Creating hope: perspectives on reporting from Russia’s war in Ukraine

The following article appeared in N3 Magazine, the magazine/website for the annual conference of the Asian American Journalists Association. 

“On February 24, all journalists in Ukraine had to become war reporters,” says Ivan Verstyuk, editor of New Voice of Ukraine. “Before that, all of us had different beats. Some of us were writing about politics, some were covering energy markets, doing lifestyle journalism.”

As he had ample experience writing about defense and military issues, Verstyuk found the transition relatively straightforward. For many of his colleagues it was not so easy. “Finding a new role, a new voice, and a new tone for talking about the war — especially if you want to go beyond just reporting plain news — that was a challenge.”

The need for more and better qualified personnel is a common theme among journalists and media professionals in Ukraine. When llia Novikov saw a message advertising for a fixer in a community Telegram channel, he was unfamiliar with the term. “Fixing a bike? I didn’t know,” says Novikov, whose language skills and connections made his transition from part-time tour guide to warzone fixer a natural fit.

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