War correspondents discuss dangers journalists face in Ukraine

'When you are in a situation like the one in Ukraine, the adrenaline takes over,' Moni Basu says
Firefighters extinguish an apartment house after a Russian rocket attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, Ukraine, Monday, March 14, 2022.
Posted at 4:17 PM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 18:13:18-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Few jobs are as dangerous as a journalist who covers wars and conflicts overseas.

This became evident over the weekend after the news this weekend that photographer and filmmaker Brent Renaud was killed in Ukraine.

A New York Times spokesperson said Renaud, 50, was a "talented filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years." The newspaper said he was not working for the publication at the time of his death.

RELATED: Latest news on the Russia-Ukraine War

WPTV spoke Monday with two war correspondents, who have Florida connections, about the dangers and risks of the job.

Brent Renaud
Brent Renaud attends the 74th Annual Peabody Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on May 31, 2015, in New York. Renaud, an American journalist, was killed in a suburb of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sunday, March 13, 2022, while gathering material for a report about refugees. Ukrainian authorities said he died when Russian forces shelled the vehicle he was traveling in.

Moni Basu, who now teaches at the University of Florida, reported on the war in Iraq.

"I have lost friends, journalist friends, in war zones," Basu said.

She said hearing about the death of Renaud near Kyiv was a reminder of the risks of covering wars.

"When you are in a situation like the one in Ukraine right now, the adrenaline takes over," Basu said. "You don't have time to stop and think how dangerous the area might be."

It takes a special kind of bravery to venture to a place where many are fleeing for their lives — all to do a job of getting out the truth to the world.

Moni Basu, war correspondent
Moni Basu shares the dangers that journalists face covering conflicts abroad.

Journalist Cody Weddle was on the ground in Venezuela three years ago when he was abducted and jailed by the military during political turmoil and military action.

Weddle was working for the ABC affiliate in Miami at the time of the incident.

WPTV spoke Monday with Weddle, who is now based in Colombia, about the dangers of his job.

"I think when you're in these situations some people think that there some sort of shield of protection around journalists but in reality, we're out there exposed just like the local folks as well," Weddle said. "Anything could come up at any moment."

Journalist Cody Weddle, March 14, 2022
Journalist Cody Weddle was held captive in Venezuela in 2019.

These days journalists in war zones also face the competition of social media and sometimes misinformation, which can lead to more risk and danger to bring the truth to our homes.

"The American people need to understand what a great risk that world press is taking right now in getting the news out of Ukraine," Basu said. "We wouldn't see the faces of the Ukrainians who are the exodus that is taking place right now. We wouldn't know the hardships they are facing. We wouldn't know any of it if it weren't for the journalists on the ground."

Fox News reporter Benjamin Hall was injured Monday while in Ukraine. Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said details of what happened are limited, but Hall is currently hospitalized.