Independent Media in former Yugoslavia

A good sign of a developing democracy is the unhampered presence of "alternative thinking," most often in the form of independent, non-governmental media. While this sure is not the case anywhere in the territories of former Yugoslavia, there is a handful of brave, struggling attempts of practicing "free speech" in public. Send them a letter of support, or subscribe to their publication here. Search for articles.

On the night of March 2/3 1997 Albanian security police destroyed the physical space of alternative newspaper Koha Jone. They went cyber after that, and prompted inclusion of Albania on the Balkans Pages.

The first internet-based press agency with fresh content-rich uploads from Bosnia daily (the updates at that site actually stopped after the war in Bosnia was kind of over following the Dayton): Berserkistan.

Press Now [U.S. url], [European url]
Press Now Objectives . Results . International Network . Foreward Dossier Bosnia . Introduction . The Media in the War . Electronic Media . Radio-Television Bosnia-Herzegovina (former RTV Sarajevo) . Independent TV Tuzla . NTV Zetel .

Medienhilfe In Ex-Yugoslavien
Monitoring press freedoms in former Yugoslavia and establishing the network to help journalists maintain independence in their reporting.

Kenney's Editorials
Editorials on Bosnian issues, particularly criticizing the U.S. media reporting on Bosnia, published in a variety of U.S. newspapers and magazines, written by George Kenney. Open forum available for on-line discussion. George Kenney resigned from the State Department in August 1992 to protest Bush Administration policy in the former Yugoslavia.

Check them out first with the BALKAN MEDIA POLICY MONITOR News and Analysis Digest. This site: special Issue - number 3, August 25, 1995. Quite a number of independent and other relevant journals were discussed and analyzed during the summer period. Server is updated regularly with new issues of Balkan Media & Policy Monitor. Earlier issues are also available.

GloboCopWatch Directory
Send Your Cop Stories . Pigs Evict NYC Squatters in Heavily Armored Raid . in New York City . BURNING NEWSPAPERS . in Split, Croatia . Portrait of Jovica Stanisic Serbia's State Security Chief.

Story of the week
The European Journalism Page . Breaking Stories . Last updated on September 3 . The Northern Ireland peace process (September 17 1995) . The war in Bosnia and Croatia (September 3 1995) . Internet growth in Europe (July 30 1995) .

Hypermedia Research Center, UK; about Arkzin.

An independent zine published by youth of Croatian ancestry in Australia (Kangaroo).

IWPR specialises in independent news coverage of conflict and peace issues in the Balkans, Caucasus and former Soviet Union. Working in several regional languages and English, it also provides active support for the region's independent media.

Indepen dent international bi-monthly for business and culture published since 09/96 in Munich for Yugoslava citizens in diaspora (in Serbian and German).

Le courrier des Balkans
Le courrier des balkans s'actualise au rythme de sa sélection d'articles de presse parus dans les médias des Balkans.

Radio Lada
Internet radio on-demand. Featuring Miljenko Jergovic, an outspoken independent Bosnian journalist who now lives in Croatia. Project by Giardino Pensili, ORF Kunstbox and RAI Audiobox for Lada 95 (L'arte dell' ascolto), 5th international fsetival of radio and audio art in electronic space.

Sattelite dishDigest of daily TV news about Bosnia and Croatia
Sound only (.wav and .ra files). Bosnian and Croatian TV, BBC, CNN, RAI, ZDF, etc. Printed media resources in English, German, Spanish, French, Dutch or Bosnian are available from the same site. Also, a support page for Radio 101 and a support page for Radio B92 are available now.

Other dangerous places for a journalist
World Map by the Committee to Protect Journalists.


bi-weekly of Anti-War Campaign.
Despite Arkzin's small circulation and fanzine character, it was one of the most respectable independent publications during 1990-s in Croatia (not unlike The Nation in the U.S.). Though it differed from the still published satiric Feral Tribune, it basically tackled the same issues. Arkzin also served as bulletin for various anti-war, human rights and non-violent conflict resolution non-governmental orgaznizations active in the region. For faster connection try the mirror in the U.S., or the summaries page. Arkzin firmly supported Radio 101 during the shutdown. In December 1996 Arkzin became the next target of Croatian government's attacks on freedom of the press. Editor-in-chief Vesna Jankovic will be charged and prosecuted under articles 71 and 72 (Sedition Law) for an article critical of Franjo Tudjman that was recently published in Arkzin. Check the web site for the scanned copy of the police summons handed to Arkzin. Sign the petitions when you are there. In the Fall of 1997 Arkzin started looking for a large space where it intends to build a FACTORY of alternative art and social concepts called Club Attack. Arkzin's senior writer, Boris Buden, published several books in Croatian, German and English.

