radovan_karadzic_3mar94.jpgRadovan Karadzic, co-architect of the Bosnian genocide of the early 1990s, and war crimes tribunal fugitive for the past 13 years, is finally under arrest. Polis Summer School student Doug Sarro reports.

Not that he was ever all that hard to find. The problem for the Serb security forces responsible for catching him was political – Karadzic may be a war criminal, but he also enjoys a lot of support among Serbs and their politicians.

And that’s how a war criminal was turned into a political bargaining chip. In exchange for taking the political risk of arresting Karadzic, Serbia was offered the ultimate political carrot – EU membership.

While I’m happy to see that Karadzic is on his way behind bars, I’m disappointed that the pleas of his victims, his prosecutors, and even Hollywood apparently had no impact on the Serbian government’s final decision to arrest him.

It also worries me because Karadzic’s co-conspirator, General Ratko Mladic,is still on the loose. And with Serbia’s EU membership apparently guaranteed, there doesn’t seem to be all that much political leverage left to guarantee his arrest.

So is there anything the media could do to keep the Serb government from sweeping the Mladic story under the rug?

Today in class we discussed celebrity in the media. It led me to thinking about one of the tactics celebrity magazines use to get new material: they offer cash in exchange for pictures or footage of celebrities sent in by their audience.

And that got me to thinking of a way the media could put some pressure on the Serbs to arrest Mladic – why not put networked journalism into action and set up a website, call it ‘Mladic TV’, which would pay people for new photos or videos of Ratko Mladic, which would be posted online and sent out to major media outlets?

Perhaps that could keep this story alive and keep some pressure on the Serbs to finally arrest him and close this miserable chapter in Europe’s history.

Doug Sarro is a POLIS Summer School student from Toronto, Canada. He blogs at vutube.blogspot.com.

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