Although it is generally acknowledged that national elites and the mass media play an important role in the way that societies come to terms with a legacy of war crimes, there is little empirical knowledge about whether and how the mass media actually do contribute to a process of 'facing the past'. Based on the case of Serbia, this study examines press media coverage of war crimes and war crime judiciary during the country's recent post-war period. Adopting a novel approach to the conceptualization and measurement of media frames, the article compares the reporting of war crimes issues in four Serbian newspapers during the period from 2004 to 2006. Five frames were identified: an injustice frame, a denial frame, a factual frame, a benefits frame, and a rejection frame. In conclusion, the study reveals a discourse that is both 'perpetrator centered' and - particularly for the nationalistic press - ethnically biased.

Framing, Serbia, mass media, newspapers, post-conflict, transitional justice
dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750635213479206, hdl.handle.net/1765/41527
ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Media, War & Conflict
Department of Media and Communication

Golčevski, N, von Engelhardt, J, & Boomgaarden, H.G. (2013). Facing the past: Media framing of war crimes in post-conflict Serbia. Media, War & Conflict, 6(2), 117–133. doi:10.1177/1750635213479206