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International Criminal Tribunals as Actors of Domestic Change

The Impact on Media Coverage, Volume 1

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Edited By Klaus Bachmann, Irena Ristić and Gerhard Kemp

Do International Criminal Tribunals trigger social change, provide reconciliation, stabilize fragile post-conflict societies? Many authors claim they do, but they base their assumptions mainly on theoretical considerations and opinion polls. The editors and authors of this book take a different position: based on extensive field research in nine European and African countries, they examine whether tribunal decisions resulted in changes in media frames about the conflicts which gave rise to the creation of these tribunals. International Tribunals hardly ever shape or change the grand narratives about wars and other conflicts, but they often manage to trigger small changes in media frames which, in some cases, even lead to public reflexion about guilt and responsibility and more awareness for (the respective enemy’s) victims. On an empirical basis, this book shows the potential of International Criminal Justice, the possibilities, but also the limits of International Criminal Tribunals. Volume 1 presents the evidence from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia and Croatia.

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The indirect impact of the ICTY on the media in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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This chapter deals with the impact of the ICTY decisions on the representation of the Bosnian war (1992–1995) in the media outlets of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (further: Federation of BiH) – one of the two entities that comprise post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state. Contrary to the other entity, Republika Srpska which is largely mono-ethnic (Serb), the Federation of BiH is dominated by a Bosniak majority and a smaller Croat population. The media landscape of Bosnia and Herzegovina is largely ethnified which means that media tend to bear a particular ethnic mark or have an ethnically profiled audience.1 Therefore, in the Federation of BiH there are two main clusters of media – those with a Bosniak and those with a Croat audience. The generalizations about the ethnic profile of a media should be handled cautiously because neither all journalists nor all of their readers come from a single ethnic group; in addition, some media intentionally show a civic orientation and try to address all ethnicities, including those citizens who reject to be defined in ethnic terms. One newspaper from Republika Srpska (Nezavisne novine) is distributed throughout the Federation as well, and will be analyzed here with regard to one of the two ICTY trials. Therefore in both cases two ethnic media clusters will be analyzed which generally tend to represent quite conflicting interpretations of the war. This is the main deviation from the general research design applied in other chapters of this publication, in which...

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