Media

American journalist killed in Ukraine remembered as ‘gifted and kind’

AP/Todd Williamson

The journalism and media communities mourned the death of American documentarian Brent Renaud on Sunday after he was killed in the fighting in Ukraine.

On Sunday, Kyiv authorities shared on social media that Renaud, 51, had been shot dead in Irpen, Ukraine. Photos of his passport and his New York Times press pass were also shared, identifying him having worked for the news organization.

The editorial leadership for Time Magazine, for whom Renaud had been working on a project for around the time he died, said they were “devastated” by his death.

“As an award-winning filmmaker and journalist, Brent tackled the toughest stories around the world often alongside his brother Craig Renaud,” Time CEO Edward Felsenthal and COO Ian Orefice said in a statement. 

“In recent weeks, Brent was in the region working on a TIME Studios project focused on the global refugee crisis. Our hearts are with all of Brent’s loved ones. It is essential that journalists are able to safely cover this ongoing invasion and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” they added.

Ann Marie Lipinski, curator for the Nieman Foundation, remembered Renaud for his work as a fellow with the organization.

“Our Nieman Fellow Brent Renaud was gifted and kind, and his work was infused with humanity. He was killed today outside Kiev, and the world and journalism are lesser for it. We are heartsick,” said Lipinski.

According to the New York Times, the press pass that was found with Renaud had been issued to him years ago. While he had contributed to the newspaper in the past, he was not on assignment for the Times when he was killed.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death,” said New York Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha. “Brent was a talented filmmaker.”

PBS NewsHour special correspondent Simon Ostrovsky said he was “gutted” to hear of Renaud’s death.

“A filmmaker without parallel who was working on a global film project about refugees. My thoughts are with his brother and his friends and family,” said Ostrovsky.

Mary Ellen Klas, Capitol bureau chief for the Miami Herald, wrote on Twitter that the “executioners invading Ukraine have killed a dear friend and brilliant documentary reporter.”

“Very sad loss for freedom. He was courageous, and remarkable,” said Klas.

Appearing on CNN, fellow journalist and friend of Renaud, Christof Putzel, said, “I woke up this morning to the news that Brent, long-time best friend, incredible colleague, the best war journalist I think ever existed, finding out about his passing.”

“Brent had this ability to go anywhere, get any story, listen and communicate what was happening to people that others wouldn’t otherwise see it. And it is a devastating loss to journalism today,” said Putzel.

Carlos Martinez de la Serna, program director for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said his organization was “shocked and saddened” by Renaud’s death.

“This kind of attack is totally unacceptable, and is a violation of international law,” said Martinez de la Serna. “Russian forces in Ukraine must stop all violence against journalists and other civilians at once, and whoever killed Renaud should be held to account.”

Tags American journalist Brent Renaud Ukraine

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