By:
March 15, 2022

It might be the most striking photo of the war so far in Ukraine. A pregnant woman, badly injured and her face a ghostly white, being carried on a stretcher outside of a maternity hospital that had been bombed by Russian forces.

It was that photo, captured by Evgeniy Maloletka for The Associated Press, that showed not only the gruesome realities of war, but that Russia would stop at nothing in its attack of Ukraine. It proved that even a maternity hospital could be a target of troops sent into Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Now we have heartbreaking news. The Associated Press’ Mstyslav Chernov reports that the woman in that agonizing photo and her baby have died.

AP journalists had video and photos outside the hospital after the attack. Chernov wrote, “It was among the most brutal moments so far in Russia’s now 19-day-old war in Ukraine. The woman was taken to another hospital, closer to the front line, where doctors tried to save her. Realizing she was losing her baby, medics said, she had cried out to them, ‘Kill me now!’”

According to a doctor on scene, the woman’s pelvis had been crushed and her hip had been detached. After the woman’s heart stopped, hospital personnel tried to resuscitate her for more than 30 minutes, but to no avail. The doctor said the baby was born via cesarean section but showed “no signs of life.”

The woman’s name has not been revealed.

Leaders of the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund and UNICEF put out a joint statement that said, “To attack the most vulnerable — babies, children, pregnant women, and those already suffering from illness and disease, and health workers risking their own lives to save lives — is an act of unconscionable cruelty.”

The statement went on to say that 4,300 births have occurred in Ukraine since the start of the war and 80,000 Ukrainian women are expected to give birth in the next three months.

“The health care system in Ukraine is clearly under significant strain, and its collapse would be a catastrophe,” the statement said. “Every effort must be made to prevent this from happening. International humanitarian and human rights law must be upheld, and the protection of civilians must be our top priority.”

Fox News journalist injured

One day after a journalist was killed and another injured, Fox News reporter Benjamin Hall was injured Monday while working outside of Kyiv. Early details about his injuries were scarce, but on the air Monday, Fox News’ John Roberts said Hall was hospitalized.

In a message to staff, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott gave an update on Hall and added, “The safety of our entire team of journalists in Ukraine and the surrounding regions is our top priority and of the utmost importance. This is a stark reminder for all journalists who are putting their lives on the line every day to deliver the news from the war zone.”

Scott added, “Please keep Ben and his family in your prayers.”

The British-born Hall is a veteran war correspondent and has filed stories in the past for organizations such as The New York Times, the Sunday Times and the BBC. He joined Fox News in 2015 and is the network’s State Department correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He has been reporting from Ukraine since Feb. 26. According to The New York Times’ Michael M. Grynbaum, Hall is one of five Fox News correspondents in Ukraine covering the war.

In a statement, Shaun Tandon — president of the State Department Correspondents’ Association — said, “We are horrified to learn that our fellow correspondent Benjamin Hall was injured as he covered the Ukraine war. We know Ben for his warmth, good humor and utmost professionalism. We wish Ben a quick recovery and call for utmost efforts to protect journalists who are providing an invaluable service through their coverage in Ukraine.”

On Sunday, American filmmaker, journalist and documentarian Brent Renaud was shot by Russian forces and killed while working just outside of Kyiv. Renaud was working for Time Studios on a project focused on the global refugee crisis. His reporting partner, American journalist Juan Arredondo, also was shot, but Arredondo survived.

Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton has an excellent piece: “Celebrating the life and work of Brent Renaud, the filmmaker and Nieman Fellow killed in Ukraine.”

Strong words

CBS News has named Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as a new foreign policy and national security contributor. McMaster, who served as national security adviser in the Trump administration, said on Monday’s “CBS Mornings” that the U.S. should impose economic sanctions on China if China gives military aid and weapons to Russia, adding, “I think this ought to be hung around China’s neck.”

This says a lot

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Fox News prime-time host Tucker Carlson has a lot of fans in the United States. Apparently he’s a favorite in Russia, too. If you run Fox News, shouldn’t you be troubled that, according to a Mother Jones report, the Kremlin asked the state-controlled media in Russia to highlight Carlson’s remarks because of criticisms of the U.S. and NATO allies over the war in Ukraine?

