The broadcast industry lost two veteran members of Fox News on Tuesday with the deaths of video journalist Pierre Zakrzewski, and freelance journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova. The two were killed outside Kyiv, Ukraine when a vehicle they were traveling in was hit by incoming fire, the network announced.
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott hailed Zakrzewski, who was 55 and had covered conflicts worldwide during his career.
"His talents were vast and there wasn't a role that he didn't jump in to help with in the field—from photographer to engineer to editor to producer — and he did it all under immense pressure with tremendous skill," she said.
Scott also praised him for his work in getting Fox's freelancers covering the Afghanistan war get safely out of the country after the U.S. withdrawal last August.
In a separate memo to staff, Scott praised Kuvshynova, also called "Sasha," who was a consultant for Fox News in Ukraine. She was 24.
“She was helping our crews navigate Kyiv and the surrounding area while gathering information and speaking to sources,” she said. “She was incredibly talented and spent weeks working directly with our entire team there, operating around the clock to make sure the world knew what was happening in her country.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs adviser Anton Gerashchenko said that the Fox team was attacked by mortars fired by the Russians and that they were clearly labeled "Press," according to a former Fox News 'fixer.'
“We are deeply saddened by the deaths of Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova in Ukraine while they were working with Fox News, and we are hoping that correspondent Benjamin Hall recovers from his injuries,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, in a statement. “Reporting on this war is a vital public service, and it has already claimed the lives of at least two other journalists in just a few weeks. Ukrainian and Russian authorities must do their utmost to ensure safety of all journalists, and to thoroughly investigate attacks on the press.”
The Military Reporters & Editors Association also issued a statement:
"The Military Reporters & Editors Association mourns the loss of Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski, who was killed in Ukraine after his vehicle was hit by incoming fire. Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall was also injured in the incident.
"Zakrzewski was a brave soul, who reported from war zones around the world and also played a major role in getting Fox News’ Afghan freelancers and their families to safety after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban last year. For his valiant efforts, he was awarded an “Unsung Hero” award by his network.
"A Ukrainian journalist, Oleksandra Kuvshynova, was also killed in the incident, according to media reports.
"Their deaths come shortly after journalist and filmmaker, Brent Renaud, was also killed while covering the war in Ukraine. We once again call for the protection of journalists in Ukraine to be able to do their important work without fear of violence or intimidation.
The world is a lesser place without these champions for the truth."
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Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.