War journalism in Kosovo

The situation during the 1999 War was chaotic, while the journalistic views were not valued. So called the "pen warriors" were not appreciated in the same level as were UÇK (Kosovo's military forces),and being considered invaluable made their war even more difficult. A lot of struggles occur, and many of them were declared dead, killed, but finally made it when Kosovo was independent from the Yugoslavian troops. The war lasted from 28 February to 11 June 1999, but for journalism, it never had an end. It started in the 1990 where a new generation of journalists were born and a revolutionary movement in news market was formed. The newspaper Koha Ditore was the place that this generations of journalists had the possibility to express. It was initially published in 1992 to 1994 as a weekly magazine called Koha. It was initiated by these opinion-makers such as Baton Haxhiu, Ylber Hysa, Dukagjin Gorani, Eqrem Basha, Shkelzen Maliqi, etc. Later the name was changed as Koha Ditore in 1997. This newspaper was found by Veton Surroi, and now it continues to be published by his sister, Flaka Surroi. However, the war-group journalists have completely changed. The staff is not the same at all.
1999 War
Considered as "holocaust" or "genocide", Kosovo war was one of the biggest problem that Balkan has had in the last century. When Yugoslavia was destroyed, the only country left in there was Kosovo. Serbia was not ready to lose another part of their territory. However, political movements appear and a new concept of independence comes into life in the small country of Kosovo. In addition, new people under the lead of the Kosovo’s first President, Ibrahim Rugova, started a new concept creating The Republic of Kosova. The war seemed to be significant in Kosovo’s future which recently became a Republic. It was the 23rd of March 1999, the day when Richard Holbrooke announced that discussions to reach peace between Kosovo and Serbia had failed. It was a matter of time for NATO to interfere and involve a military action to save Kosovo. On the same day, Javier Solana convinced the US Army GeneralWesley Clark to start a bombing campaign, and force Yugoslavia to stop the war against Kosovo.
War journalism
The War was concentrated in three different battles. The 1st one is everywhere, the battle of guns. The other is the political war and the influence of personalities like Ukshin Hoti, Fehmi Agani, Hashim Thaci, Fatmir Limaj, Ramush Haradinaj or Ibrahim Rugova. And the most difficult one was the media war. Correspondents everywhere were dealing with the case of Kosovo, and the Balkan problems were the center of attention in the developed world. United States of America’s former President, Bill Clinton, and United Kingdom’s Prime-minister Tony Blair, were completely concerned with Kosovo’s situation.
While in the other part of the town, Koha Ditore’s offices were being destroyed and people there were being killed. After being declared dead, one of the survivors, Baton Haxhiu in an interview for Terrence Smith declares: “I was surprised, I really was. I was in deep desperation because I was separated from my family, from my wife and son, and from my parents, and they didn't know what happened with me. For many days, they think that I'm dead, so…” According to Berry Bearak, “After a harrowing escape, Mr. Haxhiu has set up shop here on Marshal Tito Street. His newspaper, Koha Ditore, was the most respected Albanian-language daily in Kosovo. Then, on March 24, its offices in Pristina were ransacked and its night watchmen killed. The daily's founder, Veton Surroi, a delegate to the failed peace talks on Kosovo, went into hiding”. The problem of war journalists was becoming bigger and bigger.
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