UK Media Pulls Out All The Stops To Cover War In Ukraine
The UK news media industry has pulled out all the stops to cover the unfolding war in Ukraine with first hand reporting from journalists on the ground to charity appeals and powerful front pages.
Press Gazette has reported that there are more than 50 UK journalists in Ukraine currently covering the invasion, from news brands including the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express, iNews, The Independent, The Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Times and Sunday Times, The Guardian and The Observer.
WAN IFRA and the World Editors Forum have also called for journalists covering the war to be afforded the maximum protections. The body said: “Too often during recent conflicts, we have seen the deliberate targeting of journalists and severe disruption to the free-flow of information. In this volatile moment, journalists must be afforded every protection to carry out their essential role.
“We remind both Russian and Ukrainian authorities of the illegality of attacks on journalists and news media, as well as their obligations to take the maximum precautions when preparing military action that might affect them.”
News Media Europe also released a statement, saying: “In a conflict as serious as the one unfolding in Ukraine, free and unhampered reporting by national and international media remains of utmost importance. As lives of civilians depend on the free flow of accurate and timely information, it is vital that journalists can do their job in safety.
“News Media Europe urges all parties involved to guarantee the safety of all independent journalists on the ground, both physically and online, to allow for free reporting by the press.”
The Daily Mail and the Evening Standard have both launched appeals for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the violence. Readers of the Daily Mail have so far donated £1.25 million in three days, with the appeal receiving backing from Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer. The Sun have also set up a fund with Red Cross, who are working within Ukraine and in nearby countries. The Mirror has also joined with Save the Children’s campaign, and the Daily Express has teamed up with charities Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal and British-Ukrainian Aid.
The owner of the Evening Standard, Lord Lebedev, used the front page of the Standard to publish an open letter to the Russian leader, urging him to cease with the invasion.
The regional press added the Ukrainian flag to their mastheads in a show of solidarity with the country.
Echo editor Karl Holbrook told HoldTheFrontPage: “The awful situation in Ukraine is, as our Prime Minister has said, a catastrophe. First and foremost it is a humanitarian catastrophe for the people of Ukraine, to whom we send our support and solidarity. But it is also a catastrophe to us here at home, both economically and politically.
“It has the potential to exacerbate the cost of living crisis, plunge public finances deeper into a black hole and so much more. We can’t look away and that’s why we’ve committed not just to providing the best coverage of this crisis as we can regionally, but also in making this small gesture of solidarity.”
The Independent has urged for sanctuary in Britain to be offered to Ukrainian refugees.
The Independent also relaunched its ‘Refugee Welcome’ campaign, stating: “When war tore through the Balkans in the 1990s, thousands of refugees were given sanctuary in Britain. And we can do it again”. The campaigns from both the Independent and Evening Standard have raised £70,000 in only 24 hours.
The Manchester Evening News led with a vigil in the city centre, as well as changing its Twitter profile picture to carry Ukrainian flag colours as a show of support.
The Daily Mirror printed a two page spread of the Ukrainian flag that readers can use to show support for the country.
The Courier in North Scotland published editions covering the war, and changing their masthead colours as a show of support for Ukraine.
The Daily Mail announced they would be changing their standard spelling of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, writing: “Opting to use ‘Kyiv’ is not some pedantic, virtue-signalling gesture. It is a symbolic show of support for an independent people being crushed by an authoritarian monster. For as we all know from experience, words matter.”
The Lancashire Post covered efforts across Lancashire to help those struggling in Ukraine:
The Times also dedicated 13 pages of its edition last Friday to the war and turned its masthead black.
The Farnham Herald also tweeted their support:
Farnham stands with Ukraine 🇺🇦 #UkraineRussiaWar #WeStandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/c4l2ZgcskV
— Farnham Herald (@farnhamherald) February 27, 2022
The Guardian also reported one of their busiest days ever for their website on 24 February, with 75 million page views and 12 million views for the dedicated live blog, which is now one of most-read Guardian stories of all time. The Observer published a powerful front page covering the invasion:
The Maidenhead Advertiser has also covered their local community supporting the people of Ukraine.