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War reporting is not an easy job, and even less so when you have people doubting your abilities just because you’re a woman. Here are 6 female journalists who went to the frontlines!
Female journalists are often accused of being ‘soft’ journalists, who do the desk job and ‘easy’ reporting on fields like culture. The journalism industry has traditionally been a fairly male-dominated area. A female journalist is often stereotyped as a necessarily thick-kajal-applying, nose-ring-wearing, cigarette-smoking woman who sleeps around. I mean, that’s almost all the representation I’ve seen in Bollywood movies of female journalists and reporters. But real-life female journalists have way more substance than what people assume them to have.
Being present at war-torn areas, reporting the happenings consistently and conducting interviews in potentially fatal situations is not something that we laypersons associate with women much. But here we have some amazing female journalists who managed to shatter these myths by their praise-worthy work!
India’s first photo-journalist, and quite possibly the first Indian woman journalist to go on the war scenes, Vyarawalla was the woman who paved the way for women in the journalism industry. She had the chance to cover World War II on her camera in the Asian side of the war. (Read more here.) She was awarded the Padma Vibushan in 2011, the second highest civillian award of India.
An American journalist who has been called the one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century by the London Daily Telegraph, Martha Gellhorn was probably the first ever woman war correspondent who covered the World War II, and then later the Vietnamese War and the American Civil Wars.
Noted journalist Barkha Dutt’s mother, Prabha Dutt was the first Indian woman reporter to go out into the frontlines and report a war, which comes as a surprise since this was not reported much into the media. Quite a rebel, she took a few days of leave to secretly cover the 1965 Indo-Pak war which she was not permitted to do by her paper. She made her way onto the are on her own and her coverage was, indeed, published. There is also a prestigious fellowship in her name. You can read more here.
Possibly the most famous female journalist of India and a recipient of the Padma Shri award, Barkha Dutt is known by the media to be among the top female war correspondents of the country. She made her name by covering the Kargil war in 1999. Her videos and interviews from the war front have been iconic, to say the least, even though there has been controvery around her being on the frontlines.
A British journalist, Alex Crawford is the famous journalist who reported the raid of Gaddafi’s compound and was a part of the rebel forces convoy. Her coverage has been classed as bold and daring, considering the live reporting that she did of the war in Libya against Gaddafi. Her videos of the war are available online easily.
A famous news correspondent with Al Jazeera, Zeina Khodr has been reporting in the midst of many war areas. Beginning from Pakistan and Afghanistan, she was one of the first correspondents to report from Tripoli, Libya. She received the ‘the ITV Achievement of the Year Award’, for her coverage of the Fall of Tripoli, from Women in Film And TV Awards, UK. Currently, she works in the areas of unrestful area of Turkey, Lebanon and Syria.
Are you feeling all the boldness emanating from these amazing women yet? I am! This is some serious inspiration, and a big ‘Shut Up’ to all those blabbering mouths which say that women can’t do some things. What do you think?