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Friday, March 26, 1999 Published at 23:10 GMT

Serb media dances to patriotic tune

Belgrade television: Slow motion images

Nato's air strikes against Yugoslavia continue to dominate Serbia's state-run television, which is broadcasting hourly news bulletins devoted to the conflict, linked by patriotic music, movies and images.

Images on Belgrade TV aim to boost the patriotic spirit
On-screen captions giving the latest news on the conflict accompany all recorded classical music programmes.

The captions even include notices of forthcoming "peaceful" demonstrations abroad, including gatherings in The Hague, London and Moscow.

But in a more striking departure from normal programming, patriotic montages showing footage of the Yugoslav armed forces are broadcast regularly, usually immediately before and after news bulletins.

Kosovo: Special Report
In one three-minute sequence, soldiers were shown marching on parade grounds and in action during field exercises. Occasionally, the footage was shown in slow motion.


Accompanying the montage was a stirring patriotic song, which included the lyric: "We love you our homeland, with us you are safe, with us you are stronger."

[ image: News bulletins every hour show the damage of the Nato air strikes]
News bulletins every hour show the damage of the Nato air strikes
The news bulletins themselves are given over entirely to the conflict. On Friday morning, the bulletins began with footage of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and members of his cabinet meeting to discuss developments in the conflict.

Three minutes into the bulletin, pictures of the Nato "aggression" and its aftermath were shown in a roundup of video reports from across the country.

The footage ranged from blurred images of lights in the night skies over the Kosovo capital Pristina and a red glow rising from the horizon to more graphic pictures.

Then it turned to Krajeva where the local airfield was hit by some 20 missiles on Thursday evening, according to the report.

Civilian buildings were also hit, it added, showing close-up pictures of broken glass and a local woman picking up fragments of what appeared to be shrapnel.


A local man then told state television how he sought refuge in a shelter once the Nato attacks began.

The report was accompanied by images of a large plume of black smoke, rising over the roofs of an otherwise serene town.

In its report from Belgrade, the television struck a note of reassurance, saying that the city's buses were running and power and water supplies were unaffected.

The station's coverage of overseas news was again devoted to the conflict, with video reports of a pro-Serbia demonstration in Canada's Toronto and footage, already familiar to many TV viewers, of Thursday's violent anti-Western demonstration in the Macedonian capital Skopje.

As for print media, Belgrade newspapers are publishing a far smaller number of pages and report only on the Nato air strikes and reactions to them.

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