I must tell you, I have been very proud of my profession these last few weeks. These brave reporters, photographers and their support staff going into the battleground of Ukraine and sending the story home.
Now, we have lost a great and award winning American journalist. 50 year old Brent Renaud was killed in Ukraine on Sunday. It happened as he and colleague, Juan Arrendondo, approached a checkpoint.
Arrendondo described what happened: “We crossed the checkpoint and they started shooting at us. So, the driver turned around and they kept shooting. It was two of us. My friend, Brent Renaud, he is shot and left behind.”
Brent Renaud died doing what he loved, I’m guessing. Going into the worst and most dangerous places to get the story. I have always respected war reporters. I’m perplexed by them too. Putting their lives on the line for a story.
I watch NBC’s Richard Engel in amazement. Wherever there’s conflict, he’s there. He’s in Ukraine right now.
There have always been those reporters that do what Brent Renaud did and Richard Engel do. Some of the more familiar names include Ernie Pyle, Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Dan Rather and Christiane Amanpour.
Even Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck were war correspondents early in their careers.
These brave war correspondents of today have their hands full. The war rages in Ukraine. Russia attacked dangerously close to the Poland border. Dozens were killed on a military base.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky warns NATO that the fight is getting closer: “I’ll reiterate now that if you don’t close our skies, then it’s just a matter of time before Russian missles will hit your territory, NATO’s territory, houses of NATO citizens.”
FOX News is also reporting that Zelensky says there needs to be direct talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Maybe some diplomacy will help calm this situation. Hope so. You get the feeling that this is about to escalate to a point where the U.S. and NATO are about to get far more involved than we want to be.
If that happens, all of us reporters may become war correspondents.