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BOSNIANS PROTEST GENOCIDE VERDICT

This story in Europe News is about the International Court of Justice ruling on Tuesday Feb 28 2007 that Serbia was not guilty of alleged genocide against Bosnia Hercegovena.

The reporter picked the angle of the bosnians' reaction to the case in which Bosnia-Herzegovina sued former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for genocide allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 war.

But ICJ essentially ruled that Serbia, as a state, could not be held accountable for genocide because available evidence was insufficient to prove that although the Court found that Bosnia could have prevented the killing in Srebrenica where some 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men were killed.

There are things the reporter could do to improve the story. First, the lead was too long and confusing. There was no need for the names and position in the lead. Also, one or the court finds an accused guilty not declare him/her quilty. There were more than two angles of the story: Bosnia's next plan and the people's reaction to the verdict. Then there are protesters calling for compensation and constitutional changes (why? he did not address). These theme could be treated separately

The reporter said little about the Court or its opinion. The reporter readers that the protesters said ICJ "Neglected the fact that some 100,000 people were killed across Bosnia-Herzegovina." There is response from the Court about charge. Another problem with this story was the sources: "According to protesters, the court neglected the fact that some 100,000 people were killed across Bosnia-Herzegovina, including nearly 17,000 children. In Bosnia's capital Sarajevo, they said, more than 10,000 people were killed, including more than 1,600 children. " How does one know that these are verifiable facts? I would use these facts only if they were from the ICJ records or the current government not from protesters. A careful and professional reporter using an hourglass format could do a good work with this global news. I don't think this is an example of good journalism. See this piece at: http://news.monstersandcritics.com/europe/news/article_1270156.php/Bosnians_protest_verdict_exonerating_Serbia_of_genocide__Roundup_

The same story in The Globe and Mail revceived far better journalistic treament. The reporter to pain to interviewed the Serbian President Boris Tadic and Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief on the Court ruling.
As readers we can read what the verdict said. "In the 171-page ruling, the court was unambiguous in its declaration that genocide had occurred at the United Nations-protected Srebrenica enclave and that during the 1992-95 conflict, "Bosnian Muslims were systematically victims of massive mistreatment, beatings, rape and torture causing serious bodily and mental harm." But it rejected Bosnia's assertion that Serbia was responsible and that its intent was to wipe out Bosnian Muslims.

There were other important quotes from experts on this ruling means. Everything that the first reporter failed to do, the second reporter accomplished. An axcellent example of hourglass style. See this story at:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070227.COURTS27/TPStory/TPInternational/Europe/



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