A Look At The Kosovo Crisis Essay, Research Paper
In major media organizations in American such as USA Today, New York Times, NBC, and ABC, there is a media monopoly. These major organizations all practice pack journalism. They all use the same basic resource and method for gathering their material and then they write or report the same general information. Because of this, it is highly unlikely to receive diverse views on an issue from these sources. On the other hand, there are many independent or unique resources that represent diverse views on an issue. These sources include editorials, and international newspapers. It is necessary to examine a
variety of sources in order to receive a balanced and diverse view on an issue. My research on the crisis in Kosovo proves this point.
On April 21 and 22, USA TODAY had three sections about Kosovo. These
sections were on pages 1,8, and 18. On the front page, the article talks about sending in ground troops. It had small sized headline that said U.S. to take new look at troops. The story didn t really go into depth regarding the issue of sending in troops. All it really contained was a few quotes by high ranking officials that said things along the lines of we are just reassessing. This doesn t mean it is a definite. This story didn t have a bias. This is probably because the story was deep or complicated enough for there to be a controversy to it. Page eight and eighteen were dominated with Kosovo stories. The most
interesting thing about it was that on each page, there were two stories. The first story would be about the refugees. The headlines and body of these articles really sensationalize the refugees plight (i.e. …it s becoming increasingly difficult to provide enough food, shelter and medical care for the mounting refugee population.. ) They create sympathy for the refugees and their predicament. Coupled with these stories are stories about the war. These articles are about ways that NATO is escalating or considering to escalate the war. These stories are on the same page as the refugees because it will make the reader think; Hey, the Serbs are really mean. They deserve to be
punished. Oh look. NATO is considering a blockade to dry Milosevic of oil. That would be a good way to stop Milosevic and the Serbs. I totally support that idea. This strategic placement of the two articles together shows that there is a bias against Milosevic. If there wasn t a bias, then these two articles wouldn t be put together. The fact that the same thing happened more than one day confirms the fact of a media bias that is pro-war, and against the Serbs. These articles seemed to target audiences in a way that is emotional
and influential. This way, there will be a lot of support for the war effort.
I reviewed The New York Times on April 21 and 22 as well. Generally, it
contained the same stories as USA Today. The funny thing is that not only did both papers talk about the Apaches and refugees, but they both put them in the same location in the paper. This shows that not only is there a media monopoly in these major newspapers, but they both have the same bias. This is not a good thing if one wants to receive unbiased, objective, and diverse views on an issue.
A smaller newspaper, The Valley News, ran an article about refugees on April 22 entitled Refugees Flood Out of Kosovo . This article told how immense amounts of refugees left their homes because of Milosevic s atrocities and how many young and middle-age men had possibly been abducted by the Serbs while fleeing. This article made you feel sorry for the refugees and angry at the situation that caused them. It made you want to support NATO efforts to bomb the region.
On April 25, I viewed a program on ABC. It was the 6:00 news. The first story was the Columbine high school shooting. The second story was about Kosovo. In this story, there were many pictures. They showed the decimated Serb TV station that NATO bombed. There were about 20 casualties. ABC showed pictures of the wounded civilians. Both sides of the story were portrayed well. The pictures showed how the bombing of Kosovo is detrimental to the people, while the commentary by the correspondent showed how the TV station was a major propaganda tool and a legitimate military target. This report seemed to target an educated audience who was well informed about the Kosovo
On April 25, I also saw a program on NBC. Like ABC, the Littleton Shooting came first and then Kosovo. This program was very biased. It was about 10 minutes long and was about the refugees and the Apache helicopters. The pictures of the refugees were very disturbing. They showed little skinny kids sitting in the mud and crying. They also displayed thousands of people engulfing a soup kitchen trying to get food. Like USA TODAY, NBC combined the pictures with a solution to this refugee problem. In this program, the remedy was the Apache helicopters. It gave a lot of information about how effective the Apaches were as fighters and scouts. It also tried to justify the fact that the Apaches were being sent in. If someone who knew little to nothing about this issue watched this program, they would think that sending the Apaches in to Yugoslavia was areally good decision and would help alleviate the refugee problem.
