Serbian state TV has apologised for its role as a propagandist in the war 16 years ago. In the TV business, we speak of booking a big name for a highly rated TV appearance as a get. It took years to get Osama bin Laden although, in his case, his views were not wanted; he made more news - and generated more popular satisfaction - as a target of a possibly illegal liquidation. He wont be giving any more interviews, thats for sure. The world waited sixteen years for the Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic to be taken into custody. It seems clear that the Serbian authorities knew where he was but didnt want to upset the volatile and violent nationalists still in their midst who backed the wars he led. Indeed, some even excused the massacres he reportedly carried out against the countrys Muslims and all citizens who believed in multi-ethnic states. Mladic will now face war crimes charges in The Hague. In the week of his arrest, Serbian state television finally apologised for its role in inciting the barbaric war through misinformation, deception and propaganda thinly disguised as news. Liberal politician Marko Karadzic described the apology as a positive step but said the televisions managing board did not distance itself clearly enough from the past. RTSs programme was an organised campaign of support to the policies of extinction and violence which we cannot view as insult or slander, aid Karadzic. Its time for Croatian TV to make a similar statement: this statement clearly defines the often complicit relationship between war and media showing how TV networks promote wars in the guise of covering them. Too many media organisations took their cues from state propagandists. Many TV news executives in the US later issued more tempered apologies for their one-sided coverage of the Iraq war. As someone who spent years reporting on, and writing about, wars and the carnage in the Balkans, it is emotionally satisfying to see a military mobster of Mladics status finally in custody, even if his expected conviction will not bring back the tens of thousands hurt, maimed, or killed in the slaughters he allegedly directed. There was this response from prize-winning journalist Roy Gutman, then with Newsday, now posted in Baghdad for McClatchey, who pursued the story with a rare tenacity: As one of the journalists who worked on the story, Id like to say that yesterday was a great day for mankind, and it wouldnt have happened without you. Your encouragement certainly helped keep us going in our profession, and Im sure it helped create the impetus that eventually forced the administration to act. I hope youll understand if I use the platform of this email exchange to draw your attention to a truly disturbing situation, this time in US-allied Bahrain. Here is a story we ran yesterday, the latest of about ten. There are echoes of BH, just not the death toll, and one echo is the complete lack of reaction in DC. It is an alarming situation, and it is deteriorating. Salute to all, Roy Gutman, Baghdad Bureau Chief, McClatchy Newspapers. I wrote to Roy congratulating him for his role. He had cooperated with our company Globalvision on one of the many programs we did on the crisis. Eileen Weiss, adds: I, too, was thrilled to hear the news of Mladics arrest. However, I am deeply sad - many of us have been working tirelessly on behalf of Darfur and others in Sudan. Despite all the initial press attention, the situation on the ground has grown worse and worse, with houses in Abyei currently burning due to the actions of ICC war criminal Al-Bashir. Many words, failed diplomacy and reluctance to act have shown me that our leaders have basically learned nothing from the Bosnian situation. The former Bosnian Ambassador to the UN, Mo Sacirby, who was later victimised for his outspoken role, gets the last word here: Thanks for making the point, especially regarding great contributions made by so many... It is amazing how much has been forgotten, or more accurately redesigned to fit the history written by those who were acquiescent or complicit. It is a time for congratulation, but also opportunity to counter efforts that continue, like indefinite tides to erase the footprints of what actually happened. News Dissector Danny Schechter edits He is the author of When News Lies: Media Complicity and the Iraq War. Al-Jazeera