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And, yes, I DO take it personally: God, I'm sick of context-free news reportage
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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

God, I'm sick of context-free news reportage


having just spent some time working in kosovo while getting a "deep-dive" education on current goings-on in that relatively newly-hatched country and then reading this, i'm once again left amazed at just how much what can only be a deliberate omission of relevant context can skew a news story...
Despite its troubles, Kosovo offers model for nation-builders
In newest country, improvements come slowly but steadily


And yet, in spite of its problems and growing pains, Kosovo is cited by many diplomats as a credible model of nation-building, a sign -- relevant to the current debate over Afghanistan -- that a determined effort by foreigners can help to build a country from the ashes.

After years of ethnic conflict, security and stability are taking root.


[C]onstruction cranes rise like green shoots from the skyline of Pristina, Kosovo's capital, which is in the midst of a building boom thanks to foreign aid.

In another hopeful sign, Kosovo in mid-November held its first municipal elections since declaring independence on Feb. 17, 2008. Although there were a handful of violent incidents during the campaign, voters cast their ballots in peace and there were no major allegations of fraud.

it would have been helpful to provide a little more context although i despair of finding that most basic journalistic blandishment in the wapo of the 21st century...

the context that is sadly missing is the enormous corruption that fuels kosovo... with a massive set of laws on the books, all written by outsiders but virtually no functioning justice system to apply them, kosovo is nearly as much of a wild, anything-goes frontier as is afghanistan... (having spent considerable time recently in both places, i believe the comparison is apt...)

bootlegged and counterfeit products, human trafficking, a vibrant drug trade, politicians openly on the take, brand new roads and buildings already crumbling due to lack of any construction codes or standards, all conspire to make the wapo's rosy picture of a nation "a-building" more than a bit lame...

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