Day 47 — The war in Ukraine rages on and there appears to be no imminent resolution in sight. The citizens of that country are embroiled in one of the largest scale conflicts since World War II. The ramifications are also having a significant impact on many other parts of the world.
We’re writing to let you know what the International Committee (IC) has been doing to support our colleagues who are on the front lines in Ukraine and the independent journalists in Russia who are attempting to report on the war without being prosecuted. The IC condemns any form of aggression of this kind and voices its concern when the safety and security of our colleagues are jeopardized simply because they are trying to do their jobs in a fair, accurate and independent manner.
As an International Association, SCIJ has a long and distinguished history of fostering better understanding and encouraging open dialogue in times of conflict between member nations. It is one of the cornerstones of our success and has guided us throughout the past seven decades. Which is why we’ve chosen to continue to respect the spirit of Article 1 of the SCIJ Statutes.
Support for the IFJ statement
In the early days of the war, the International Committee unanimously agreed to support the International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) solidarity joint statement condemning the aggression in Ukraine and expressing solidarity with journalists covering the front lines and the independent journalists of Russia who are simply trying to do their jobs. We signed up at #82.
Individual sections of SCIJ are also free to add the name of their association to the IFJ statement as a show of support.
Sending help to our fellow journalists on the front line
We have already established contact with the IFJ as well as the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). If you feel compelled to help your colleagues who are working on the front lines, we invite you to donate cash directly to these federations. The IFJ, in turn, will prioritize and disburse the aid. You can click on the following link to make a payment via their secure website or reach them at their official email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
A few days ago, we received an email from the EFJ which stated: “…We need first aid kits and helmets (we get a few bulletproof vests, but 18 helmets are missing). We also lack simple PRESS vests and separate PRESS tags/chevrons.”
We understand that the United Nations will soon be providing bulletproof vests, but there is still a very real shortage of helmets and first aid kits.
Our SCIJ Russia colleagues
The IC continues to have limited contact with some of our SCIJ Russia colleagues. Their professional world is in upheaval, and they are facing many challenges. Some are actively seeking to re-establish themselves, professionally, outside Russia. As you can imagine, this can pose many problems. Because their security is paramount, we must be very careful in establishing communications. If any SCIJ Member has a promising lead on a potential, full-time position in journalism, please contact us, so that we can communicate the details directly to our Russian colleagues.
Ana Raic-Knezevic, Vice President of Culture and Press Book, is maintaining close contact with the EFJ and other associations and journalists to determine how we might be able to organize a webinar on this pressing topic. Please stay tuned for details.
It is our sincere hope that this terrible conflict will end in the not too distant future. Should you have any suggestions or ideas as to how SCIJ can be of further assistance, please feel free to share them with the IC.