I really enjoyed the Clarke Forum on ‘Journalism in Conflict: Reporting from Ukraine and Beyond’ with Anthony Borden. He discussed his experiences and the obstacles he faces as a journalist and war correspondent in conflicts such as the Gulf War, Iraq War, and the current war in Ukraine.
During the Iraq War, Borden talked about how his ‘Institue for War and Peace & Reporting’ (IWPR) trained Iraqi officials to become journalists, working to build a network of local voices across Iraq. Where instead of shutting down extremists, the Iraqi journalists would present a different view of the conflict.
In Ukraine, there are many obstacles for journalists; the main challenge being Russia’s disinformation campaign, or its’ “big lie,” where the government readily lies to dodge any responsibility during the conflict. However, with the current digital age, specifically social media, war correspondents are able to cover events through nontraditional media sources and platforms like Twitter and TikTok. In fact, as we have seen in a lot of authoritarian countries, individuals in both Ukraine and Russia are also able to post images and videos during the conflict.
Another major challenge is data; some information is there, and some is not. On the one hand, the CNN effect means people around the world can see soldiers being killed in real-time, influencing how both citizens and policymakers interpret and respond to the war. On the other hand, a lot of information is not there because the government doesn’t allow for its collection; information such as gender, etc.
Thank you, Mr. Borden, for coming to Dickinson and talking with us! From now on, I will have a better understanding and appreciation for journalists and war correspondents!