Mourning the death of truth

Editorial Board

During crises, it can be easy to become desensitized and even permissive of the deaths making the headlines, but how do we mourn the people who write them?

For decades, we have watched foreign correspondents risk their lives to maintain their commitment to freedom of the press. Continuously standing at the forefront of war and fearless in their pursuit to report unbiased news, journalists have fought to keep civilians in the know about their countries. As the merciless wrath of Russian President Vladimir Putin rages on in Ukraine, we will appreciate the determination of our foreign correspondents. It is imperative that we honor the lives of those who have died defending the truth. 

Members of a Fox News crew were killed near Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine — Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova; Evgeny Sakin, a Ukrainian journalist died in a strike on a Kyiv television tower; Fox News correspondent, Benjamin Hall, was also seriously injured; and Brent Renaud, an independent documentarian, lost his life after coming under fire. The sacrifices made by the injured and fallen correspondents in order to preserve truth is a constant reminder of the need for quality journalism in the midst of uncertainty and peril. 

Charles Sennott, founder of the GroundTruth Project and longtime foreign correspondent, emphasized the need to preserve and remember the journalists who died doing what they loved and, most importantly, what they believed in. 

“Their gift for storytelling will be their legacies. And while we pause to reflect on their lives and work, the death of journalists in the field also deserves our collective focus,” Sennott said.

Investing in a free press is the cornerstone for preserving it. Without our support of those risking their lives, the relentless attack on democracy and truth will not end in Russia; it will spread to every corner of the globe. Part of the work starts with continuously supporting rising journalists who are willing to stand up to authoritarianism and not live in the shadow of doubt. 

As we watch Putin demand nationwide conformity by prosecuting those who dare to use any term besides his poorly-worded euphemism, “special military operation,” we must cling to every facet of the truth. By denying the fabricated story told by a dictator at war — whether it is through social media, in our classrooms or in our publications — we can aid in saving the Ukrainian people. 

To donate directly to organizations fighting alongside Ukrainians, check out the link below.