Really Real — Our Journalistic Coverage of Ukraine

I’ve been marinating in something I saw shared on Facebook in regard to the media coverage of Ukraine — or rather, the belief that we cannot know what is happening because our media isn’t real. Buckle up if you give a shit. I’m ready to be popped in the oven.

It is incredibly dangerous to suggest our media isn’t real.

Hard stop.

It is real. There are real people, with integrity, on the ground in Ukraine risking their lives for journalism right this very moment.

When the Nazi’s came to power, they divided people. Anyone outside their belief system were not considered real. So, there was this superior group of “real” people and everyone else was inferior. Those other people were not real. Those who disagreed were not real.

Putin now defines Ukraine as “not a real country.” He believes Ukraine is supposed to be part of a unified Russia, therefor anyone who doesn’t agree with him is not “real” and dismissed as a being a Nazi. De-Nazification is the reason he gives for his invasion.

He is misusing a powerful word. A word meant to check evil — embody evil. A word meant to strike fear, because being a Nazi is the absolute worst thing a person could be. He is making it mean nothing with his ludicrous use of it.

Everyone attacking our free press has done the same to journalism. To suggest our media is not real and no one can be trusted unless they are on the fringe is insane. The journalists with access are not on the fringe.

Putin attacked Ukrainian media infrastructure. In an attempt to target a Kyiv public broadcaster, he hit Babyn Yar. The site of a Nazi genocide of Kyiv Jews where 33,771 were executed in TWO DAYS.

Yet he says he is liberating Ukraine from Nazism.

People are real. They are real when you don’t like them. They are real when you don’t agree with them. They are real when they make mistakes.

To suggest the majority of journalists (not talking heads hosting opinion shows) are not real is dangerous. It will limit your access to reality.

As the former stepdaughter of a con man, let me tell you this:

Never trust anyone who tells you to think for yourself before telling you exactly what to believe.

No one needs to tell you to think for yourself. That should already be implied. It’s a form of manipulation. Instead, they should ask: what do you think and why do you think it.

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Still talking to myself.

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