Was the police action in the north of Kosovo yesterday part of a political game or did it have different aim? This was one of the questions at the conference attended by journalists from Kosovo and Serbia. The impression was also expressed that the media are used in order ‘to bring up or lower’ the situation, depending on how it suits local authorities, Radio KIM reports today.
The journalists from Kosovo and central Serbia gathered in Pristina yesterday for a conference dubbed ‘Hate speech in the media and how media can help in the process of reconciliation,’ however part of the conference was dedicated to the situation in northern Kosovo which, according to Radio KIM’s interlocutors “occurred at a strange moment.”
TV Mitrovica director Nexhmedin Spahiu said Mitrovica North is the essence of problems, not only in Kosovo, but in the region as well since all interests collide there.
“I do not know exactly what the game behind these arrests is. We know there is corruption, without doubt, however, corruption exists not only in the north, the biggest corruption is in Pristina and Belgrade. Why arrests happen at this moment is certainly part of a political game. Maybe we will find out what the aim was in the near future,” Spahiu said.
Vreme weekly director Stefan Ristic said it is strange that the action took place at that particular moment.
“This action was announced in the Serbian media, also by the Serbian President a week ago. In the other hand, often in the media with national coverage, print and electronic media as well, an intrusion of special police forces has been announced. So, sort of a ‘monster’ was created, and if police do something that has no links with intimidation, politics or agreement it is being represented in Belgrade as a call for war. And this is where I think the media are misused,” Ristic said.
Insajder journalist Senka Vlatkovic-Odavic said semi-information and propaganda are more dangerous than hate speech. Commenting on the events in the north she said the crucial question is “why today and he knew about it?”
Speaking about the topic of the conference hate speech in the media, Isak Vorgucic RTV KIM director said media rarely report on positive things that happen in Kosovo and they are more “interested in” to cover bad things.
“We had hate speech in 2004 when Kosovo was in flames because of disinformation, that public broadcaster launched. A few weeks ago, also, by publishing a fake photo that media gladly reported about with derogatory comments. Luckily, this time Kosovo Albanian-language media quickly found out it was a hoax. In my opinion, some progress was made in the attempt not to fall pray to propaganda,” Vorgucic said.
Spahiu noted that the role of the media in creating an impression of one area is of crucial importance and media are the most responsible in conveying the messages.