By Capt. Luis Barber
First published in
SFOR Informer#103, December 20, 2000
Sarajevo - Some of the goals for the Psychological Operations
Support Element (PSE) in HQ SFOR are Bosnian trust of SFOR, encouraging
compliance with the General Framework Agreement for Peace and dissuade
violence among the entities. The Media Section is the PSE tool for providing
co-ordinated, integrated, multi-media activities in support of SFOR's
campaign for peace within BiH.
Under the command of the PSE Chief, Lt. Col. Hergen Koglin, German Army,
is the Media Section Director, American Maj. Paul Hauser who leads a
section comprised of nine military and 23 civilian staff working in
work we do transmits messages to the population of BiH in general, and
can be more specific if we need to direct these messages at specific
groups within the population," said Hauser. "we (work)to help
the people of BiH themselves in creating there own society, government
One of the best known products is the Audio Section, which produces
Radio MIR (Music and Information Radio). Arif Mesihovic, one of the
broadcasters, explained that his work is a very gratifying one because
Radio MIR is influential, especially for young people.
Broadcasters receive updated general information from several international
and independence agencies and they broadcast it every two hours. Not
only music fills the 24 hours of programming, but also they broadcast
events, stories, some spots about safety, return of refugees, and so
on. They run the Morning and Evening Show, a two (morning) or three
(evening) hours live program where young people can phone and give their
opinion about different general topics chosen among subjects like education,
culture or ecology.
The Video Section, with TV SFOR, creates programmes varying from 30
seconds spots to half-hour long documentaries for broadcasting on local
television. French Staff Sgt. Yann Le Bras works as Assistant Video,
he said he enjoys working with military and civilian people. "I
think everybody can learn from each other and we have to be the same
way," he said.
Capt. Jose Maria Acosta de la Serna, Spanish Army, is the Print Product
Chief. He co-ordinates the illustrators, marking priorities of every
programme they carry out. Once the product is ready and approved, he
disseminates it as advertisements to the local papers and magazines,
18 all over BiH, as posters to be delivered by MNDs, or by putting it
up on the billboards of this country. They also make novelty items,
like balls, t-shirts, pencil cases, and reflective safety bracelets
used for spreading different messages.
a very interesting work because I am in touch with Bosnian people, which
range from adults with high education level to all-aged children. For
a father like I am, it is very rewarding knowing that SFOR is worried
about them," he commented.
German 1Lt Martin Ruf guides the Periodical Section, which produces
the magazines "The Herald of Progress" (HoP), and "Mirko."
While the target audience for Mirko is the youngest in BiH, for HoP
it is the adults. German Capt. Dirk Drews, editor in HoP, explained
that the content of articles is created with the intention to be interesting
for all three ethnic groups, and for this reason is almost unique among
BiH press products.
"By presenting the people of BiH who improved their economical
and social position through their self-engagement, the articles give
ideas for possible ways to achieve prosperity," he said.
Most of the copies of the magazines are printed in the different Bosnian
languages and the rest in English.
According to the newcomer local journalist Edin Dzeko, the feeling one
can get while working in the HoP is the true sense of co-operation,
dedication and professionalism.
"HoP's universal message is oriented to better the future of all
inhabitants of Bosnia and Hercegovina. Now, as a member of its editorial
board, I am aware that the people standing behind this project are really
dedicated to this as well. I know that we are doing our best in order
to achieve one common goal - long lasting peace in BiH," he said.
"The synergy of the cooperation between the civilian and military
personnel ensures that the media products we produce not only reflect
SFOR programmes and themes, but that they are meaningful and acceptable
to the citizens of BiH," added Hauser.
Related link: SFOR