Mar 14, 2022 - News

Journalist with Arkansas roots killed in Ukraine

photo of brent renaud
Brent Renaud at the Peabody Awards Ceremony in 2015. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Brent Renaud, an American journalist and documentary filmmaker, was killed by Russian troops in Ukraine, many news outlets reported Sunday.

Zoom in: Renaud was originally from Little Rock and co-founded the Little Rock Film Festival that ran for nine years, ending in 2015. He also served as a visiting distinguished professor in 2019 at the University of Arkansas' School of Journalism and Strategic Media.

What happened: Renaud was gathering material for a report about refugees when his vehicle was hit with gunfire at a checkpoint in Irpin near Kyiv, the Associated Press reported.

  • He was with American journalist Juan Arredondo, who was also shot but survived.

What they're saying: In a tweet on Sunday, the U of A's Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences said, "Our hearts & thoughts go out to his family, friends & journalists everywhere who bear witness and report on our world's history as it unfolds."

The big picture: Renaud is the first known American journalist to be killed in the war in Ukraine, Axios' Ivana Saric and Sara Fischer report.

  • Journalists are considered civilians under international humanitarian law. More than two dozen governments, including the U.S., have spoken out in support of press freedom surrounding the war.

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