The Listening Post

Where was the media hunt for Ratko Mladic?

We ask if the notorious general was able to go undetected for so long because journalists failed to do their job.

On Listening Post this week: Ratko Mladic finally arrested. Where was the media hunt? Plus, the former IMF chief, sexual assault allegations and France’s privacy laws.

Last week, a 16-year long manhunt ended with the arrest of alleged war criminal Ratko Mladic, bringing the former Yugoslavia back into the headlines. Accused by the International Criminal Tribunal of crimes against humanity, Mladic was one of the world’s most wanted men.

While critics question both the Serbian government’s efforts to catch him and the timing of his arrest, we ask: Where was the media on this story? How did the notorious general manage to elude its spotlight for so long? And how has the Bosnian media been treating the story? Because when the person widely blamed for instigating the bloodiest conflict in Europe since the Second World War is hiding undetected in your backyard, someone is not doing their job.

In Newsbytes this week: A Pakistani journalist is found dead after a report that suggested ties between al-Qaeda and the Pakistani armed forces; journalists get caught between Georgian police and anti-government protestors; there is a reported plan underway in Tehran to disconnect Iranian cyberspace from the world wide web; former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is fined $34mn for cutting the country’s mobile phone and internet services during the protests earlier this year; and France 24’s correspondent in Bahrain gives a harrowing account of her ordeal in prison.

When news broke that Dominique Strauss-Kahn had been accused of rape, images of the handcuffed former IMF director flooded the international airwaves and column inches. But as the breathless reporting of the “future president of France’s” incarceration died down, the debate – especially in France – turned to the blurred lines between public interest and a person’s right to privacy.

DSK’s fondness for the opposite sex was no big secret in France. But France’s privacy laws and Parisian journalists’ self-imposed code of conduct over these issues kept DSK’s open secret out of the media. Listening Post’s Adnan Ahmed looks at the legal tightrope French journalists must walk and whether it let loose “Le Grand Seducteur”.

Our internet video of the week looks at three dubstep performers and their almost inhuman dance moves, in a genre which emerged from South London in the late 1990s. Three quarters of a million hits on Youtube prove: This is the kind of thing you DO want to try at home. We hope you enjoy the show.