In War & Peace: Development of Independent Reporting in (post-)Yugoslav Space

Friday, November 9, 2018
6:00pm - 8:00pm
1201 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St, 12th floor)

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Njegoš Endowment for Serbian Language and Culture at Columbia University's East Central European Center for a talk with Marija Šajkaš.

The role of media in creating and disseminating political spin, propaganda, and “patriotic reporting” as tools for promoting and perpetuating conflict during the 1990s Yugoslav wars of secession is well researched in recent scholarship. However, it is impossible to claim the same in regard to the independent media. There is a noticeable lack of scholarship on the role the independent media had in challenging the war narratives, advancing accurate reporting, and even forging peace during the tragic Yugoslav conflict. Marija Šajkaš’ lecture “In War & Peace: Development of Independent Reporting in Countries of Former Yugoslavia” aims to fill this gap. Drawing on multiple examples such as Radio B92 and Vreme magazine in Serbia, Oslobodenje and Reporter magazines in Bosnia, Feral Tribune and Radio 101 in Croatia and Monitor in Montenegro, Šajkaš will discuss the formation of the independent media in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. She will analyze the early connections made on opposing sides such as Alternative Information Network in order to demonstrate that the independent media and their journalists played the essential role in countering hate speech. Finally, she will point out how crucial and relevant is their activity in local and global media landscape today.

Marija Šajkaš (pronounced as Maria Shay-kash) is a U.S.-based journalist, media expert and political analyst, and founder of 4 Better Media. Some of her most recent appearances and projects include work for the Freedom of the Press, Freedom House, High-Level OSCE Chairmanship Conference “Freedom of the Media in the Western Balkans” in co-operation with the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in New York City, and Global Freedom of Expression Initiative at Columbia University. Marija Šajkaš is the author of the novel Esther Jovanovich's Scrapbook (Klett, 2013) and co-author of the TV documentary Missing—the Right to Know that follows families whose loved ones are missing after the wars, likely to be found in mass graves. She also curates freedom of the expression film block at Queens World Film Festival.