There Are More Female Reporters Than Ever Before
Women are knocking down the barriers on the battlefields of war, in sports, and now more than ever, in journalism.
The New York Times' Women in the World reports that an increasing number of women reporters are now 'fixtures' on the front lines of war in both print, online. and television.
In countries with heavy conflict like Iraq, Syria, and Libya, female journalist correspondents are in the thresholds of combat where no real, defined boundaries exist — which invite more opportunities for injury, danger, and sometimes, death. They are side-by-side with troops, whether in the bunkers or caught under siege.
One female reporter by the name of Elizabeth Palmer spoke of the compromises that come along with such a demanding but rewarding job.
"I have a family," she says. "I don't want to be hurt or die, and I guess I've always felt that I could take calculated risks. I think I'm attracted to conflict. But I'm not a joy rider. I don't go and want to be where the bullets are flying."
Another set of compromises female reporters often have to consider include prioritizing a healthy work-life balance. Debora Patta, 49, a South African mother of two who has covered some of the most brutal Islamic extremists shared her thoughts on the matter.
"Having children makes it much harder because you have to think about them without a mother, so you're a lot more cautious," Patta says. "People are saying to me, 'How can you do that when you have children? Do you really think you should take that kind of risk?' Almost the implication being that you're reckless as a mother. Men don't get asked that."
And given the competitive yet divergent dynamics of the journalism field between men and women, sexism and sexual abuse is still rampant.
"There is documentation about correspondents killed in the field, men and women, but there's no documentation for sexual assault of any variety," Patta revealed.
Marcus Wilford, an executive with ABC News in London, went on to say that "women are now in the forefront, doing many of the dangerous assignments that male correspondents used to do."
The article also spotlights how international war correspondent and author Christiane Amanpour is one of the pioneers for women working as reporters in TV war correspondence.
"Christiane probably changed the game for a lot of women," Patta praised. She continued, "Because there was this brave journalist who was really good and really very intelligent doing amazing work."
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