In launching the TV Justice project, the goal was to take advantage of BIRN BiH’s editorial excellence in trial monitoring, legal analysis and war crimes investigations and combine it with top quality production expertise to televise justice issues.The team’s overall goal is to increase understanding of and support for the work of the local judicial institutions dealing with war crimes, and to ensure a transparent and accessible justice system and thereby contribute to the establishment of truth and reconciliation in the region.
The project aims to maximize the power of war crimes trials to promote reconciliation within divided communities by offering regular, fair, objective and sustained coverage and by strengthening understanding and cooperation between the representatives of the judiciary and the community.
There are two main project activities: Production of TV Justice magazine, and production of ad hoc video clips and documentaries.In addition, the team has carried out research on 35 thematic cross-sectoral analyses of the work of the local judiciary, including access to public information, witness protection and support, right to defence, transparency and the independence of rule of law in Bosnia.
BIRN BiH also works to contribute to the exchange of experiences on different methods of transitional justice in post-conflict countries around the world, and involve over one million Bosnian diaspora in the justice and reconciliation process.
The project targets the general public as well as local, regional and international media and judicial institutions, and civil society groups, victims, local governments, international policy-makers, and members of diaspora.
Since the project was launched in 2009, BIRN BiH has produced 48 TV Justice magazines.
TV Justice is aired on 27 local television stations including the public broadcasters. As of July 2013, the viewers of RTV Jablanica, RTV Glas Drine, and JP RTV7 Tuzla will be able to watch BIRN’s TV programme. Moreover, TV Justice is aired on two public broadcasters, BHT 1 and Federal TV each month with an estimated share of 21.6%.
This year BIRN BiH filmed an additional three documentary specials in addition to regular production of TV Justice.
The first special was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Hague Tribunal.
The second special focused on activism in Prijedor. It featured the story the Prijedor massacre, life of returnees and concentration camp survivors 20 years after the war, and ‘White Armband Action,’ a civil society initiative to mark the places of mass killings in Dretelj, Silos, Omarska, Kozarac.
The third special deals with the worldwide challenges and different practices involved in the process of accounting for missing persons. It will also highlight the role of the ICMP in the identification process in BiH.
A significant discovery of TV Justice was made in an interview with Munira Subasic and Edin Ramulic who both openly spoke about how they had to pay fee for information about the location of mass graves. This information led to the discovery of potentially the biggest mass grave in BiH, Tomasica, near Prijedor, and TV Justice was the first to have exclusive images of the first days of the exhumation.
TV Justice also aired archived images never seen before anywhere else on TV about the Srebrenica – Tuzla march. The survivor of the march Hasan Hasnovic who also exclusively spoke to TV Justice about how he had survived the genocide provided these images.
Another important achievement in the TV documentary production and regional cooperation is recently released BIRN’s film and short serial entitled: The Majority Starts Here. BIRN’s documentary features six young people who travel across ex-Yugoslavia to discover how conflicts have shaped their generation. The film was shown in the cities of Belgrade, Sarajevo, Skopje, Zagreb, and Pristina. The film as well as the complete serial was broadcasted on Aljazeera Balkans.
TV Justice episodes aided survivors of Dretelj detention camp to legally pursue reparation and damages for the suffering he had been through.
May 2013’s TV Justice Special – a two-hour debate on the issue of anonymization of the courts documents and other informational material – garnered a great deal of public attention and public disapproval of the new procedure. BIRN BiH was the first organization in the country to publicly address this change.
TV Justice was the first news agency to uncover the raping of women in Babin Potok near Visegrad in an episode that featured women witnesses and survivors.
In addition, over 650 DVDs of TV Justice were distributed to various stakeholders, mainly to representatives of judiciary, civil society, international organizations, and the media.