Besides these American media articles that I examined, I also read a lot of international papers. These papers had many diverse outlooks on the Kosovo issue. Some of the countries believe that NATO s involvement is a good idea. Others believe that it is wrong. It is interesting that not all of these countries think the bombing is bad for the same reasons.
As one would expect, the Yugoslavia Daily News is against the bombing. In all of the articles, they talked about the bombing. More specifically, civilian bombing. They portrayed pictures and short stories about these victims. They did this to allow the reader to relate to the victims. This makes the story more personal and consequently, wins support for the Serbs against NATO. The articles also used extremely inflammatory language that demonized NATO and the leaders. For example, this quote by Serbian information Minister Aleksander Vucic was in one of the articles. Criminals such as Clinton and Blair could not have been borne by any mother. Just punishment will reach
them. They are the biggest criminals and beasts. By comparison, even Hitler was but a little child. As one can see, this newspaper has an extreme bias against NATO and the bombing. It targets the emotional side of humans its headlines, pictures, and stories. It does this to gain sympathy from the people of other countries.
The Paris Tribune was against the bombing for different reasons than the
Yugoslavian News. It stated that the allied bombing has achieved only one result; the destruction of the country s economy. A recent study has shown that the damage from NATO s bombs has reached over 100 billion dollars. This has set Yugoslavia back one to two decades. They declare that the NATO air attacks have not loosened the Yugoslavia military stranglehold on Kosovo and the ethnic Albanians. This viewpoint is very against NATO and its mission. This newspaper would like to see NATO get the heck out of Yugoslavia and let the country figure this crisis out alone. It wasn t objective at all. It didn t write about both sides of the conflict. This showed that the Paris Tribune has a
major bias against NATO because it didn t even talk about the ethnic cleaning that NATO was trying to stop.
One of the smaller countries that is adjacent to Yugoslavia is Pro-NATO. This country is Croatia. The Croatian paper supports NATO S actions and believes that it was the only way to finally stop Slobodan Milosevic. The article said that Croatia will continue to cooperate with NATO and to provide all bombers free access to Croatian air-strips. This article had a bias for NATO . Its pictures were of a soldier on the side of the road with some pedestrians walking down it. This showed that the army man isn t being harmful or effecting the citizens normal routine.
Another country next to Yugoslavia is Bulgaria. In the Bulgarian newspaper, the Capital Weekly, the article said that the bombing could have been avoided through negotiations. It asserted that the negotiators were unfair. They were totally Pro-Albanians. They never made concessions for the Serbs. It wrote that if the negotiations were more impartial, then this whole situation would never have happened. This article wasn t very objective. It never even tried to portray NATO s side to the story. It tries to gain sympathy
for the Serbs by saying that were treated unfairly. It also states that the Americans lied to the Europeans by involving them in the conflict and stating that the regime will back off . The final sentence also had a major bias. It said that NATO wants to step on this territory and control it. NATO isn t trying to help the ethnic Albanians at all. They are just there for selfish reasons.
The Russian Times was opposed to NATO air strikes on Yugoslavia. They said that the action in Yugoslavia breaches acknowledged norms of international rights. In all of the articles, the Russian Times exhibited inflammatory language. For example, one sentence read NATO missiles slammed into headquarters of Serbia s TV network and blasted the residence of many Belgrade citizens… . The Russian Times isn t even attempting to be objective. They obviously don t support NATO s actions and are practicing advocacy journalism that preaches this fact. In fact, one article even called the bombing the barbaric destruction of a country. None of their articles mention the
ethnic cleanings, and atrocities committed by the Serbians which caused NATO to
commence bombing . These articles had a totally bias opinion on this issue.