PrsticFeral Tribune
Political satire at its very best. If you are in the U.S., put The Simpsons and South Park together and throw in that the news are for real. Feral Tribune was a victim of several attempts by Republic of Croatia to shut it down. For a while, Tudjman's bureaucracy tried to destroy the magazine by levying a pornography tax at it. Summer of 1996, editors of Feral were brought to trial in Zagreb, accused of slandering his presidential highness of Franjo Tudjman under the new law (Article 71) that protects state dignitaries from public criticism in a way that the Sedition Law enacted during the second U.S. administration did it in America. There is a sinister twist in that law: "dignitary" may sue, even if the journalist is right - it is enough that "dignitary" was made anxious, poor little booboo.

On September 20, 1996, the New York based group Neither East Nor West staged demonstrations in front of Croatian Consulate in support of Feral Tribune. The trial resumed on September 25, 1996, and the judge acquitted Feral editors of all charges. However, in May 1997, the case was arbitrarily re-opened. Committee to Protect Journalists awarded Viktor Ivancic with an award for independent journalism in October 1997. When I lost track of his unending legal process somewhere around December 1997, he and Feral faced 34 lawsuits by the majority of Croatian government asking for a total of dm 4.5 millions - if this would be shown in theaters, people would think it is some hommage to Kafka, but then, again, there everything is for real.
Other freedom of the press cases in Croatia as compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

TTT techno-underground pirate radio-station

Radio 101 Radio 101
This radio pioneered media independency in Croatia and together with B92 in Belgrade in Radio Student in Ljubljana presented the first succesfull self-sufficient independent media experiment in the former communist world. Radio 101 was the first electronic media in former Yugoslavia to fearlessly present Franjo Tudjman in a prime time show. Continuing to champion media freedoms the 101 station however fell in disfavor by Tudjman once he became an elected president of Croatia. Click here for the mirror page in the U.S. For Radio 101's jingles encoded in Real Audio and for constantly updated page of recent events and a list of all personal pages dedicated to Radio 101 click here.
On 20 November 1996, the Croatian Telecommunications Council refused a licence to Radio 101, the last independent radio station in Croatia. The Council's decision will force Radio 101 to stop transmitting at the end of November. The Council cited "financial reasons" for the refusal; however, Ivic Pasalic, an advisor to President Franjo Tudjman, added that "Radio 101 was too political."
Thousands of people joined the demonstrations organized by Bad Blue Boys later that day. American ambassador Peter Galbraith came to the 101 two hours after the decision. Life coverage and archive of demonstartions and interviews are available at Radio 101 News. For additional info check Reporters Sans Frontiers. Their top list of 25 countries enemies of press may include Croatia in the future. So far the only European state there is Serbia. To add your name to a petition to save 101 click here and write your name, city and country in the Subject: line. ->The latest news:<- Canjuga, Zagreb city HDZ official, who spoke in favor of Radio 101, said he wouldn't do it without being given a green light by President Tudjman... Tides may be changing for right wing radicals in Croatia, and derogatory comics against the infamous Telecommunications Council are published in regime media.
CoverageRadio 101 won a temporary license until January 22 when a new vote, and perhaps a new battle, should have been expected. Radio 101 was granted the permanent license at that session. For the latest news check The Aktualni 101 and, also, HRT Vijesti (in English). In September 1997 an opportunity presented itself for some disgustingly yugo-nostalgic experience: Silvije Vrbanac, the station manager of Radio 101 and Veran Matic, the station manager of Radio B92, happened to be in New York city at the same time, so I got them together. Radio 101, after a yearlong struggle, got its permanent broadcast license on October 31, 1997. However, then it became a victim of the free market like many similar endeavors in Eastern Europe. Once it was the only independent electronic media in Croatia, so it had all the advertisement. With the establishment of many more indepedent radio stations, advertisers went elsewhere looking for new profiles. Radio 101 management both failed to modernize radio technologically and to generate enough income to pay its staff the salaries they were promised. Moreover, neither the management, nor the staff did come up with an idea how to keep Radio 101 on the selling edge, facing the competition. Instead, they were all being busy quarelling over how to divide the shrinking pie. The station manager and the program director were both recently dismissed and not replaced. The staff in on strike. But there virtually is no management to strike against any more. So, it's not clear with whom the staff should hope to negotiate settlement...

Radio Slobodni Zagreb
Radio Slobodni Zagreb was a morning show at the Radio 101 until it was shut down by the 101's editor-in-chief, Zrinka Vrabec, in a blunt display of censorship, shortly after the Radio 101, long a victim of government persecution itself, acquired its permanent broadcasting license.

Radio Koprivnica 91.7 FM
Late in April 1998, far from the eyes of "international community" (since it was not happening in Zagreb) HDZ fired editors of Radio Koprivnica, shutting down the last independent electronic media in that region of Croatia (this page is in Croatian).

Gradski Radio 042
An independent radio station in Varazdin.

An independent weekly in Croatia. Another target of HDZ attacks.

Glas Istre
The Voice of Istria, an independent newsmagazine from the Croatia's region of Istria.

Radio Sjeverozapad
"Radio Northwest", an alternative radio station in Varazdin (NW Croatia).

