Ukraine’s Far Eastern region includes pro-Russian breakaway republics, and residents there have described scenes of carnage caused by shells allegedly fired by the Ukrainian military.
But proof of the bombing is much harder to find. “We haven’t seen anything to back this up in any way,” Ward said of efforts to verify the information.
On Friday, Ward viewed a video of one of the separatist leaders saying there would be an imminent attack by the Ukrainian military and including footage of buses full of evacuees.
But when CNN employees studied the video’s metadata, they realized it had actually been recorded earlier in the week.
“The fact that it was pre-recorded and then aired at a specific time does indeed indicate that there is some sort of premeditated conspiracy here,” Ward told CNN Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources. ” Sunday. Ward added that similar potentially fabricated scenes are shown on Russian television, including images of tearful elderly women escaping from separatist areas.
Some glimpses of what is really happening in the region can be gleaned from social media, including TikTok videos. But journalists are trained never to take any story at face value.
“Nowadays we have to use so many different tools to do this verification process,” Ward said. “All of this makes the job a bit more complex.”
“What you’re seeing in the last few days is…a major increase, a major escalation,” Ward said. “Particularly when you see shells falling on civilian buildings.”
Does the news media promote war?
Stelter pointed out that many critics on Twitter and other platforms say the media encourages war.
CNN media analyst David Zurawik said the accusation “outrages him”, especially when he sees journalists covering the conflict from the front lines.
“War isn’t such a big financial incentive, at least in the TV industry,” Zurawik said. “A lot of sponsors don’t want their product shown during the war.”