How Safe is it to be a Female Foreign Correspondent?
A prominent investigative journalist Wendy Halloran, who had won the Best Investigative Reporter Award for 2008 and 2009 by the Alabama Associated Press, interviewed me today about the role of foreign correspondents, particularly female reporters, in a conflict zone. It was my second interview for the day. Wendy works with 12 News channel as an investigative reporter.The interview took place in the wake of the disgraceful Lara Logan episode.
She asked if it was safe for women to work as reporters in conflict zones. I said a conflict jeopardized everyone’s life. In most crises when the governments lose their writ, criminal groups take advantage of a precarious situation. Foreign correspondents’ lives are often imperiled because they can easily be recognized due to their color, language and attire.
I mentioned that in spite of the risks, some of the best reporters covering the troubled parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan were female journalists like Yvonne Ridley, Christina Lamb, Carlotta Gall and Sabrina Tavernise and Nirupama Subramanian.
“Carlotta is one such brave American journalist who has covered the Af-Pak region in spite of once being beaten up by the Pakistani authorities inside her hotel room,” I said, “threats are always there but they are a part and parcel of our job as journalists.”