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Open meeting with Ed Vulliamy at kmbs
26.10.2023
Open meeting with Ed Vulliamy at kmbs
On October 16, Kyiv-Mohyla Business School hosted an open meeting with Ed Ed Vulliamy, former American correspondent of The Observer (Great Britain).

He covered the Romanian revolution, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the explosions in Oklahoma City, the terrorist attacks of September 11, the beginning of the war in Iraq in 2003, and the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ed has frequently visited Ukraine and written about the war: "Why am I here – and why are so many other journalists here? Because of the moral clarity of this war. I have watched wars for over 50 years and can compare. If you imagine this war as a monument, then the war in Bosnia was a model. Milosevic was a little putin."

The meeting discussed the difference between objectivity and neutrality. "Journalism should be objective: the truth is the truth, the lie is not the truth, if 12 people were murdered, it's 12. It's all about facts," says Ed.

Neutrality is something else. When talking about neutrality, people often mean maintaining a balance between the coverage of different points of view. "But what kind of neutrality can there be when there is a victim of violence from Bucha - and the beast who violated them? A journalist is not neutral: we have our own position, we take a side."

The conversation also covered war crimes and courts. Ed has considerable experience in this area. In 1996, he testified at three trials in The Hague and for the prosecution of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Now, he says that journalists working in Ukraine (for example, recording the testimony of victims of russian aggression) cannot help but think that one day their materials may become evidence in court.

At the same time, they face another task – to describe a person with their goals and preferences, not just a victim. "It is important that a person is not a crime committed against them. It's a bad idea to define them by what happened to them. Moreover, it can be an insult to the person they will become in 10 years when they, their children, or friends will reread the materials," says the speaker. And here, a dilemma arises: on the one hand, personality isn't important for future courts. But it's vital for a person. Therefore, the journalist's task is to combine both.

The event was organized with the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy's Department of Literary Studies, named after Volodymyr Morenets. We thank our partners and the guest and look forward to the next meetings!

 

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