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  • By The Financial District

Fox News, Int'l Media Abusing Ukraine Scribes, Producer Complains

For many Ukrainian producers, working for a big, international media organization is a good way to ensure at least some security and financial stability.

Photo Insert: That footage could have been shot at the center of Kyiv means Fox has blood on its hands for Ukrainian producer Oleksandra Kuvshynova's death.

In an ideal world, Western journalists and their local colleagues would support and respect one another. But in practice, it’s almost the opposite, TV producer Alik Sardarian wrote for openDemocracy of the UK.

A month into this war, we can see that Western journalists – although not all of them, and not on every occasion – regularly show disrespect to their Ukrainian colleagues. They neglect Ukrainian colleagues’ safety. They violate all possible ethical standards, which, 20 or 30 years later, they will go on to teach young journalism students somewhere in Missouri or London.

The death of Ukrainian producer Oleksandra Kuvshynova and Irish Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski in a Russian shelling attack on Mar. 14 on the outskirts of Kyiv is a case in point.

One has to wonder why the Fox News team saw fit to travel to such a dangerous location for their interviews and report. One of my colleagues, a fellow producer, saw the footage that the team shot after it was retrieved from a camera that hadn’t sustained any damage and was of the opinion, which I share, that it could have easily been filmed in the center of Kyiv.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

In this sense, Fox has blood on its hands for Kuvshynova’s death. But there is pressure on journalists, particularly TV journalists, to be as close as possible to where the action is in order to make strong images, which will contribute to high TV ratings (and earn the journalists some praise). “You are lucky that we had a spare bulletproof vest,” journalists for a major Italian TV channel told one of my acquaintances, a local producer.

“It’s your problem that you don’t have one. We’re going to Kharkiv.” These journalists dismissed the idea that they might need to provide a protection kit for the driver. My colleague refused to work for them under these conditions.

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