For CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, covering Malaysia Airlines flight 17 — a passenger jet shot down by a surface-to-air missile in a conflict zone near the Ukraine/Russia border — was a unique experience in his seasoned journalism career.
“We’ve covered different types of conflict and war and we’ve covered disasters like this, plane crashes, but never together. I know they’ve happened before, [but] in recent history, we just haven’t had to deal with anything like this. And I think the compounding effect of the humanity takes you by surprise because you have to deal with so many different things at once,” he tells TVNewser.
In addition to the logistical challenges of reporting from the unstable region, an active conflict zone controlled by militants who can be hostile to Americans, Cuomo says one of the most difficult tasks of his time in eastern Ukraine was fighting the instinct to “go out there and just cover [the bodies] and try to protect them, because it was clear that nobody was going to do it.”
“The first thing I did when I got there, and I saw what was going on: I said a prayer for the dead. And it’s not because I’m particularly religious, because I’m not,” Cuomo says. Read more