Writing about war as it happens is perhaps the biggest challenge any professional journalist can undertake. War correspondents must face physical danger when reporting from the front lines, maintain objectivity in the face of trauma, and report accurate information in a rapidly-changing situation.
The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that at least five journalists have died in Ukraine since Russia invaded, including three from Ukraine, one from Ireland, and one from the United States. A Ukrainian photojournalist has been missing for several weeks.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), of which the Authors Guild is a member, noted that many correspondents in Ukraine do not have bulletproof vests, ballistic helmets or medical kits to help keep them safe in a war zone. Newsrooms continue to send reporters to Ukraine without specific insurance and protection, and protective gear is increasingly difficult to obtain in Europe.
In response, the IJF and European Journalists Federation (EJF) launched a Safety Fund for journalists in Ukraine. The Safety Fund will provide journalists covering the war with protective equipment, first aid kits, emergency medical response, safety hubs where journalists can receive necessary equipment or aid, and other on-the-ground support. The Authors Guild has made a significant contribution to this fund.
“The Authors Guild is proud to contribute to this fund on behalf of all our members,” said Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild. “Journalists from all over the world, including the United States, are risking their lives to report from Ukraine and highlight the courage and determination of Ukraine to remain a free, independent, democratic nation and in recognition that democracy can only succeed by guaranteeing free speech and a free press.”