The independence of kosovo
POLITICS : NEWSPAPER PROJECT
THE INDEPENDENCE OF KOSOVO
A comparison between the difference in the presentation in the Serbian and the Kosovo media .
The 2008 declaration of independence declared Kosovo to be independent from Serbia . Predictably , this event was covered extensively by the local media in Kosovo , Serbia as well as the international media .
When the Kosovo war ended in 1999 , the governance of the region came under the administration of United Nations . In February 2007 , the Ahtisaari proposal was made which aimed for a “ supervised independence “ . On 17 February 2008 , Kosovo declared its independence . This , however , was deemed “ null and void “ by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia . Thus the existence of Kosovo is still considered as illegal by Serbia . ( ELABORATE )
Due to its controversial history and the circumstances in which it was declared as independent , there were extremely varied reactions in the media . this is evident by the headlines that local newspapers in both Kosovo and Serbia ran in the year 2008 . Kosovo press headlines such as “ major celebrations of independence “ ( koha ditore , 2008 ) , “ the state , we made it “ ( kosova sot , 2008 ) , “ Kosovo celebrated with dignity “ ( Epoka e Re , 2008 ) clearly demonstrate a jubilant atmosphere on the achievement of the much awaited independence . on the other hand , the reaction of the Serbian media was contrary to that of Kosovo . the hightlights from the Belgrade print media paint a completely different picture with headlines such as “ declaration against independence “ ( RTS ) , “ Tadic : we will not change our stand on Kosovo “ ( RTS/ Tajug/beta ) .
Thus merely by glancing at the headlines in the local print media of the two countries we observe that the newspapers in both Kosovo and Serbia have reported the event extremely subjectively and not rationally or objectively . the local media in both counties have only presented a singular aspect ( that paints them as victims and the opposite party as aggressors ) instead of developing the entire story in a wholistic manner .
Students of politics on the other hand are expected to treat any political development more objectively . All the aspects of the development should be considered before drawing conclusions or forming opinions .
Thus we can say that the manner in which newspapers report incidents tend to be slightly biased . The same trend can be observed in the international media as well . United States of America was always a supporter of Marti Ahtisaari's proposal document aimed at providing a supervised independence of Kosovo . Thus , the US media has been biased towards the declaration of independence of Kosovo . The New York Times wrote , “ it brings to a climax a showdown between the west , which argues that Serbia's brutal subjugation of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority cost it any right to rule the territory , and the Serbian government and its allies in the kremlin . “
Similarly , UK's Independent said “ Kosovo has been a success of liberal interventionism . “
Kim Bytyci reported for the Guardian , “ yesterday marked a new dawn for my people , and brought new hope for the region . But it is wrong to see it as a precedent . “
We observe that the media in the USA and the UK seem to be in favour of the independence of Kosovo . arguably , it is because of the influence of the target readership in the two countries which happened to be pro- independence of Kosovo .
It can be argued that the media in different countries catering to readers with astly different opinions and points of view on the same event or topic actually tend to alter and present the news in a manner that suits its readers . the nature of the audience clearly has a role to play in the way in which a particular event is reported and interpreted . For example , the national mood for kosovar Albanians was one of triumph and celebration . the local media mirrored this mood and also fueled it by running patriotic coverages quoting Prime Minister Hashin Thaci , “ we have waited for this day for a long time . many people have given so much to make the day of Kosovo's independence a reality . “ ( zeri , 18 February 2008 )
This mood was sharply contrasted with the “ despair , anger and disbelief that gripped Serbia and the Serbian enclaves of Northern Kosovo “ ( ) . Serbia was witnessing unrest , uprisings and demonstrations against the declaration of Kosovar independence . The media played a key role in fueling this anger in the people . the RTS ran reports on how “ already at the beginning of march , the Serbian government will adopt a strategy on sustainable return and living of serbs in Kosovo . “ ( RTS 1) . With the population already vehemently opposed to the declaration , the media too contributed greatly in getting the atmosphere in Serbia charged up , “ Serbia's broadcast and print media had not only ramped up coverage of violence but also openly made their own mark on the conflict ( bbc ) .
Therefore , we conclude that the print media which mainly aims at a target audience not only gets influenced by their tastes and opinions , but also influences them . It plays an imperative role in shaping public opinion and the national mood . For instance , in Kosovo , the media contributed towards setting a triumphant atmosphere while in Serbia , it was the mediua that built up a volatile atmosphere . We also observe that due to the above mentioned reasons , the print media cannot be taken as a singular source of information to get an objective idea of an event . As students of politics we learn that in order to get a complete overview one needs to adopt a wholistic approach where both sides of the story should be thoroughly researched to get the complete picture and to arrive at a conclusion ,