From: LasiewiczN@aol.com Newsgroups: yugo.antiwar Subject: Silencing the Hate: Katie Marton Date: 27 Oct 1997 16:27:28 Several very interesting interviews are in the latest edition (number 11) of the alternative magazine from Banjaluka called REPORTER. What follows is an interview with Katie Marton who recently toured the Balkans on behalf of the CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists,) based in New York, where she met with many leaders. This article is a rare opportunity for local Serbs to understand what might be behind the recent actions by NATO to shut down various broadcasting venues. Pullquote: This was not a question of freedom of speech. This was a question of silencing one speech full of hate Submitted by Nalini Lasiewicz Bosnia Briefings =========================== SILENCING THE HATE Interview with Katie Marton Katie Marton is the President for Protection of Journalists and currently visits officials in the territory of former Yugoslavia with a goal to aid the development of free reporting. Her childhood indicates she is not unfamiliar with work under pressure. Her parents were arrested when she was six-years-old, and the process against them was, at that time glamorous, as they were accused of being CIA agents and were sentenced to 27 years in jail. "Just because they spread the news which was true, and did not suit the regime", Katie Maton remembers for Reporter. That is why she and her sister were put in a home for children of political prisoners. Luckily, two years later, the revolution occurred and they all were freed. After that, the possibility of their arrest arose again and one American diplomat finally smuggled out them in a car. In her tenth year, Marton began to learn English As she said, she always wanted to become a journalist. She has become a journalist, and some time later she became the wife of Richard Holbrook, special American emissary and an author of the Dayton agreement. Q (Reporter) According to our information, you do not like to be presented as Richard Holbrook's wife. A (Mrs. Marton): Allow me to say, I am very proud of my husband and what he managed to do with the Dayton agreement. But I was Katie Marton a for longer time than I have been Mrs. Holbrook. That is why I do not want to give up my name of which I am very proud. And as you mentioned Richard Holbrook, he truly supports this campaign of independent media. He is very happy that we both are on this mission and I bring him a full report every night of these meetings. We are a good team. Q How much can your committee really do for the protection of the journalist profession? What we can do is limited but it can be very efficient, as we are influential and can draw attention to very dramatic examples of media abuse. Were it, let's say, arrests of journalists or threats against them. We can get to the highest levels of jurisdiction, they know us and listen to what we have to say. I have personal contacts with all the leaders in this region. This will be my fourth meeting with President Milosevic. And we don't count the ones we had in Dayton. I had two meetings with President Tudjman and a couple with President Izetbegovic. This was my first meeting with President Plavsic. Q You mentioned a meeting with Mr. Milosevic. What did he promise during your last meeting and how much of that did he fulfill? Well, you know that he is not a man of his word, but that does not mean that we should not put pressure on him. You know better that I do that it is about his personal interest. He is extremely capable of survival, and that is his first interest. If I continue to hope our interest will agree at some point, than we can have results. I have no illusions of him ever supporting independent media, as independent media are a threat to all politicians. But that does not mean we should cease with attempts. Even if we could move them only one centimeter, that is our function. For a large part of my life, I was, as all journalists are, very centered on myself, which is all right. I always searched for a big story. This is the first time I am concerned with a greater question than my own fame. I would like you to know that I do plan to return to journalism. I love to write, to be a journalist. Q So that was the aim of your visit to Banjaluka, to move things centimeter-by-centimeter? Right. Q At the press conference you mentioned the takeover of Serb Radio Television's transmitters. Could you tell us your view of that action? This was not a question of freedom of speech. This was a question of silencing one speech full of hate. Simply, it was not possible for RS to go forward, to achieve anything close to democracy when the people were daily fed with hatred, the desire for revenge and lies. These are not people who can hear other voices, and who can conclude - this is mad, hysterical. That is all they have. The main source of information is constant lying, and that had to be stopped. That should have happened much earlier. It should not have been allowed to continue two years after the Dayton agreement. Q Though state television is accustomed to working for someone. Now it is completely turned towards President Plavsic. Which means again one type of propaganda. Yes. The answer for President Plavsic is to go step-by-step. She cannot go too fast, as she herself is not in a secure position. But, once, as she said herself, when