TWHS grad covers war in Ukraine


Anna Conkling

Protesters in NYC on Ukraine’s Independence Day, Aug. 24, 2022. These scenes moved Conkling to find a way to get overseas to cover the conflict.

Russia announced a military operation on Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. While many were stuck in shock, Anna Conkling, an alumna from The Woodlands High School, wanted to be a reliable source and get bring international attention to the

Anna Conkling was a student at The Woodlands High School and participated in the school’s journalism program her sophomore year. After she graduated, she moved to New York and attended The New School.

From her experience, her advice to anyone looking into a career in journalism is that it doesn’t matter what college you go to or what your high school experience is like, the most important thing is to make connections and write the stories you are passionate about.  While in college, Conkling had three internships that were writing intensive.

“I was writing up to three articles a day and would start off each day reading police reports,” Conkling said.  “I would call the police station for clarification and specifics.”

But that changed last February.

“It was like a switch went off when the war started,” Conkling said.

She started covering the protests in New York and talking to local Ukrainian families. But, she wanted to tell stories on a larger scale and to be a war correspondent she needed to be in Europe so she packed up and moved to Berlin. Later, she decided she needed to go to the border between Poland and Ukraine.

“It was all just so upsetting to see,” says Anna Cockling.

When she arrived at the train station she saw people returning to Ukraine and refugees, women and children only, who had beds set up. No photos were allowed.

At Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof. According to Conkling, children arriving at the center often throw down their bags and run to the play area. (Anna Conkling)
Pullquote Photo

If you want to be a writer, then write every day. Even if it’s just one paragraph.

— Anna Conkling

“I’m lucky I have a reporter’s mind, I have to put up walls to hear these horrifying stories,” said Conkling.

The topics she writes about are intense, Anna specifically recalled one about sexual assault by Russian troops. Despite this, there is nothing else she would want to do. Being a freelance journalist she can work on her own schedule and write the stories that she wants to write.

Going forward, Conkling wants to continue to be a war correspondent.

“I hope it makes people see that what is going on is real. All I can really do is hope this makes a difference,” Conkling said.

Some of her work is available on her website.