Last week, Fox News announced that cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski had been killed and correspondent Benjamin Hall injured by incoming fire on the outskirts of Kyiv. Among local journalists, however, word spread that a third team member had also lost her life: Oleksandra "Sasha" Kuvshynova, a 24-year-old Ukrainian national.
Long-simmering tensions boiled to the surface over international news organizations' treatment of local "fixers" like Kuvshynova. These journalists provide essential labor in gaining access to sources and making sense of events but are often second-class citizens within the profession.
Fixers are essential partners on foreign assignments. A good fixer builds trust with correspondents, helping them safely gain access and navigating local realities on the ground. But tensions can also arise over issues of editorial control, credits and fairness toward sources. Over the past decade, there has been a shift towards trying to use more local voices and value local producers the same way as foreign correspondents.
Join us for this timely discussion and support our Ukraine appeal campaign #sftf. All ticket sales will be redirected as donations for the campaign.
Sociologist at Indiana University
Noah is a sociologist and author of the new book Fixing Stories: Local Newsmaking and International Media in Turkey and Syria. He will be moderating the discussion from the Frontline Club.
Anton is a Ukrainian journalist, producer and photographer. Having worked in Ukraine with CNN, CCTV, Al Jazeera and the BBC, along with media from Japan to Argentina, he has more insight into the life of the fixer than most. There is, he says, a certain, depressing inevitability to his work; a ‘time loop’. You sometimes cease to feel like a journalist and more like a travel guide. He was detained by pro-Russian rebels while working as a freelance producer for CNN in 2014.
Magdalena Chodownik, an award-winning Polish journalist with an extended experience as a foreign correspondent, broadcast producer and fixer. She has been reporting from the EU, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Caucasus, Southeast Europe, GCC, the US, and her country of origin - Poland. She will be joining online.
Bradley is British freelance photojournalist, based in Istanbul, Turkey. His personal work often focuses on themes of identity, migration, social and political actions, and the ramifications of those for individuals. He regularly works covering feature stories, and portrait assignments in Turkey, the Balkans, and the Middle East, for a range of international newspapers, magazines, and online news media.