On 24 February 2022, Russian president Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It has since been a year of grim reading in the news, marked by death and destruction across Ukrainian towns and cities. The negativity and complexity of this news story is more than enough to turn away news audiences, who are selectively avoiding the headlines.
However, the anniversary of the war is also an opportunity for news organisations to try something different. Special coverage around key dates is a chance for audiences to catch up on what they have missed and reconnect with the news.
Live news feeds
A tried and trusted news format, live news feeds on news websites allow audiences to stay on top of unfolding stories, and dip in and out of the ones which take their fancy. Here is a clean example from iNews with its 'Story so far' feature.
News updates do not have to be a passive feeds of information, though. ABC News has been taking audience questions and referring them onto specialist correspondents to answer. Ukrainian news site Kyiv Independent is hosting a Q&A on Twitter Spaces to mark the anniversary.
Tune into our Twitter Space at 5 p.m. Kyiv time (10 a.m EST). Set a reminder here: https://t.co/TpPCbzoAAX— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) February 24, 2023
Euronews international affairs reporter Valérie Gauriat returned to Kyiv, one year after last being dispatched there. Her piece is part of Euronews Witness' investigative series, as an on-the-ground report on how life has changed since her last visit.
Al Jazeera published a special documentary called Ukraine’s Bravehearts: From filmmakers to war veterans. It is a 47-minute piece about two Ukrainian soldiers-turned-filmmakers, who were called back to support the 2022 war effort. The pair share their flashbacks of war and a reminder of what is on the line.
One of the trailblazers of explainer content - or 'need to know' content - is BBC News. Its 'one year in 87 seconds' video on the anniversary of the war is testament to that, summarising all the essential moments in less than a minute and a half. A good way to duplicate content for both the website and for social media sites like Instagram and TikTok.
The New York Times published a special episode for its hit podcast The Daily. Host Sabrina Tavernise speaks with Ukrainians about loss, horrors and lingering hopes of the war.
South China Morning Post has tailored a series about the impact of the Ukraine war to its domestic audience, looking specifically at China's response. This puts all relevant content in one place for audiences who want to understand more about a particular element of the story.
The town hall format is an American style of debate, where local and national politicians meet with their constituents to discuss topics of interest. CNN hosted a live town hall with the Biden administration marking the anniversary of Russia's invasion. For audiences who missed it, there is a catch-up section and a write-up with the takeaways from the event.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words for good reason. Picture essays, like this one published by the Guardian, allow audiences to flick through the key moments of the war, supported by firsthand accounts of those affected and uprooted by the war. Associated Press also published and described a selection of unpublished pictures from the first year of the war. Warning: article contains graphic images.
Graphics and data are a compelling way to bring out the hard-hitting numbers and developments that paint the story of the war so far. Associated Press' Reflections of war: a year in Ukraine has an interactive map to show the control of territories. Reuters has published a comprehensive set of data charts showing changes in currency valuations and spikes in the price of food and fuel.
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