Norbert Mappes-Niediek was born in 1953. Since 1992, he has been working as a freelance correspondent from Southeast Europe. In 1994 and 1995, he was the advisor of Yasushi Akashi, the UN special envoy for the former Yugoslavia. Norbert Mappes-Niediek has written a number of books and is a contributing author for various German and one Dutch newspapers: Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, Badische Zeitung, Aargauer Zeitung, Der Standard, NRC Handelsblad. He was also for many years a collaborator of Die Zeit and the Deutschlandfunk.