Best of the Week — First Winner
Despite great physical risks, AP delivers searing live coverage of clashes in Kosovo
Many of the AP’s most iconic images from the 1998–99 war in Kosovo were the products of video crew Vojislav Stjepanovic and Radul Radovanovic in Bosnia.
Their deep experience meant they knew something big was about to happen when minor disturbances broke out following mayoral victories by ethnic Albanians in Serb-majority towns where Serbs overwhelmingly boycotted the elections.
Soon, the situation in northern Kosovo unraveled as ethnic Serb demonstrators began clashing with NATO-led peacekeepers. Stjepanovic and Radovanovic were at the heart of the action, documenting the story and broadcasting it live, even with Molotov cocktails and tear gas flying just a stone’s throw away.
Some journalists fled the scene, and others were targeted while trying to cover the story. Stjepanovic and Radovanovic found a balcony just above the fray that offered a wide view of the clashes, where soldiers were being pelted with rocks and firearms were being discharged. They delivered live shots through it all, a feat unmatched by local channels, let alone international competitors.
When the violence finally cooled, 30 international soldiers and more than 50 protesters had been injured. The crew delivered 11 hours of live coverage through it, and Belgrade producer Ivana Bzganovic swiftly produced multiple edits that won hundreds of hits.
For showing immense bravery in providing images no one else could, Stjepanovic, Radovanovic and Bzganovic are this week’s Best of the Week — First Winner.