Fixers in a war zone Foreign media’s invisible producers

By Maryna Grytsai | Fixers are rarely mentioned as members of journalistic teams, yet their contribution to foreign and specifically war reporting is enormous. The current war in Ukraine is no exception. Fixers act as guides for foreign correspondents, helping them to navigate a foreign country, language, and culture. At the same time, they often receive the least protection – as demonstrated recently by the death of the Ukrainian journalist and fixer Bohdan Bitik, who was working together with a correspondent from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica in Kherson. This case, and others like it, give rise to plenty of questions: Under what conditions do fixers work and what are the rules for their work? What does their role include and (how) are their rights protected?