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International Perspectives: Tanzanian and Serbian Journalists Weigh in on U.S. Election

Mitch Teich
Serbian journliasts Ana Krstic and Nikola Kocovic.

People have been inundated with election coverage for months now, but it’s not just Americans who have been riveted to this historic campaign season. 

"It's something crazy that people are not supposed to do that in a country like United States."

Many international journalists are in the United States both to cover the election and to learn more about federal elections in this country. As many casual observers have noticed, this has been an unusually contentious election cycle for the U.S. For some, the dirty politics at play in this election has reminded them of elections in their own countries. 

"It's something crazy that people are not supposed to do that in a country like United States where we expect people like to be more sophisticated, more educated, wise enough not to do that. But here, I am here in the United States, and you have one of the big candidate saying those things, like the way we used to say back at home in our election season," says Leah Mushi, an online editor for Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation. 

Serbian journalists Nikola Kocovic and Ana Krstic speaking with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich.

And Mushi is not alone. Serbian journalists, Nikola Kocovic and Ana Krstic, also came to the United States to cover the campaigns and were surprised by some of the more familiar aspects of election. 

Credit Courtesy of Ana Krstic
Serbian journalist, Ana Krstic, with Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee, Tim Kaine.

"We were expecting some nice campaign, not that dirty. But everyone was talking that this is the dirtiest campaign ever in history, and that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the least liked presidential candidates in history," says Kocovic. "Too many people said that they're not even gonna vote because they do not like Hillary or Donald Trump." 

"It was surprise for us, because I said, we [weren't] feeling homesick because this is something happening in our country in every election," adds Kocovic. 

Nikola Kocovic is a journalist with Radio Sto Plus in Novi Pazar, Serbia, along with the national news agency Bata. Ana Krstic is a journalist with City Radio in Nis, Serbia. They are among a delegation of Serbian journalists observing the election week in Wisconsin through a program called Open World.

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as a producer for Lake Effect. Before then, she was a director and producer for Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm Chicago Public Radio.