Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Tribunal: Oct '07

New war crimes justice radio programme will expand IWPR’s audience in the Balkans.
By IWPR ICTY
The IWPR tribunal project finalised plans for a new a new half-hour weekly radio programme on war crimes justice in the Balkans, to be produced jointly by IWPR and the broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, RFE/RL, and aired by forty radio stations in the region.



The project will bolster IWPR efforts to expand public access to regular, reliable and objective information on the war crimes justice process in former Yugoslavia - essential for long-term democratisation and reconciliation.



The innovative programme, which will be broadcast by RFE/RL’s network of affiliate radio stations in the region, will combine reports from International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, and war crimes justice related news, features and analysis from the Balkans.



There will also be lively discussion of subjects and issues raised by IWPR’s editorial output.



The programme will launch on November 25. It will be aired every Sunday from 18.30- 19.00 local time, and will be rerun from 22.30-23.00 the same day.



RFE/RL currently has more listeners throughout the region than BBC World Service and Deutsche Welle combined. RFE/RL has affiliated radio stations in 120 towns and cities throughout former Yugoslavia, which broadcast its programmes daily.



According to a survey conducted in Bosnia in December 2006, around 15 per cent of the population listens to RFE/RL regularly, which is about 600,000 people. The largest proportion of the audience (39 per cent) is made up of people aged 25 to 44.



Forty FM radio stations in the region will broadcast the programme. And as part of the collaboration, RFE/RL's website for the Balkans, which has about 800,000 hits every month, will link to the IWPR website.



The new project will build on our current editorial outreach activities whose focus up until now has been mainly on republication in the local print and online media.



IWPR’s work regularly appears in some of the top selling newspapers in the Balkans, but this collaboration with a leading regional broadcaster will enable us to reach a much bigger audience, as radio, along with television, is the main source of news for people in former Yugoslavia.



We’ve chosen South Slavic Languages Service, SSLS, at the RFE/RL as our partner, because they have an excellent reputation as a trusted, independent broadcaster.



RFE/RL has been keen to team up with IWPR because it has been interested in developing a programme on war crimes trials - which is one of the most important issues for the region.