Hague War Crimes Trial Coverage Project
The Hague Coverage Project provided logistical support and limited funding to allow journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia to travel to The Hague and report on activities at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
During its active years (2001-2009) the Hague Coverage Project was largely funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and also received assistance from Press Now, the Open Society Institute (OSI/Soros), and from USAID through the ProMedia II Serbia and Regional projects.
This project is now closed.
• Provide indigenous reporting on Tribunal activities.
• Develop Balkan journalists’ capacity for reporting on legal issues and court cases.
• Build relationships and foster cooperation amongst participants from throughout the former Yugoslavia.
Many people in the former Yugoslavia resent that criminal tribunals for the 1990’s conflict are being held not in affected countries but have been removed to the Netherlands. They have to trust both that the ICTY and the international news services reporting on the trials are transparent and impartial. Distrust of the international community and the ICTY has lead to a suspicion that their needs are not being served in The Hague and rather than healing the wounds caused by the conflict, as is one of the purposes of the Tribunal, tension in the republics only increased.
Support Indigenous Reporting: IREX provided funding and logistical support (place to stay/work, cameraman, Tribunal introductions) to print and broadcast reports from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia that allowed them to travel to The Hague and report on the ICTY, thus providing citizens of the former Yugoslavia with news and trial updates from trusted sources.
Provide Training on Legal and Court Reporting: IREX offered training at the ICTY on court reporting to hone journalists’ skills on this topic. Reporting “beats” are uncommon in the republics and journalists have little opportunity to practice niche reporting.
Reconciliation: Because participants all resided together and worked side by side in The Hague, they were able to get to know colleagues from other republics. Through this interaction many were able to let go of prejudices they carried and shared their new-found respect and friendships with people in their home countries.
• Indigenous journalists produced hundreds of newspaper articles and radio and TV packages for their local outlets
• Over 50 journalists from five countries traveled to The Hague to report on the ICTY