Radio Split
Independent radio station in Split

Hrvatski Monitor
Independent Internet publication.

Croatian Independent Media Digest
For more media from Croatia click here.


Alternativna Informativna Mreza
Press agency that unites journalists from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia who aork for alterantive and other independent media. AIM enables them to share information, work together on same issues, standardize their approach in different regions and communicate about the feedback they get. AIM is one of the great things that Internet helped create in what was once Yugoslavia.
ZidRadio Zid
radio that kept Sarajevo alive and laughing during the years of war. Radio Zid means "Radio Wall". The reference is to the Berlin Wall. It's almost all gone, as if it never was. Where is it? It is dumped in Sarajevo. Listen to Radio Zid on the Net. On Saturday, January 14, 1995 Radio Zid produced and published an alternative rock album Rock Under The Siege. It features 13 fine underground bands.
BH Dani
INDEPENDENT BH INFO MAGAZINE - the first independent magazine in Bosnia, an important source of objective reporting from Sarajevo; the November 97 issues contains a story about Bosnian-Muslim war criminal Caca
Formerly state-run (during the communist era) but now independent Sarajevo daily.
Vozdra (What'sup) - the magazine for teens (with ubiquitous Leonardo DiCaprio feature)
The new bi-weekly (started June 1997) from Banja Luka (Republika Srpska). Since this so far the only piece of press claiming nascent journalistic independence in that part of the world, we should all keep close tabs on it. The first issue's feature was about how the Rock and Roll was not dead yet.


Alternative voice of Belgrade. Perhaps, the most important Soros investment in former Yugoslavia, B92 is the most reliable source of information in Serbia. ->For fifteen days (November, December '96), the broadcasting frequency of the independent radio station in Belgrade, Radio B92, was jammed as it continued to report on the huge anti-government demonstrations in the Serbian capital.
coverageIn addition, the Yugoslav Federal Inspector for Traffic and Communications yesterday banned five radio stations (Radio Ozon, Radio Soliter, Dzoker Radio, Radio 96 and Star FM) in Cacak, one of the cities in Serbia where the opposition carried the recent local elections. Serbian government finally banned Radio Index and Radio B92. British ambassador came to B92 in show of support. Bowing to domestic and international pressure, Serbia withdrew the ban, and Aleksandar Tijanic, Minister of Information, offered to resign. Click here for the interview he gave to Belgrade magazine Duga (Rainbow).<- For more information check:

In September 1997 an opportunity presented itself for some disgustingly yugo-nostalgic experience: Veran Matic, the station manager of Radio B92, and Silvije Vrbanac, the station manager of Radio 101, happened to be in New York city at the same time, so I got them together.

Radio B92 was shut down the day before NATO started air strikes against Yugoslav Army. Officialy it was because B92 broadcasted at a higher power than licensed for. In reality it was because B92 called on people to dodge draft. Veran Matic was briefly arrested. B92 is still alive and well on the Net. B92 digital program is re-broadcasted by ORF over medium wave and by BBC Hot Bird sattelite. Join the efforts to get it back on the air in Serbia:Help B92.

probably the only remaining respected Serbian magazine
Against fear, hate and violence - the voice of the citizen's self-liberation (in Serbian).
Nasa Borba
I am not sure if this link is still operational. Milosevic's government shut their offices down on October 15, 1998 armed with the government decree - The Decree on Special Measures in the Circumstances of NATO's Threats with Arms Attacks against Our Country (The Official Bulletin of the Republic of Serbia No. 35/98 of October 8, 1998). Join the protest. Nasa Borba is the largest media organization so far affected with the new law. The new law also banned:

Nasa Borba ("Our Fight") was an independent Serbian daily; formerly -Borba- was a pan-Yugoslav organ of the Socialist Alliance of the Working People; Nasa Borba's journalists helped Laura Silber in her quest for information for the "Yugoslavia: Death of the Country" book and BBC TV series. Please, send your reactions, appeals and letters of support to : Medija centar.
Nezavisna Svetlost
Internet weekly. Aenecdotes. Serbian language. "Independent Light".
"More Shit to Digest" from Serbia by an independent author.
Independent Podgorica weekly - Montenegro.
Role of the Media in the War
An analysis of the role of media in Serbia in preparing the nationalist platform for the war in 1980s and 1990s. By Helsinki Committee, Belgrade.
Center for development of informing and democracy


Koha Jone
Tirana's independent alternative newsmagazine supported by Open Society Institute. On the night March 2/2 1997 Albanian security forces destroyed its physical space. So, they went cyber.
Report from Albania
on 22 May 1997, AIM Tirana by Remzi LANI.
Albanian Daily News
Evening Report of Independent Albanian Economic Tribune (opposition).
ALBANIAN list has been created as a device to discuss various issues related to Albania, Kosova, and the Albanian population in the Balkans (FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Greece), as well as Albanian communities world-wide, utilizing the flexibility and effectiveness of electronic mail (our Albanian adviser says this is a pro-Berisha site).