Media Coverage Plays a Key Role in Showing the Horrors of Russia’s Actions in Ukraine

From The Poynter Report with Tom Jones:

Monday was a grim day in Ukraine. Russia launched its biggest assault in months, going after many cities and civilian targets. At least 14 people were killed and nearly 100 were wounded in an attack that could signify another major shift in a war that is now coming up on eight months.

In a statement, President Joe Biden said he “strongly condemns” the attacks and added, “They once again demonstrate the utter brutality of Mr. Putin’s illegal war on the Ukrainian people.”

Once again, media coverage of Monday’s horrific news plays a key role in showing the world the horrors of Russia’s actions.

This story from The New York Times’ Michael Schwirtz and Megan Specia (with photographs by Finbarr O’Reilly) is tough to see, but critical for those who haven’t been keeping up with the latest in Ukraine. The same can be said with the photo at the top of this newsletter. It’s difficult to look at, but too important not to.

With so many other topics dominating the American news cycle — the midterm elections, Donald Trump and Hurricane Ian — Ukraine has been put on a back burner for many news consumers. But Monday’s news was a sobering reminder that the war has not gone away.

The Washington Post’s Missy Ryan, Isabelle Khurshudyan and Mary Ilyushina wrote, “In an attack that rivaled the day Russia’s invasion started last February, the strikes targeted critical infrastructure in cities from Kharkiv in the east to Lviv in the west. Missiles also landed in downtown Kyiv, sending civilians racing for shelter.”

The Times reporters wrote, “After the barrage of strikes, an hourslong air alert remained over the city. Subway stations that were packed just a day earlier with weekend shoppers were again full of people on Monday, but this time with thousands taking shelter, anxiously waiting underground and bracing for the echoes of the next blast.”

The Kyiv Independent’s Igor Kossov and Francis Farrell wrote that Monday gave Ukrainians flashbacks to the start of the war. They wrote, “Starting just after 8 a.m., explosions were heard throughout Ukraine’s capital, and it was soon apparent that not all incoming missiles were being shot down by Kyiv’s usually-reliable air defense. Pictures of plumes of smoke rising from the Kyiv skyline began to flood social media. Soon, it became clear that for the very first time, Russia had targeted the very center of the city.”

One Kyiv resident told The Kyiv Independent, “It’s like a horror film, you know that people have died nearby but can’t do anything,”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to address the Group of Seven nations on a virtual call on Tuesday. He is expected to ask for more support.

The Associated Press’ Adam Schreck and Hanna Arhirova wrote, “(Putin) has been under intense domestic pressure to take more aggressive action to stop a largely successful Ukrainian counteroffensive and to react forcefully to Saturday’s attack on the Kerch bridge, whose construction he used to cement his 2014 annexation of Crimea. Putin’s increasingly frequent descriptions of Ukraine’s actions as terrorist could portend even more bold and draconian actions.”

As the war takes a potential turn for the worse, media coverage remains more critical than ever.

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