This Is Reno photographer and video journalist Ty O’Neil, whose passion lies with documenting conflict zones, traveled to Europe to document the war in Ukraine and its impacts. This Is Reno will continue to follow Ty’s efforts in Ukraine as he is able to send them.
LVIV, Ukraine — The war in Ukraine has claimed many lives and many more people have been injured. Accurate numbers are difficult to find. Both Russia and Ukraine have not released what are considered credible numbers.
But at least 10 news media members have been killed. A memorial in Ukraine was created to remember them.
The Ukraine Media Center in Lviv hosted a temporary memorial for members of the news media who have been killed covering the war. The memorial had a display called, “CALL THE WAR A WAR.”
This name drew the ire of a few reporters, including myself. Ukraine has been pressing hard to get news media covering the Russian invasion to call the conflict a war – rather than a conflict, invasion or military operation.
I do not personally know anyone referring to the war as anything but a war, but mixing the death of journalists and this backhanded request to tell the press how to cover the war came off as disingenuous.
Some disagreed with my position and said they felt the memorial was created in earnest.
Lviv’s city center had signs telling different stories of the killed and injured reporters in the war. Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and freelancer Brent Renaud were among the most noted. In contrast, others, like Miguel Angel Vega, have received less attention.
Placards had been set up outside of the Ukraine Media Center — a bar before the prohibition of alcohol in the city. It now serves as a launching point for many reporters, from freelancers to those with giant media corporations.
Ukraine often refers to the news media as though they are there to only document Russian war crimes, which they are, but the press reports on what they see regardless of Russia’s or Ukraine’s desires.
Journalists and media organizations have issued a statement demanding both Ukraine and Russia increase and ensure press access to war activities as well as to cease harassment of members of the news media.
“We, Ukrainian and foreign journalists, as well as media organizations and NGOs, demand that all measures be taken immediately to end the harassment of journalists who are Ukraine’s greatest allies in this war. We also demand to involve qualified technical specialists and to develop transparent rules for the coverage of Russian shelling,” the statement reads, in part.
The memorial at the center, and its reaction, showed there are many more layered perspectives on the war than what official sources may want to highlight.