Mother Jones’ Washington, D.C., bureau chief David Corn obtained the 12-page memo written in Russian for Russian media. It said, in part, “It is essential to use as much as possible fragments of broadcasts of the popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who sharply criticizes the actions of the United States (and) NATO, their negative role in unleashing the conflict in Ukraine, (and) the defiantly provocative behavior from the leadership of the Western countries and NATO towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally.”

The document posed Carlson’s position as, “Russia is only protecting its interests and security,” and quoted Carlson as saying, “And how would the US behave if such a situation developed in neighboring Mexico or Canada?”

Corn has more details from the Russian memo and Carlson’s comments.

Meanwhile …

Speaking of the Mother Jones report about Carlson, co-hosts from “The View” discussed the topic on Monday’s show with Ana Navarro ripping into Carlson and Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii’s former Democratic congresswoman.

Navarro said, “The Fox board of directors should step in. If they call themselves patriots and, you know, it’s not enough to be posting flags about Ukraine. There’s a bunch of folks on that board of directors list like my friend Paul Ryan who I wish would be weighing and saying, ‘We cannot be Russian state TV’ at least every hour.”

While some on “The View” questioned how much longer viewers would stand for Carlson’s comments, Navarro went on full blast:

“I don’t think he’s getting dropped at all, but that’s an incredibly relevant question, and I think the DOJ, in the same way that it is setting up a task force to investigate Russian oligarchs, should look into people who are Russian propagandists and shilling for Putin. If you are a foreign asset to a dictator, it should be investigated. And, in fact, I remember when Tulsi Gabbard — and I hate that we’re discussing it because I think to myself, who is this woman, she’s no longer in congress, she’s a failed presidential candidate, she only practically exists on Twitter, and if that is correct, we’re giving her oxygen is what makes her relevant — but we are talking about her on hot topics. But on the other hand, how do you not call out something that is repeating false Russian propaganda and that has been brought down?”

Mediaite’s Alex Griffing has more, including a clip from the show.

While “The View” panelists certainly have every right to call out Carlson and Gabbard for some of their, arguably, outrageous and pro-Russia comments, it’s a slippery slope to say they should be subjected to a DOJ investigation. Is punishing people for unpopular opinions a road we really want to go down?

Notable journalism regarding Russia-Ukraine

BuzzFeed News’ Sara Yasin to the L.A. Times

Sara Yasin has been named managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, where she will oversee the daily news operation and report to executive editor Kevin Merida. Yasin comes over from BuzzFeed News, where she is managing editor.

In the announcement in the Times, Merida said, “Sara brings deep experience with how independent reporting can be a force for good in the world and an obsession with getting more people to engage with high-quality journalism to her work. We’ll look to Sara to help us both elevate the traditional journalism on which the L.A. Times has built its prize-winning foundation and to pilot new forms of storytelling as a regular practice in our news coverage.”

Yasin will join the Times’ management team that includes managing editors Shani Hilton and Scott Kraft. In addition to overseeing the daily news operation, Yasin will oversee the photo, data and graphics teams.

Yasin said, “I am thrilled to join the L.A. Times and work with such an extraordinarily talented group of journalists. I am excited about Kevin Merida’s vision for the L.A. Times and honored to be part of the team that’s redefining what it means to be one of America’s great newspapers.”

HuffPost revives opinion platform

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks on Sept. 29, 2021. (Tom Williams/Pool via AP, File)

In 2018, HuffPost shut down its “contributor” network. Now it’s relaunching its opinions section — this time with a focus on marginalized voices. In announcing the relaunch, HuffPost’s opinion editor Stephen Crockett Jr. wrote, “HuffPost Opinion will always be a safe space for voices that often go unheard. It will be the voice of people who’ve often felt marginalized. … We won’t have the typical white, hetero male-centered editorials that often dominate Opinion spaces.”

The relaunch features an op-ed from New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker: “Legalize It: Why Cannabis Reform Is A Civil Rights Issue.”

Media tidbits

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for Poynter.org. He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
Tom Jones

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