They then went with an aviation expert which I think was a good decision. They chose to focus on the question how the civilian airline was shot down near Grabovo on July 17th.
Watching the story unfold, I noticed that the first international reports were tentative. Canada’s national CTV ran the headline, “MH17 reportedly shot down over Ukraine.”
They cited Ukrainian government spokespeople as the source. An hour later the headline had changed, to “Malaysia airliner shot down over Ukraine.”
The New York Times also quoted Ukrainian officials in their first story called “Jetliner Explodes Over Ukraine; Struck by Missile, Officials Say.”
Information was widely reported but with qualifiers. Everyone circulated the audio recordings Ukraine’s Secret Service made public.
But most shared the BBC’s tone, which commented, “Ukrainian authorities have released what they say are intercepted phone conversations, between pro-Russian separatists and what appear to be Russian military officers, saying that separatists shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.”
The same caution is used with information from the other side. For example, the Toronto Star wrote, “Ukraine rebels claim to have found flight MH17’s recorders.”
The key question running through all the reporting is about Russia’s involvement. Everyone’s condemning the act, demanding a full investigation, and expressing condolences to families of the dead.
One Canadian was on that flight. All Canadian media reported on this. A CBC TV producer coming to Ukraine contacted me as she was heading for the airport. She was looking how to help the family.
I saw only one international report about the 20 Ukrainian civilians killed in Luhansk the following day by the so-called separatists.