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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 3 AM), January 1, 1997

    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/
    All texts are Copyright 1996 Radio B92. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    NEWS BY 3 AM


    AKFINAT: ``We have been awarding the title of 'Radio Station of
    the Year' for five years now at irregular intervals. It is awarded
    to radio stations that have achieved outstanding results during
    one year. Sometimes it happens that there are stations that are
    really outstanding, and sometimes it happens there are no such
    stations. So, we decide each year whether to award the title or
    not. In 1996, Belgrade's Radio B92 was elected as 'the radio
    station of the year' on the grounds that 'it tries to report
    objectively on the hard, undemocratic conditions in Yugoslavia.'
    The media in this part of Yugoslavia report all in the same way
    and most of them are state-owned, so a free voice, such as that of
    B92, is extremely important. The jury awarding the title consists
    of media experts. All of them were German this year. Associates of
    the Internationale Medienhilfe are experts who are often owners of
    media companies. These are honorary associates who convene at the
    close of each year to decide, among other things, which is the
    radio station of the year.''

    B92: Which radio stations were nominated for the award this year?

    Akfinat: ``These were Radio 101 from Zagreb, Radio Index from
    Belgrade and Radio Labin from Labin, Croatia. Radio B92 came to
    the foreground in the course of this year and beat the other
    stations from former Yugoslavia. We had a difficult task this year
    because all these stations deserve the award. Nevertheless, Radio
    B92 won the award as representative of independent radio stations
    from the territory of ex-Yugoslavia.''

    B92: Who has won the award so far?

    Akfinat: ``Last year, for instance, it was Radio Rwanda. In the
    local language, the station's name means something like 'The Dove
    of Peace'.''

    B92: Are you an international organization and what is the number
    of your members?

    Akfinat: ``The seat and management of the organization are in
    Zurich, the Co-ordination Bureau, which covers the major part of
    the work, is in Germany. Our associates are all volunteers; they
    are neither paid nor standing members, but they form the council
    of the Internationale Medienhilfe which convenes on a regular
    basis and makes policy decisions. There is the International Media
    Network, as well, consisting of media from countries all over the
    world -- radio stations and newspapers, mainly, but we expect the
    first TV stations to join our membership soon. This media network
    has been around only since January 1996 and it has 30 members so
    far. We would be happy if Radio B92 joined us.''


    As you read this, the happiest, loudest and most luminescent
    celebration of New Year's Eve and of the spirit of freedom that
    has been pervading Belgrade and Serbia for over a month and a half
    now is in progress in downtown Belgrade. Music has been playing in
    the Freedom Square (the opposition name for the Republic Square)
    since noon. Before midnight, famous Belgrade actors and Zajedno
    leaders saluted the gathered Belgraders, wishing them a happy New
    Year. After the fireworks at midnight which lasted over half an
    hour, accompanied by whistle sounds, alarm clocks, bells and
    thousands of fire crackers, a New Year's concert kicked off,
    performed by many Serbian rock musicians. Streams of Belgraders
    flooded the downtown Belgrade. The Republic Square was packed and
    proved too small to hold all the New Year's celebrants on the
    streets of Belgrade tonight.


    Thousands of students and lecturers of UofB celebrated the New
    Year's Eve tonight and the 39th straight day of their protest in
    the square in front of the School of Philosophy. The program began
    with an address by Cedomir Jovanovic, member of the Steering Board
    of the Student Protest '96, who said that the next year will bring
    the fulfillment of students' demands. This was followed by a
    concert by numerous Belgrade rock musicians and a performance by
    the 'Index Theater', famous for their political parodies. Around
    11:20 p.m. the program was cut short due to technical
    difficulties, so the students headed for the nearby Republic
    Square where they awaited midnight. In spite of technical and
    organizational difficulties, the students did not fail to express
    the wit and humor characteristic of the past 38 days of their
    protest. Fireworks, torches, firecrackers, and flashlights lit up
    the merriest night so far of the students of UofB. Although the
    whole square was packed throughout the night, the greatest press
    was in the cage set up on the spot, where 3 students spent several
    hours before being symbolically set free at midnight. Foreign
    banners were de rigueur for the New Year's Eve: those of Ferrari,
    Juventus, Brazil, Fiorentina, Bob Marley. The design of the
    evening was certainly the rubber reptile dubbed ``the last
    Slobosaurus.''  To allow everyone plenty of time to recover from
    tonight's festivities, the next gathering of the students is set
    for 6 p.m. tomorrow.

    Prepared by: Aleksandra Scepanovic
    Edited by: Vaska Andjelkovic (Tumir)

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/

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