Simon Ostrovsky is a PBS NewsHour Special Correspondent and an award-winning freelance news and documentary producer. In 2023 Simon was honored with a duPont-Columbia Award and a citation from the Overseas Press Club of America for his coverage of Ukraine following Russia’s full scale invasion. He led the first American TV crew into Bucha after its liberation in April of 2022 and produced a series of reports on the atrocities perpetrated during the Russian occupation of the Kyiv region. In 2021-22 Simon was a Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellow at the University of Michigan. His recent reporting for NewsHour has focused on American companies that continue to provide technology to the Russian arms industry despite the unprecedented sanctions regime imposed against Moscow. Simon has recently been commissioned to produce a feature-length documentary on the overdose crisis plaguing New York City for New York’s PBS affiliate Thirteen, which is slated to start production in September.
In recent years Simon has covered the uprising in Belarus, the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as the Covid pandemic in Brazil. He works frequently with the Pulitzer Center to bring underreported international stories to American audiences. Going further back, Simon is known for his coverage of the crisis in Crimea and the war in Ukraine for VICE News. His series, Russian Roulette, was nominated for two Emmys and went to over 100 episodes that have been viewed more than 35 million times. David Carr of the New York Times called his work “remarkable” and VICE News liked his dispatches so much they applied the template to their reporting from around the world, giving it the raw feel they're known for today.
In 2015, Simon’s documentary Selfie Soldiers was awarded the prestigious duPont-Columbia Award. The investigation, carried out over several months, tracked a careless Russian soldier who was fighting in Ukraine and posting selfies in his spare time. In 2013, Simon was a producer for the VICE on HBO series, helping it earn an Emmy as an Outstanding Informational Series. Simon left VICE in 2015, setting off a chain of events that led to the company's eventual bankruptcy.
Not everyone is a fan of his work. Some militants in eastern Ukraine kidnapped Simon, and kept him in a cellar for three days while he was covering the war there. Here’s how he described the experience after he was released.
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