A Yugoslav Journalist's Advice

"How and when does journalism become propaganda?" asks Jasmina Teodosijevic-Ryan. "As a writer, broadcaster and media analyst from the former Yugoslavia, I have observed the process first-hand. It starts slowly, then spreads like a stain. The transformation from objective journalism to propaganda begins with the addition of adjectives when referring to the other side. The 'enemy' becomes 'merciless' or 'hate-filled.' Then comes the shaping, cutting and editing reports to benefit one side. 'Our' victims have names, faces and grieving families; they must be avenged. 'Theirs' do not exist. When journalists say 'we' to refer to 'their' side's military force, they've crossed the decisive bright line into nonprofessional territory. "