FOX News Channel’s State Department correspondent Benjamin Hall on Thursday urged journalists to continue telling “stories from war” despite the horrific attack in Ukraine that left him severely injured.
Hall was wounded in March while covering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by incoming fire in Horenka, outside Kyiv. Beloved Fox News photojournalist Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova were killed in the attack. Hall spoke remotely during an acceptance speech when he was awarded a 2022 Foreign Press Award from The Association of Foreign Press Correspondents at the Roosevelt House in New York.
“I do think that this is not just an award for myself. It is an award for Pierre and for Sasha, who both died during that attack, and also for every other war correspondent who has been injured or killed covering conflicts,” Hall said. “And despite the attack, despite what happened to us, I think it is essential that people continue telling the news, telling the stories from war. I think that’s the only way we truly get to understand the atrocities, the disasters and the horror that’s happening out there.”
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Hall said “only then perhaps can good things, can change come from it,” and praised the people who have helped his recovery.
“This is also about celebrating the people who came in to get me and to save me, the people who put me back together, who built me despite all my injuries. And when I look at all those people and what they did, I’m reminded of how much good there is in the world. There was evil there in Ukraine that hurt so many people,” Hall said. “But there is good, and there is more good than there is evil. And we have to continue trying to fight to get that news out as well. People are knocked down. I myself was knocked down. But I know for certain now that you can pick yourself up again, and you can try even harder to do what is so important, to keep telling the truth, to keep telling the stories and encouraging everyone else to do the same.”
FOX News Media President Jay Wallace accepted the award on the reporter’s behalf with a speech that paid tribute to Hall, Zakrzewski, Kuvshynova and everyone who helped ensure Hall made it home.
“Ben, he makes it look so effortless. If you watch his reporting, and then you watched him right there, I mean, that’s the magic of Ben. And really, hats off to him. I spoke with him last night. Ben sends his best wishes. He hopes to be here next year,” Wallace said.
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Hall was rescued from the war zone and eventually transferred to a military medical facility in Texas, where he underwent multiple surgeries. He has since been reunited with his wife and three daughters and is home for the holidays.
“His recovery is going amazingly well. But just a reminder to you, young journalists, these are hard jobs. I hope you never have to receive a call like a couple of us received back in March,” Wallace said.
The nonprofit organization Save Our Allies helped get Hall safely out of Ukraine. To extract Hall from the combat zone, the group worked with the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, along with the Polish and Ukrainian militaries. The effort on the ground was led by a “special operations and intelligence veteran,” the group revealed, as the team made sure Hall was stabilized and overseen by military medical personnel during the transport. Wallace thanked Austin, the government, and other news organizations who also provided support along the way.
“We were in contact with the State Department and the D.O.D. There was nothing the United States could do that day. They said, until you can get him to Poland, there is nothing we can do. This is a war that’s going on, we are there protecting the Ukrainians as best we can with weapons, but we cannot send bodies in there. So, our job was to find someone and we found a couple of angels to get Ben to the border. His story will be told countless times at some point, but he was able to get to the border,” Wallace said.
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“This man has been driven beyond belief by his three daughters and beautiful wife. And again, the US government — you can look at Fox News, you can look at MSNBC, you can look at NBC, all of these things — at the end of the day, the US government took Ben into their hands and they rebuilt him like Ben just talked about. They literally rebuilt this man. So hats off to everyone who comes together in war zones,” Wallace continued. “You young journalists, you’ll see once you get there, it is a brotherhood for all these things. You have all this competition, but at the end of the day, we’re all in it together.”
Wallace then said that everyone who was “trying to find Ben” was equally concerned about Zakrzewski and Kuvshynova. He recounted how Zakrzewski had won FOX News Media’s Unsung Hero Award a year ago, an internal honor from the company shortly before his death, and shared with the audience a moving letter he received from him.
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“Thanks, Jay. What a lovely surprise. And also a big, massive respect to you and Fox News over the last few months for putting a huge amount of coordination, time and resources to give a chance to our Afghan colleagues. I can’t do my job without the help of our local fixers and staff in so many wonderful countries. Thanks for giving them the opportunity of a great life outside of Taliban Afghanistan. Keep smiling and happy holidays – Pierre,” Wallace read.
“That’s something we’re going to have to do for the Ukrainians. There’ll be other wars to go, but this is something you want to remember — to pay it forward to these fixers, to the people on the ground that help us tell these stories. Congratulations Ben,” he added.
Fox News’ Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.
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