Time for the western media to send real journalists to Russia & Ukraine
I’ve said it dozens of times. I’ll now repeat it. The western media needs to send qualified, experienced journalists to cover Russia and Ukraine. Especially at this particular moment, when civil war rages in the latter and the former is experiencing significant economic and foreign policy challenges.
The practice of using unskilled, amateur hacks in the region, no matter how noble their intentions, is unfair to readers and viewers. It’s also unjust to the wannabe journalists themselves. As non-staff members (many don’t even have contracts) they lack the usual protections afforded to media professionals on foreign postings. Many working in Eastern Ukraine have only rudimentary Russian-language skills and are unable to afford competent translators and security.
Newsdesks back home will always demand coverage be tailored to certain tastes. However, staff status supplies a safety blanket that empowers them to resist some of the more ludicrous suggestions - particularly those that may endanger them. Freelancers and short-term contract workers don’t have such luxuries. The former are usually paid by the article or appearance, which forces them to desperately hustle to be published. It sometimes encourages them to make up or exaggerate stories.
- Localisation : Russie
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