The Japanese newspaper was very negative to NATO. On April 16, it reported NATO Convoy Massacre a Scene of Horrors . It reported that scores of
ethnic-Albanian Yugoslavs were killed by attacking NATO aircraft . It stated that NATO was deliberately attacking thousands of ethnic Albanians and that NATO initially denied the killings, but that Clinton later dismissed the killings as regrettable but inevitable . The article continued on to give an eyewitness account of a reporter s visit to the hospital and a description of the horrific injuries there. The reporter also mentioned that
he saw a CNN reporter do a stand up report in front of the bombed area, but that he checked and this report was never aired by CNN. This article was highly critical of NATO and used very inflammatory language. It was very detailed in its description of those injured by the NATO bombs and the journalist s reaction to it: The third site was
worse. I wouldn t have believed it had I not seen it myself. Now, I can never forget the blackened form of a man…. This article never mentions why NATO is bombing, and leads the reader to think that NATO is totally the aggressor. You hate NATO by the time you finish account after account of the innocent victims were suffered unspeakable deaths or injuries. This article was very biased.
A newspaper from Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald was also biased
against NATO and the Unite States and presents a new reason why we are involved. This article was titled NATO really does mean business and its sub headline read: Despite the talk of lofty principle, the strike against Yugoslavia serves other interests . This article traces the history of the US attack on Yugoslavia. It states that this attack began more than a decade ago in the form of our stopping to economically support the region. It declares that initially we wholeheartedly favored Milosevic : President
Milosevic, said Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy, is a man we can do business with, a man who recognizes the realities of life in former Yugoslavia . The article claims we are using the Kosovo crisis as an excuse to test weapons the terror bombing of Serbia and Kosovo provides a valuable laboratory for the Anglo-American arms business . It states we are using a depleted-uranium missile which causes leukemia while England is deploying a multi-purpose cluster bomb which really constitutes an air dropped land-mine. This article is very negative about the NATO involvement in Yugoslavia and states a whole new reason for involvement. It certainly provides a view that is very different than the one presented by the American media, and it provides you with new
questions and ideas about the Kosovo crisis.
The Chinese paper, The People Daily, provided both sides of the issue in its article NATO Missile Strikes in Downtown Belgrade: on April 27. It gave vivid details of the bombing and mentioned that many international figures were condemning NATO s actions. At the same time, it stated that the bombing was a result of the atrocities against Kosovo s ethnic Albanians . The article s primary focus was the huge amounts of refugees that are pouring out of Kosovo and the deplorable conditions they are finding. It stated that Clinton assured Americans that fleeing refugees did not blame NATO for their suffering and were strongly in favor of the air strikes on Yugoslavia . This article
did present a balanced view of the story and did not chastise NATO for their involvement although it stated that the West had to step up its efforts to help the refugees.
In addition to international newspapers, the Internet contains a number of editorials that present a unique and typically very biases view on issues. I examined a number of these as well. The International Action Center1 provided one with the US/NATO War in Yugoslavia: Five Myths . This editorial blasts NATO and the US and counters the reasons for our involvement that are generally presented in the major media . The article states that what we see today from U.S. news reports is a gross distortion of
facts. The media is dominated by big business interests and functions as a Pentagon propaganda machine…. . Another Internet editorial gives 101 reasons why NATO s War Sucks : obviously biased but with some unique ideas that make you think, such as The United States is stating that its goal is to protect the predominantly Muslim Albanians in Kosovo, but our policy of sanctions and war kill 300 Iraqis every day–half children under five. Most Iraqis are Muslims . Other editorials strongly support the US such as UExpress which is presented by Universal Press syndicate2. This site allows journalists to present their views on a topic. Cynthia Tucker wrote an article titled Doing the Right thing in Kosovo which strongly supported President Clinton and urged him to hold out against naysayers, isolationists and, not least, an array of recently declared and soon-to-be declared presidential candidates who gain headlines by taking potshots at this policies . The number of editorials on the Internet (and in newspapers) is
endless. One can read them to gain a unique and often valuable opinion of an issue. However, it is important to keep in mind that they are editorials and as such, a very biased view on an issue.
In the major media companies in America, there is a media monopoly. One can not receive diverse views on an issue such as Kosovo because of the extreme biases that all of the journalists share. On the contrary, there isn t a media monopoly in the independent or unique sources, most specifically international newspapers. While almost all of these newspapers exhibit some type of bias, they don t all share the same one. Therefore, by reading many different international newspapers and independent sources such as editorials, one can receive diverse and intriguingly different opinions on an issue. This allows one to make their own decision about an issue without relying on the monopoly view prevalent in the American Media.