, for example, are not and will never be viable. One has to go. Blanket subsidies for media projects with alternative aspirations must be scrapped. Instead, a hard-nosed, cost-benefit analysis of media investment is required. If, for example, TV-IN is to attract enough high-quality journalists to be a success, several existing titles have to fold. Otherwise, they simply would not join. Here, the most efficient and fair means of assessing projects is to use existing local expertise, in particular Media Plan, the monitoring agency which was set up to devise a media strategy to prepare for the day when subsidies have dried up. At the very least Media Plan should be consulted as part of a process of "due diligence" to make sure that a publication is what it claims to be, before any cash is disbursed.

• Keep all Potential Donors Informed

Many organisations have subsidised the Bosnian media in recent years. These include UNESCO, Verona Forum, Reporters without Borders (France), National Endowment Fund, Press Now (Amsterdam), Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, Adenauer Stiftung, Westminster Foundation, Scott Trust and the Balkan Media Centre (Ljubljana). Every one of these organisations should at least be informed of the investment plans adopted by the big three donors, the Open Society Fund, USAID and the European commission, as well as of any co-ordinated media strategy if and when it is adopted.

• Drop One-off Equipment Donations

One-off equipment donations do not help ensure the survival of a particular medium. Instead, they make the owner a little richer. If a project is worth backing, it should be given sufficient financial support to make it a long-term success, including if necessary money to pay salaries. Equipment, however, should remain the property of the donor to ensure that it is used as specified.

• Invest in Local Programming

International donors should fund programming which is locally produced, not merely use international intermediaries such as Internews to make programmes. This would be a spur to independent production companies and generate programming for TV-IN. Programming need not be high-brow. Indeed, the most effective broadcasts are often stories about ordinary people, and reunion programmes, along the lines of Spanish television's Nunca es Tarde which merely brings people together who have not seen each other for many years, would be a simple and straightforward way to help bridge the country's many divides.

• Drop Plans for Independent Printing Press in Republika Srpska or Build it in Brcko

Building an independent press able to print newspapers in Republika Srpska, while an obvious prestige project, threatens to be a white elephant. It will fail to guarantee publication of alternative newspapers since, if any title were in a position to challenge the ruling party's grip on power, the printing press would in all probability be burned down in an unfortunate fire. It would, however, end the monopoly of state printers both in Republika Srpska and in the Federation. This could be useful in reducing the cost of newspaper printing, since current prices depend on the depth of the pockets of foreign donors and not on any more objective criteria. If money is available for a printing press and donors are determined to press ahead with the project, it should be located somewhere that periodicals in both entities have access. The natural place is Brcko. This town in northern Bosnia, which is subject to international arbitration, is a potential bridge between the Federation and Republika Srpska. Moreover, the Office of the High Representative will be attempting to regenerate the economy of the entire region in the next year in an attempt to facilitate the return of Bosniac and Croat displaced persons.


1. The disintegration of the Bosnian media during the war is examined in depth in Mark Thompson's Forging War: The Media in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, The Bath Press, Avon, Article 19, 1994.

2. Media Plan, cited in Monitoring the Media: The Bosnian Elections 1996 by Mark Wheeler, p 32.

3. To phone Republika Srpska from the Federation requires an international call. This is routed from the Federation out of Bosnia to Belgrade and then on to Republika Srpska. Since there are few lines, the calls rarely get through. Worse still, only a limited number of phones have the option of international calling.

4. Dani, September 1996, number 47, p 25.

5. Reuter, 12 July 1996.

6. IWPR Monitoring Report, 10 July 1996, p 5.

7. Monitoring the Media: The Bosnian Elections 1996 , p 32.

8. IWPR Monitoring Report, 24 July 1996, p 2.

9. Monitoring the Media: The Bosnian Elections 1996, p 33.

10. IWPR Monitoring Report, 26 June 1996, p 5.

11. Monitoring the Media: The Bosnian Elections 1996, p 34.

12. Media Plan estimate, Monitoring the Media: The Bosnian Elections 1996, p 36.

13. Dayton Peace Agreement, Annex 3, Article I, paragraph 1.

14. DPA, Annex 3, Article I, paragraph 2.

15. PEC Rules and Regulations, Articles 145-150.

16. Conclusions of the London Conference, 5 December 1996, pp 35-36.

17. Mirza Hajric, resignation letter to Robert Frowick, 8 September 1996.

18. Decisions, MEC Official Records, 10th Meeting, 4 July 1996.

19. Monitoring the Media: The Bosnian Elections 1996, pp. 48-49.

20. EASC judgement of 25 September, Case No. 96-211.

21. EASC Judgement of 10 September 1996, Case No. 96-24B and Advisory Opinion 5 of 6 September 1996.

22. Decisions, MEC Official Records, 7th Meeting, 13 June 1996.

23. Decisions, MEC Official Records, 17th Meeting, 22 August 1996.

24. Media Plan was founded in 1995 by Zoran Udovicic, a former editor with TV Sarajevo. It has a multinational staff (Udovicic is himself a Sarajevo Serb) and branches in both Republika Srpska and the Federation.

25. USAID also organised and financed a more structured three-week training programme for young journalists in Republika Srpska in January 1997.

26. Internews receives funding from USAID, George Soros' Open Society Institute and the European commission.

27. IPTF Elections-Related Human Rights Incident Tracking, 28 August 1996, p 11.

28. Key press conferences where important announcements are made by senior figures and not purely spokesmen are generally translated.

29. Conclusions of the London Conference, 5 December 1996, p 36.


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