In Ukraine, journalists are targets. You can help support them.
Journalists are the specific targets of the Russian forces invading Ukraine. Twenty-two journalists have been kidnapped; most are still being held. On numerous occasions, Russian drones and snipers have directed their scarce ammunition at groups of journalists instead of military forces. In occupied areas, Russian secret police quickly arrive with lists of journalists, arresting them even before local military and government leaders. Sixty-seven Ukrainian journalists are now the targets of specific death threats. This is not limited to Ukrainians alone. U.S. journalists covering the war are the targets of Russian hackers, including those based in the United States.
That is why the SPJ Foundation is creating the Ukraine Journalists Fund, a tax-exempt fund with 100% of the money going to helping local Ukrainian journalists continue to do their jobs. The Foundation is working with the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine to help get the funds to those who need them most.
Individual SPJ members and chapters are already taking action, visiting Kyiv in June 2023 to bring $15,000 worth of gear for local journalists. Many Ukrainian journalists have been on-the-road since February 2022, subjecting their equipment to hard travel and constant use. Others lost their gear as 233 media outlets closed as a direct result of Russias invasion, which includes the shelling and seizure of television facilities and editorial offices.
There is some good news. Ukrainian journalists and European journalism organizations are documenting Russian abuses for the International Criminal Court at The Hague. They are collecting evidence against the individuals responsible, developing cutting-edge tools for journalists. They are also re-establishing the non-combatant status of journalists among governments and the public. This benefits reporters around the world, whether in foreign combat zones or during tense domestic moments.
Many SPJ chapters have already contributed, including the Deadline Club, New Jersey Pro Chapter, New England Pro Chapter and SPJ Florida. Individual donations are welcomed, large or small. Your dollars make a difference.