June 14, 2024

The Scoop India

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How are the reporters reporting from the middle of the war!

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There is a very famous line.

Truth is the first casualty of war.

And, it is the responsibility of journalists to prevent or reduce this harm. War reporting is one of the riskiest jobs in the world. On one hand you have to control your emotions, on the other hand you have to carry the burden of being fair.

John Simpson, who has covered many battles for the BBC, once said,

I am a patriotic Englishman. I want to see my country shining like stars. But, I cannot cover up its mistakes.

There is a reason to mention war reporting today. On March 15, two Fox News journalists covering the Russo-Ukraine war were hit by a bombing. Both died in the attack near Kiev. One of them, Pierre Zekreski, was a resident of London. He has covered wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. The second Oleksandr Kusinova was from Ukraine. His age was only 24 years. She was associated with Fox News as a consultant. Earlier, journalist and filmmaker Brent Reno had lost his life in an attack in Kiev. He had worked for the prestigious American newspaper New York Times.

So far five journalists have been killed in the Russo-Ukraine war. We hope that this war does not take any more lives. We pray that peace prevails. But the war has not stopped yet. Because of this, the apprehensions have not ended either.

In today’s episode, we will tell some amazing stories related to war reporting. Know, what are the challenges faced by journalists in the battlefield?

And tell, what happened in the Russo-Ukraine war?

Group of people, war journalist reporting from the war zone, military is next to them

Year 1861. Civil War started in America. It was only three decades since photography was invented. Photography work used to be very difficult in those days. Machines were big. It took more than one person to run them. Entire equipment had to be shifted to take a picture. Therefore, most of the war pictures at that time were pre-planned. The soldiers were well-dressed in these pictures. There was no sign of war anywhere in these wartime pictures.

But there was one person who was about to change this trend. His name was Matthew Brady. He hired 20 photographers during the Civil War. Spent over a million dollars. Brady wanted to do full coverage of this Civil War. He wanted to show the world as he saw it. He rented most of the equipment. They thought that when the fight would end, then the government would buy all the pictures. But it didn’t happen. The government showed no interest. He even had to sell his studio. After many years of running away, the government gave him 25 thousand dollars. But this was insufficient. Matthew Brady died of oblivion in the year 1896.

In the year 1898, for the first time, moving pictures of the war were claimed to be captured. This scene was of a naval warfare off the coast of the Philippines. It was later revealed that this video was shot in a studio in New York.

The 19th century has passed. The atmosphere of new battles was starting to prepare all over the world. Regional and ideological discontent was growing. Powerful countries were looking to acquire new borders. In the midst of all this, on 28 June 1914, a bullet was fired in the city of Sarayevo. This bullet killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austria-Hungary Empire. The trigger of the gun was a citizen of Serbia. Austria-Hungary gave an ultimatum and then declared war on 28 July. From here the First World War started.

At that time mobile, TV or internet facility was not available. People depended on newspapers for information on the battlefield. Most of the newspapers were used to spread government propaganda. So that public support is maintained. Many times the newspapers also created the atmosphere of war. Due to which the countries had to fight. An example is from Cuba.

The 1890s was going on. At that time, Cuba was occupied by Spain. The rebellion started as soon as Spain weakened. There were also properties of many American people in Cuba. For his safety, America sent its sea battleship ‘USS Main’ to Havana. All the war equipment was kept in the ship. But the soldiers were forbidden to go into battle. He was told to sit quietly until orders came. Don’t be disturbed.

Then came the date of February 15, 1898. On this day there was a loud explosion in the USS Maine. The ship sank in the sea near Havana Harbour. In this, 260 crew members died. No one knew the real reason for the blast. But American newspapers claimed without evidence that Spain was behind the blast. That was the beginning of ‘Yellow Journalism’. Yellow journalism means publishing news motivating or enticing people to increase sales. Even if the news is untrue.

After the news was published, huge demonstrations started in America. People started asking the government to take part in the war. Over time the pressure increased. Eventually, America had to go to Cuba.

getty image

Talking other than newspapers,

Soldiers also used to write letters to their families. These letters later became the most honest document of the war.

