A Bookmarks and Links Guide
by Nebojsa Malic
the growth of the Internet matched the unfolding Balkans conflicts
of the 1990s, the Web has become a significant medium for
news and commentaries in the region. NATO's 1999 invasion
of Kosovo drove the point home, as internet journalists outmaneuvered
the Imperial media blockade and informed the world of lies
and liars who told them. And though the world did not seem
to care too much, a precedent was set. Just as the first Gulf
War made CNN a household name, so did Kosovo mark the rise
of internet journalism.
years later, there are fewer sites offering news from the
Balkans, as the region has somewhat faded from the headlines.
But since the crisis is far from over, unfortunately, there
is still a trickle of reports from the war-torn areas of former
Yugoslavia and their somewhat more fortunate neighbors. Mention
of these sites does not necessarily endorse their position
or content. They are useful resources for gleaning information
on the Yugoslav conflicts and other issues – some more so,
others less. There are undoubtedly more out there, and contributions
are always welcome.
news reports about Balkans conflicts isn't easy. It could
involve literally hundreds of web sites, which is entirely
beyond the time scope of anyone but a dedicated researcher,
and the paycheck has got to come from somewhere. Fortunately,
there are sites that cull news from all over the Web and post
them as easily accessible links. In addition to offering current
news, their archives can be used for footnoting web articles
such as this one.
News has several pages dedicated to the former Yugoslavia:
The pages are updated with varying frequency, but are an excellent
source of wire service reports. Featured articles, commentaries,
audio and even video feeds are listed along the left-hand
side of the page, while links to news sources are offered
below the articles section.
is a similar "link farm," dedicated to news from
Kosovo, and features predominantly mainstream wire-service
is run by the Toronto-based Centre for Peace in the Balkans,
with one of the best archives of articles on the web.
Their original commentaries and analyses are infrequent, but
several times, Serbianna.com
has a different approach: it only archives some wire service
reports, but regularly updates links to articles from all
over the web. It also features several regular columnists.
outdated but still valuable as a link resource is Chronicles'
but not least, is the excellent Yugoslaviainfo
forum, with members who post dozens of articles and commentary.
Their archives go back to July 1999.
of the "links" sites also provide their own commentary.
There are sites, however, that offer predominantly original
content, with news links as an added bonus. One such endeavor
Macedonia, deemed "the best independent site on Macedonia"
– and it's not hard to see why. From original reporting to
local media coverage one can't get anywhere else, this site
is indispensable for those looking for news from and about
Macedonia. They also have a forum on Yahoo! Groups.
of the newest web offerings, Balkanalysis.com
is run by Antiwar.com contributor Christopher Deliso,
and features hard-hitting articles organized in blog style,
ranging from political analysis to travel
Kosovo, With Sorrow
1998 and 1999, many websites dealt with the Kosovo crisis.
As it faded from the headlines, the sites were updated less
frequently. Hence, they are of little value for current-affairs
news junkies, and could perhaps only provide valuable insights
to researching academics and analysts.
can get Albanian perspectives from places like Kosovalive,
or just as often by reading Western media reports. Serbian
sources are rather pathetic, partly due to the ingrained
habit of using bureaucratese and poor translations, and partly
because the government itself did not have a coherent position
on Kosovo until fairly recently.
stepped the Serbian Orthodox Church, whose Diocese of Raska-Prizren
has run Kosovo.com since
1997. The site offers news from the province, commentaries
by Fr. Sava
of Decani Monastery, and up-to-date listings of demolished
churches and monuments. It is a poignant testimony of life
after NATO's "humanitarian war."
its nature, the samizdat format of the Web has been
ideal for people challenging the Official Truth. Several supporters
of Slobodan Milosevic run Slobodan-milosevic.org,
a site dedicated to news of his "trial" in The Hague.
It also features links to media coverage of the former Yugoslavia.
Unlike mainstream agency reports that focus on choice snippets
from the proceedings, this site provides overviews of entire
sessions. Of course, full transcripts can be found (though
poorly presented) at the ICTY
site, while Bard
College offers video recordings.
famed muckrakers at Emperors-Clothes have their own Yugoslavia
News page, featuring local news agency reports as well
as their latest analyses and documents that have come into
their possession. They are the only organization, besides
the BBC and the U.S. Department of Commerce, to publish the
actual text of Milosevic's
famous 1989 speech in Kosovo – which everyone purports
to quote, but no one actually does. Once you read the speech,
you will understand why.
course, the Internet has hardly remained a domain of "renegade"
journalists. Paladins of Official Truth maintain their own
presence. Their presentations are mostly smart, content notwithstanding,
and they actually offer some valuable information from time
to time. Prolonged exposure, however, can be detrimental to
your thought processes.
European Times is a news site sponsored by the US European
Command (EUCOM), "committed to promoting stability, co-operation
and prosperity in the region." And people think the military
is in the business of killing people and breaking things!
the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting often
peddles noxious propaganda, it occasionally unearths some
interesting facts, which can be found in their Balkans
similar in style and perspective can be found at Transitions
Online, another NGO dedicated to remaking the ex-Communist
East into… well, whatever the Empire thinks it should be.
roster would not be complete without the International Crisis
Group. Though its Balkans
program is not on the front
page at the moment, the ICG remains just as active in
the Peninsula as before. A word of warning to non-broadband
users: thanks to the pictures, logos and maps, the PDFs take
forever to open, so be careful.
this is but a sampling of sites and services available, and
good commentary on Balkans affairs can often be found elsewhere.
Point is, the publishing opportunities of the Web make it
possible to hear voices that would otherwise be silenced by
the apparatus of officialdom. It is certainly much harder
to deceive people when they can look up the links and see
the source material for themselves. So, while the public opinion
is still swayed by the Powers That Be, that grip weakens daily.
at some point in the not-so-distant future, the entire Tower
of Lies on which the occupation of the Balkans in constructed
(let alone the internal troubles of the Empire, entirely out
of this column's scope) will collapse when its rotten foundations
are sufficiently undermined. And the emerging truth will begin
something to strive for, anyway.
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