Nezavisne novine

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Nezavisne novine
Nezavisne-novine-logo.gif
Type Daily
Owner(s) NIGD "DNN"
Founder(s) Željko Kopanja
Editor-in-chief Sandra Gojković-Arbutina
Founded December 27, 1995; 21 years ago (1995-12-27)
Political alignment Liberal
Language Serbian
Headquarters Banja Luka
City Banja Luka
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Website nezavisne.com

Nezavisne novine (English: "Independent Newspaper") is a daily newspaper based in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.[1]

Early history[edit]

In 1995, shortly after the Dayton Agreement which ended the Bosnian War, Željko Kopanja co-founded Nezavisne Novine, a weekly independent newspaper, in order to "foster improved relationships among Serbs, Muslims and Croats in Bosnia".[2] The magazine was funded in part by the United States Agency for International Development, per a part of the Dayton Agreement which had called for funding for non-nationalist media.[3] Beginning with a circulation of 4,000, the newspaper later became a daily, and its circulation climbed to 18,000 in the next five years.[4]

In August 1999, Nezavisne Novine broke new ground by reporting on the murder of 200 Muslim civilians by Serbian police officers in 1992.[5] With the report, the paper became the first Bosnian Serb paper to report on war crimes by Bosnian Serbs during the Yugoslav Wars.[2] At the same time, he stated that he "stands by the thesis that no nation is genocidal or criminal, but individuals from certain nations are. I think that the Serbian people do not deserve to carry this burden ... I do not allow anyone to commit war crimes in my name or in the name of my people, nor does anyone have the right to do that."[2]

1999 car bomb attack[edit]

Following the paper's reporting on atrocities committed by Bosnian Serbs, Kopanja was denounced by some groups as a traitor, and began to receive death threats.[2] On October 22, 1999, he was nearly killed by a car bomb that exploded as he turned the ignition key.[5][6] A nearby hospital amputated both of his legs.[7] International supporters funded follow-up medical care for him in Austria, as well as high-quality prosthetic legs.[2]

The bombing provoked outrage in both Muslim and Serbian media.[3] Srpski Glas joined Nezavisne Novine in printing a mostly blank front page three days after the bombing, carrying only the words "We Want to Know" to call for further investigation into the attack. Bosnian television interrupted programming to display the same message.[3]

The perpetrators were not found, though Kopanja later stated his belief that Serbian security forces were responsible for the attack in retaliation for his reporting on war crimes.[8] An investigation by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation supported his contention.[9]

Kopanja continued to edit and write for Nezavisne Novine despite the attack.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kadri Ackarbasic. International Journal of Rule of Law, Transitional Justice And Human Rights. Association Pravnik Sarajevo. p. 90. GGKEY:B0XLC3UWS4H. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Zeljko Kopanja, co-founder and editor of Nezavisne Novine". NewsHour/PBS. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Claire Shaeffer-Duffy (4 February 2000). "Reporting in post-war Balkans". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 8 September 2012.  – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  4. ^ Brian Whitmore (15 October 2000). "Serb Journalist Exposes Atrocities Despite Threats, Injuries". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 8 September 2012.  – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  5. ^ a b Arie Farnam (6 September 2001). "Bosnian newspaper crosses ethnic divide". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Anna Husarksa (26 October 1999). "A Bomb Atrocity in Bosnia Provides a Warning for Kosovo". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Terence Neilan (23 October 1999). "World Briefing". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Amer Cohadzic (28 August 2008). "Interview with Željko Kopanja of Bosnia-Herzegovina". Committee to Protect Journalists. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Nicholas Wood (26 April 2005). "Balkan states yielding to Hague Effects of pressure show across region". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 

External links[edit]