News Take Episode 105: Protecting Journalists Reporting on Russia’s War in Ukraine

Guest: Carlos Martinez de la Serna, Program Director, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

“For journalists outside of Ukraine, regardless of where they are from, they still play a critical role because the world needs to pay attention to that, and they’re explaining that to their audiences in way that is easier for them to understand the nuances and the problems of the conflict. They’re bearing witness, and we need as many witnesses as possible for something like this. For today, and for the record, for generations to come.”
– Carlos Martinez de la Serna,
Committee to Protect Journalists

Typically, News Take is where we talk about the latest innovation and get into the weeds about trends taking place in the news media industry. But in this episode, we turned to a more serious topic, which is how journalists are covering the war Russia is waging against the Ukraine.

Since Russia’s first attacks on Ukraine in late February, dozens of journalists have been injured or killed while reporting on the war. Journalists are literally risking their lives to bring the latest news and information about the war to people around the world. So while we could talk about the latest news products, the dire situation in the Ukraine is really the biggest thing happening in the world right now, and what we do as news publishers literally impacts what people know and how people perceive the war, so we felt it needed and deserved our attention here.

On this special edition of News Take, News Media Alliance President & CEO David Chavern talks with Carlos Martinez de la Serna, Program Director, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), who shares details about the situation on the ground in the Ukraine, including the environment for journalists; the threats to press freedom in the Ukraine and Russia (as well as around the world); the role of journalists from other countries reporting on the war; how journalists are navigating and combating misinformation and propaganda about the war; how they are staying safe; and what we can do to help.

This episode was recorded on April 21, 2022.

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Speaker bio

Carlos Martinez de la Serna has been with CPJ since 2018. Prior to CPJ, he worked as a reporter and digital journalist in the U.S., Spain, and Japan, covering issues including current affairs, biomedical research, and North Korea’s nuclear program. He is a founding member of the mapping startup Carto, co-founder of the nonprofit organization porCausa, and a former director of digital innovation at Univision News. Martinez de la Serna is a research fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and a former John S. Knight fellow at Stanford University.


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