she is in a safer position, and when new community leadership is in position, she will be able to go forth. Certainly, we will be interested to see if it will really go forward. There are a lot of people who are following that. But she has many reasons to be insecure, still. We do not want to put maximum pressure on her, as she is an improvement compared to the alternative which existed. This is a pretty pragmatic policy. Q Do you think that President Plavsic iasting solution for RS? I do not know. I am so happy not to be a politician, I leave that to my husband. Q In that case could you give us your opinion on the current state in RS as a journalist ? I think that I would water down everything because of what I am here if I was to give political views. I wish for these leaders to open up to me and to listen to what I have to say in the name of independent media. If I was to choose, without any thinking, I can tell you that she is better than Krajisnik. Q In the territory of the entire B&H journalists exist who are converts in both state and independent media. What is your opinion of the people who were first Communist then nationalists and now, in the end, democrats? They are not my favorite people, but better now than never. Q Who can trust them? I would be very careful and have my eyes wide open, but I would give them a chance. There are a lot of former Communists in Ccentral Europe who are working quite well. In my old country Hungary, a former Ccommunist is a prime minister and a much better one than the conservative who was in place before him. I would be very open to anyone, to see what would they be when they convert again, and then they should be trailed. Q Do people like that exist in America? We are very fortunate in the States as we did not have dramatic changes like that in our government. There are few journalists who were in the position in which you are and in which I grew up. Never, let's say, have I met a journalist who was a member of Ku Klux Klan. From my viewpoint that is TV Pale, that is as if the KKK would control the media back in the States. Q What have you talked about with Mrs. Plavsic and what has she promised? Do you think she will keep her word? Let's give her a chance. She is very careful, cautious. She has reason to be cautious. She seems open, she even talked about Karadzic, speaking about a letter in the newspapers, a letter with a friendly tone towards Karadzic. But it suggests again that the best thing he could do for his grandchildren is to surrender to the Hague Tribunal, and to stop behaving like a coward. She said that she agrees with that. I think that is the only interesting thing I heard. Q What is your view of those accused of war crimes? They should all stand trial, they all must stand trial, starting with Karadzic and Mladic. It is hard to see the future while these two are free. I thing that they have a terrible psychological impact on the country. The fact that they are free means that no one else is. I think that people bear an enormous burden of collective responsibility. There are those who are honest, those who do not deny the past, and that is not fair, that is not right. That would be the same as Hitler and Himmler being allowed to live freely after the Second World War while the country tried to make a recovery. That is psychologically unacceptable. They may live in one basement in Pale, but we know they are there, and that is not all right. Q Are there, in your opinion, people who deserve to be on the list apart from those two, and against whom no warrants have been issued? I am certain that those do exist. Judge Arbour works now on these closed warrants and I think that it functions. She does not publish who it is any more, they want to have a factor of surprise and they managed to arrest two. Of course, I do not know who they are, but the list is certainly much longer than the one which was published. What I wish to say is that my campaign is not anti- Serb. America is not anti- Serb. I want to give a different message. We really do have an understanding of the Serb people. We do not want them to think that the world is against them, as that is not the case. Especially not America. Q For the end of our conversation, one subjective question. What is your opinion of "Reporter"? It looks very professional and I like the spirit which shines out of it, and the things which I heard about Reporter are extremely positive and so I congratulate you and wish you even bigger success. I would like there to be more Reporters in the RS. I hope that your circulation will increase. It, of course, does not mean that I like everything that you write. I do not want to put myself in any trouble, as I cannot read it, but I do have a feeling that it is an independent and brave publication. IGOR GAJIC PERICA VUCINIC ============================== Reporter Digest is a shortened version of the local publication, which has the distinction of also being the only publication in the RS which is printed in English. For more information on obtaining e-mail versions or subscriptions, contact the managing editor: Perica Vucinic, in Banjaluka at 381-78-45-731 or by e-mail to: reporter@EUnet.yu International organizations are distributing copies in the Federation and all inquiries are welcomed. The publication desires to make contacts with writers and analysts from outside the region.