This week brought new casualties among journalists covering Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. French journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was killed while reporting in eastern Ukraine. He was hit by shell shrapnel while covering evacuation of people from the Donbas region where active fighting takes place as Russia tries to seize the region.

Leclerc-Imhoff’s colleague was slightly injured, while their field producer remained unharmed. The 32-year-old reporter worked for French news channel BFMTV; he graduated from the Institute of Journalism Bordeaux Aquitaine, Sky News reports

Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff is one of multiple journalists killed while covering Russia’s war in Ukraine over the past three months. Apart from those who died while serving in the military or as a result of attacks on civilians, several reporters were killed specifically while covering the war – Ukrainian journalists Yevhenii Sakun, Maks Levin and Oleksandra Kuvshynova, US filmmaker Brent Renaud, Irish camera operator Pierre Zakrzewski, Russian correspondent Oksana Baulina, and Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius.

Last year, we saw a stock market boom in the United States and other Western countries, partly thanks to the measures taken by the governments to stimulate the economy during the pandemic. Recently, however, the market has tumbled amid the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates and the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine – with the market downturn impacting the media, among other industries

Two news stories have been indicative of the trend. First, Substack decided not to pursue further fundraising efforts for now. The platform, which is best known for email newsletter though has ambitions for podcasts and other formats, reportedly attracted $65 million at a $650 million valuation, with yearly revenue of about $9 million.

More recently, however, the company seems to have struggled to attract investors at a high valuation, and thus it dropped efforts to raise money. As The New York Times notes, this decision “is another sign of the stark shift from the recent go-go years of free-flowing cash for young start-ups, particularly buzzy, consumer-facing ones like Substack.” 

Second, Forbes decided not to proceed with plans to go public. The company intended to do so via SPAC; however, in recent months, investors have been more skeptical of SPACs, also known as blank-check companies, as financial instruments, The New York Times notes.

“Investor enthusiasm around blank-check companies peaked early last year but deflated after a number of SPACs failed to live up to their promises to investors,” NYT notes. Potential slower growth of the ad market amid economic challenges also contributes to the concerns. 

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