HomeWorld NewsReporter's Notebook: Fox News Heroes Honored at Italian Awards Ceremony

Reporter’s Notebook: Fox News Heroes Honored at Italian Awards Ceremony

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NAPLES, ITALY- It started as an award to recognize law enforcement officers and journalists with the courage to denounce the mafia in Italy and expose their abuses, but it has grown into something far more far-reaching. Now the annual event is about honoring press freedom and the heroism of those who also dare to cover the atrocities of war from the front lines.

This year, the European Award for Investigative and Judicial Journalism recognized our colleagues at Fox News injured and killed in Ukraine. The correspondent Benjamin Hall was seriously injured in March while covering the advance of the Russian army towards the capital, Kyiv. His cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and local repairman Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova were killed when they all came under intense attack.

Cameraman and editor Pierre Zakrzewski, affectionately referred to as “Zak” by his colleagues, died while covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
(FoxNews)

Pierre’s wife, Michelle Ross-Stanton, was at the imposing Maschio Angioino Castle in the center of Naples to collect her award. In comments that brought tears to some in the audience, “Mich,” as Pierre and her friends always called her, spoke of her husband’s passionate dedication to her work. Although the pain of losing her is always there, reliving it in front of a crowd was hard, she said. But she explained why she needed to be there.

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“I knew how important it was,” Michelle said after the awards ceremony, “because it’s about journalism. It’s about injustice in the world. It’s about human rights. And I think that’s so important that we have to go ahead”. I know that Pierre died doing what he loved, and he lived the way he died. With courage and grace, that is. Pierre’s death forever leaves a huge hole, a void in the hearts of many in the international press community who knew him, not to mention family and friends.”

Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall was injured outside Kyiv while covering Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine on the ground.

Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall was injured outside Kyiv while covering Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine on the ground.
(FoxNews)

Benjamin Hall’s bravery was also honored in Naples. He plans to continue the fight to shine a light where there is darkness and not only that. In the comments I prepared before collecting the award from Ben on his behalf, as I am in the long boot of Italy in the city of Milan, I noted that he is an incredible communicator and storyteller on many topics, not just conflict. . He has the ability to make you laugh at some of life’s absurdities with his witty turns of phrase just as much as he can capture the essence of horror and injustice.

“I want to start first by paying tribute to Pierre, to Sasha and to all the journalists who have lost their lives covering the war,” Benjamin said in a video message to the organizers of the event that also celebrated Italian military and war correspondents. cop who exposed a mob operation. “But I do think it is essential that we continue to do this work, which is so important to tell the truth. I think without journalists on the ground, you wouldn’t know the horrors, the killings, the atrocities that are taking place. Nor would you know of the strength, the courage, the resilience of all those people who fight for good.”

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The award was founded by a man named Massimo Scuderi who began his career in his native Sicily as part of the “Guardia di Finanza” or financial police, who track everything from tax evasion to international traffic. He has been honored for his own brave work by the Italian government and has seen much in his life. But the story of Pierre, Sasha and Benjamin hit him hard.

“I read a lot about it. I even watched the videos on your channel. I was touched, because I imagine three friends, in a car, talking, and then, in an instant, they never speak again.”

Oleksandra "Sasha" Kuvshynova was serving as a consultant for Fox News on the ground during the course of the Russian invasion.  She was killed when her vehicle was hit by incoming fire.

Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova was serving as a consultant for Fox News on the ground during the course of the Russian invasion. She was killed when her vehicle was hit by incoming fire.
(Instagram – Fusion)

Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova’s memory was also honored over and over again throughout the night. She had worked as a local “fixer” or a competent pair of hands in the field for the Fox Ukraine team. A young aspiring journalist and someone who, according to a Fox colleague, “lighted up every room she walked into” with her energy and her positivity, she was much adored by all who worked with her. Michelle says that she will dedicate her life to keeping Pierre and Sasha’s legacy alive. And Massimo Scuderi says that she will do everything possible to locate Sasha’s family in the Ukraine and eventually bring them to Italy to commemorate her in her presence.

OLEKSANDRA ‘SASHA’ KUVSHYNOVA’S FOX NEWS COLLEAGUES REMEMBER HER LIFE: ‘She had a special presence’

Meanwhile, Michelle shared a Zakrzewski family mantra that is helping everyone get through their nightmare. It’s a hashtag. #BemorelikePierre. And it’s simple, she said:

Help others.

Be brave.

Love your family.

Love your friends.

Trip.

Talk loud.

Do what you love.

Take risks.

Laughter.

Watch out.

Be the best you can be.

Because he was the best.

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