September 4, 2003

Balkans Online
A Bookmarks and Links Guide

by Nebojsa Malic

As 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.

Four 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 Resources

Finding 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.

Yahoo! News has several pages dedicated to the former Yugoslavia: Bosnia-Herzegovina, ICTY, Kosovo, and Serbia-Montenegro. 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.

Kosovo Daily ( is a similar "link farm," dedicated to news from Kosovo, and features predominantly mainstream wire-service stories. 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 interesting.

Redesigned several times, 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.

Slightly outdated but still valuable as a link resource is Chronicles' Balkan Questions site.

Last, but not least, is the excellent Yugoslaviainfo forum, with members who post dozens of articles and commentary. Their archives go back to July 1999.


Some 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 is Reality 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.

One of the newest web offerings, is run by contributor Christopher Deliso, and features hard-hitting articles organized in blog style, ranging from political analysis to travel reports.

From Kosovo, With Sorrow

In 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.

One can get Albanian perspectives from places like Kosovalive, or just as often by reading Western media reports. Serbian government 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.

In stepped the Serbian Orthodox Church, whose Diocese of Raska-Prizren has run 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."

The Revisionists

By its nature, the samizdat format of the Web has been ideal for people challenging the Official Truth. Several supporters of Slobodan Milosevic run, 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.

The 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.

Imperial Sources

Of 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.

The awkwardly-named Southeast 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!

Though 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 Crisis Reports.

Content 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.

This 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.

A Final Word

Again, 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.

Perhaps 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 to liberate.

It's something to strive for, anyway.

– Nebojsa Malic

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Nebojsa Malic left his home in Bosnia after the Dayton Accords and currently resides in the United States. During the Bosnian War he had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo, and contributed to the Independent. As a historian who specializes in international relations and the Balkans, Malic has written numerous essays on the Kosovo War, Bosnia and Serbian politics. His exclusive column for appears every Thursday.


Archived Columns

Balkans Online

The Black Hole of Nation-Building

Fresh Blood in Kosovo

Empires and Balkans Don't Mix

The New Janissaries

The Worthy Balkans Booklist

Worthless Words

Liars, Halfwits, Inquisitors and Thieves

The Serbian Lincoln?

Paragons of Empire

Remember Kosovo?

Retrospect: Balkans And the Big Picture – A Year Later

Bosnia's Founding Stepfather

The Folly That Is Europe

Lies Reporters Tell

Worshippers of Power and Violence

After 'Liberation,' Democracy

Empire's 'Liberation'

Bolsheviks in Belgrade

Seeking Scapegoats

The Argument of Force

Alley of the Damned

Death of a Manager

From Kosovo to Baghdad

Genocide Games

Excuses and Justifications

Yugoslavia's End

Balkanizing the World

A Chauvinistic Farce

The 12 Months of Christmas

More Dirty Lies

Democratic Destruction

Forged Memories

Making the Balkans Connection

Remembering the Obvious

Empire's Playground

Casus Belli

Forward to The Past

The Unbearable Futility of Voting

A Global Balkans

Triumph of the Will

The Day Nothing Changed

Illusions of Truth and Justice

More archived columns by Nebojsa Malic

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