The idea for Radio Justice came after radio editors and journalists in BiH said their use of Justice Report, BIRN BiH’s daily courtside reporting service from war crimes trials would increase if it were received in audio format.
In February 2010, BIRN BiH started a weekly magazine on the trials conducted before the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of BiH.
It serves as a weekly analysis of war crimes trials, the court’s work and transitional justice in general. In addition, each magazine presents common problems faced by judicial institutions in the country, including transparency, accessibility, independence, implementation of effective legal remedies, and protection of victims.
In 2011, aiming to contribute to reporting on the transfer of war crimes cases to Cantonal and District courts in the country and on the Cantonal and District courts’ work, BIRN BiH launched Local Radio Justice magazine.
This radio magazine is dedicated to all war crime trials held before District and Cantonal Courts as well as other topics related to war crimes trials and transitional justice in local communities. This programme is broadcast on local radio stations.
The radio reports, daily announcements and investigative reports are distributed to local, regional and diaspora-based radio stations free-of-charge.
It is supported by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, the MATRA Program of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through Civil Rights Defenders, National Endowment for Democracy, the British Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Foreign Commonwealth Office, the United States Agency for International Development – Justice Sector Development Project II.
Domestic radio stations receive daily and weekly audio files of the most relevant courtside reports produced by BIRN BiH journalists, cut to the broadcast-length of 30 seconds to one minute. In 2013, BIRN BiH produced in total 900 minutes of radio programming.
In 2013, Radio Justice team produced over 200 daily audio reports, 52 weekly radio magazines, 12 Local Justice Under Spotlight, and a total of 36 The Hague Chronicles. At the end of 2013, and upon feedback from many radio editors, the Hague Chronicle has been integrated with the weekly Radio Justice magazine.
According to Mareco Index Bosnia among the most listened radio stations in the country are the public broadcasters, BH Radio 1, Federal Radio, and Redio of Republika Srpska. BIRN BiH’s radio shows are regularly broadcasted via the aforementioned radio stations, with exception to Radio of Republika Srpska, thus reaching an estimated one million listeners in BiH.
BIRN BiH partnered with community-based radio stations we are able to reach audiences in small and rural communities in both Entities. BIRN’s radio programme is available in the following communities: Zenica, Doboj, Doboj South, Tuzla, Sipovo, Cazin, Bileca, Jablanica, Olovo, Gacko, Busovaca, Mostar, Breza, Lukavac, Bobovac, Bosanska krupa, Vitez, Sapna, Gorazde, Konjic, Kljuc, Bihac, Jajce, Zvornik, Bijeljina, Donji Vakuf, Vogosca, and Sarajevo.
Many radio editors report back to BIRN their impressions of the show as well as the reactions of their audiences. We can conclude they are very interested in the topic of war crimes and willing to broadcast BIRN BiH’s programme. They consider it to be a significant part of their scheme, especially news and information segments. Here is what some of them had to say about it:
“Any type of information that can initiate positive thinking is important. The people, regardless of their ethnicity, should be informed about those who committed war crimes, especially if they occurred in their communities. The fact that these criminals are in facing courts and justice encourages this positive way of thinking,” said Despot Mojsilovic, editor in chief of Radio Breza.
“I appreciate BIRN’s radio programme very much, and am very content to be able to use it in our airing scheme. Information you provide about the happenings during the war is very unique. The war was interlinked among all the nations of this region, and it is of pivotal importance for people to know that war criminals are being processed or in jail. And because of this your show is of huge importance, not just for BiH, but for the entire region,” stated from Radio ZOS.
“Your show is done in a very professional manner. It is very different from other political shows that we can hear on the radio today,” said Vojo Stjepanovic, editor in chief of Radio Doboj.