By the time of the Second World War, photography and videography had developed a lot. Footage and photographs from that period are preserved with the War Museums and photo agencies. Reporters were attached to the military unit during these battles. He used to walk with the army contingent. Used to wear soldier’s uniform. But they were not allowed to carry weapons or attack the enemy. Due to this many reporters were killed. Many were injured and many became prisoners of war.

The next major war began in the 1950s. in Vietnam. America never gave it the status of ‘war’. Because of this, they could not legally censor reporting in Vietnam. It is also said that a major reason for America’s defeat in Vietnam was negative reporting. However, this reporting exposed the truth of America and in the end they had to come out and the destruction was stopped. More than 60 journalists died in Vietnam.

One story is from 1991. During the Gulf War. Saddam Hussein’s army was sitting in occupied Kuwait. Saddam was given an ultimatum to retreat. he refuses. Then under the leadership of America, 35 countries started responding together. Journalists were given limited access in this war. Born in Kent, England, Vaughan Smith left the army in 1988. He started working as a freelance journalist during the Gulf War. He found a way out of the sanctions. He wore a British Army dress. Made a fake ID card and then entered the battlefield directly. Smith recorded first-hand experience for the next two months.

War reporters are threatened from all sides. Most of the journalists who arrived in Sarayevo to cover the Bosnian War in the 1990s stayed at the Hotel Holiday Inn. This hotel was specially built for the Winter Olympics. Later it became the information-centre of the Bosnian War. The Bosnian War lasted for four years. During this the hotel was attacked several times. Many times it happened that during live reporting, shelling started and one had to leave the camera and run away.

During the Iraq War, the US carried out airstrikes on two hotels of journalists. Three journalists lost their lives in this. When the question arose, America’s answer came,

We never intentionally target journalists.

War is a dangerous business and no one can guarantee your safety as long as you are in the warzone.

The Iraq War, the Syria War, the Afghanistan War and now the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the war continues, the reporting continues, and journalists suffer casualties. Their challenges also remain.

– Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made it clear that his country will no longer go to NATO. They said,

Ukraine is not a member of NATO. We have been told several times over the years that the doors of NATO are open, but we have also heard that we cannot enter. This is true and we have to accept it. I am glad that our people have started to understand this and they have learned to trust themselves and their helpers.

Ukraine has long been talking about joining NATO and the European Union. Russia is against it. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he will not allow this to happen.

Ukraine also appealed to NATO and the EU in the middle of the war. He said that these organizations should take extraordinary decisions in case of emergency. And, speed up the process of membership.

But both did not show any interest in this appeal.

Zelensky’s recent address can be seen as his disappointment.

– The next update is related to a meeting. On 15 March, the Prime Ministers of Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic arrived in Kiev. All three countries are members of NATO. The leaders met with Ukrainian President Zelensky. The three prime ministers had reached Kiev by traveling by train. He reiterated his point of standing with Ukraine. Poland also said that the European Union should consider giving membership to Ukraine. Earlier, Poland had also talked about giving MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. But America refused to be a participant in this.

The next headline is from Russia. Russia has left the membership of the Council of Europe (COE). COE is a human rights organization. It was established in 1949. It has 46 countries in Europe. For some time, there was a demand to get Russia out of the COE. Now he has made Tata himself. Russia’s foreign ministry said it had no regrets about leaving the COE.

What difference will this exit make?

First, the rules of the ‘European Convention on Human Rights’ will not apply to Russia.

Second, Russia would be free to re-implement the death penalty.

– And third, citizens of Russia will not be able to complain to the ‘European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR).

Russia took the membership of COE in 1996. It has become the second country to leave this organization. In 1969, Greece also gave up the membership of the COE. But after five years he returned to it.

– The next update is from America. US President Joe Biden has signed an aid package of about one lakh crore rupees for Ukraine. This money will be used to build the devastated country.

Joe Biden is also going to Brussels on 24 March. There he will take part in the emergency meeting of NATO. Biden will also meet with Europe’s top leaders.

The issue of Ukraine will be the most important in these meetings.

– On March 16, Volodymyr Zelensky is going to address the US Parliament. via videoconferencing. If experts are to be believed, Zelensky may reiterate the demand for declaring a no-fly zone. Neto has already refused this. Another possibility is that Zelensky may also ask for the help of fighter jets. The views of political parties in America are divided. Republicans are in favor of providing military aid to Ukraine. While Democrats believe that this can increase the scope of the fight.

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