Not content to analyze the world events from the sidelines, through second-hand information, the Truth in Media has been frequently a first-hand witness and an active participant in the stories on which it has reported. Here are some examples...
Letters to Major Media or Government Organizations
Bosnian War Coverage
During the four-year Bosnian war, for example, Djurdjevic traveled frequently through this war-torn Balkan region, sometimes crossing the front lines to meet with the country's political and military leaders, as well as to talk to common soldiers and local residents.
His war diaries about the meetings with key protagonists in this conflict, and his reports on some of his harrowing experiences gave the Truth in Media members a unique, ground level view of the greatest Post Cold war human tragedy.
Today, they are stored at Stanford University's archives as important historical evidence (although some are still not open for public inspection - at author's request - due to the continuing sensitivity and volatility of the situation in this region of the world).
Bosnian War Coverage - at Home
It was because of our first-hand knowledge about what was really going on in the Balkan wars (1991-1995) that Truth in Media realized how distorted the coverage of the American media had been. Which sometimes caused us to fight for the truth at home even harder than one had to do it abroad.
In January 1993, for example, Truth in Media organized the largest-ever demonstration against the Arizona Republic in Phoenix, the biggest newspaper in Arizona, to protest its then unbalanced coverage of the Bosnian war. After years of persistent, friendly efforts to inform and educate the editors which followed, the readers would be hard pressed today to discern a major difference between the Arizona Republic's and Truth in Media's editorials on the Balkan subjects.
First-ever Anti-Media Demonstrations in Phoenix
In January 1993, on Orthodox Christmas Day (Jan. 7), the Truth in Media organized Arizona's first-ever anti-media demonstrations in front of the Arizona Republic building in downtown Phoenix.
Demonstrators quietly picketed the building of the largest Arizona newspaper in an evening vigil, with candles in their hands. They also heard a 12-minute speech by the TiM editor.
The sign being carried by one of the demonstrators (left), as shown in this Arizona Republic Jan. 8, 1993 story, headlined "'Republic' is anti-Serb, pickets say," read: "You're Supposed to Report the News, Not Determine the News!"
Freeing the Nungs in Hong Kong
When we learned that a group of 31 Nungs (ethnic Chinese from Vietnam), who fought bravely with the U.S. Special Forces troops in the Vietnam War, was about to be repatriated to their (and our) former enemies by the British authorities in Hong Kong, we joined the effort to lobby the U.S. and some foreign governments to save the Nungs.
"WE MUST NOT LET BRITAIN (HONG KONG) COMMIT TREASON THE SAME WAY-TWICE" (as Winston Churchill did against its Serb allies during WW II), we wrote in a May 1997 editorial). "Let us appeal to ALL FREEDOM LOVING PATRIOTS AROUND THE WORLD who get to see this message: Work your hearts off for the liberation of these brave 31 Nungs! Call your representatives; FAX your senators; yell at your prime ministers; curse the U.N.! (which is supposed to be in charge of such refugees in Hong Kong). Just help get these people out of the communist paws... Because if we, the so called 'free world,' leave such loyal friends hung out to dry, how can we ever hope to make some new ones?"
"You are such a brilliant writer. I was thrilled you picked up my 'Nungs' and wrote about them. I love your writing. When new mail arrives, I always look for a report from you to open first... You took all my messy postings and made some sense of all of it. What talent you have!"
D.Z., a Green Beret widow
On June 9, 1997, the Washington Post reported from Hong Kong that the Nungs, the "ex-troops for Green Berets won permission to immigrate to U.S."
Supporting Serbia's Pro-Democracy Demonstrations
Serbia's massive pro-democracy demonstrations in the Winter of '96-'97 were another example of Truth in Media's activism. When the Serbian strongman, Slobodan Milosevic, muzzled the independent media in Belgrade, Truth in Media became a two-way news center for the Belgrade demonstrators. Using the Internet, we disseminated the news from the Belgrade streets to the major world media and the Internet interest groups around the world - within minutes of an event taking place on the Belgrade streets.
At the same time, we helped break Milosevic's media embargo by feeding back to the Belgrade protesters the news media reports about them from around the world.
Djurdjevic's columns supporting the pro-democracy demonstrators were also published by the USA TODAY, the Arizona Republic, the Phoenix Gazette, the Washington Times, the News (of Mexico City), etc.
Finally, using Djurdjevic's personal experience as one of the leaders of the failed student anti-Communist uprising in Belgrade in June 1968, Truth in Media guided the Winter '96-'97 demonstrators with advice to help them avoid the pitfalls and mistakes which the Belgrade students made some 29 years earlier.
Here is what some Student Protest '96-'97 participants, who marched on freezing Belgrade streets for more than 100 days, wrote to us:
"Your reports are the precious and rare sources of information for us. We are passing them on regularly to the various press services here... to the Protest Leaders Committee and to the fellow-demonstrators. We especially value your opinions about the various foreign journalists who are reporting from Belgrade... Without you and some other friends from France and Germany our horizons would have been much smaller."
Belgrade Student Protest '96-'97 - Internet Service
"Students from Nis (a city in southern Serbia) wish to express their gratitude for the unselfish help and support which you are giving us in our JOINT struggle for democracy.."
Nis Student Protest '96-'97 Leaders
"We wish to thank for for all information which you are sending to us on a daily basis. We appreciate your efforts to keep us informed."
I.S., Coordinator of the Fund for Human Rights
Over 200,000 Serbs from Croatia, Bosnia were "ethnically cleansed" in the summer of 1995 alone in a U.S.-masterminded and aided "blitzkrieg," followed by a NATO bombing of Bosnian Serbs in September 1995
If "a picture is worth a thousand words," then the above picture (Aug/95) needs no further caption.