Monday, April 18, 2011

This has been whispered about for years. Finally someone speaks.

Ever since women have been working for newspapers there have been male managers who suggest that they should stick to soft news because they may get hurt doing the hard stuff, like covering war.

When my car was firebombed while I was covering a disturbance, one editor suggested that maybe women should not cover dead-of-night dangerous situations. Another reporter, male, advised me to never get myself in a situation like that again.

I think their concern for me was genuine. But I can't imagine either one making the same remarks about a male journalist.

To deny anyone the opportunity to cover huge news events -- such as war, riots, or  killings -- is to deny the journalist professional experience and advancement. To do it based on gender is wrong.

The Washington Post author of this piece makes the salient point at the start: the solution is to train everyone, men and women, how to be safe when confronted with a dangerous situation. Two reasons: journalists should not have to put themselves in danger to do their jobs. And you don't get the story if you're raped and beaten.


  1. Terrific post, Skeeter/Judith. Even before women were able to fight in wars, they were often being killed in them . . . collateral damage.

    They should be able to go confidently into situations without well-intentioned men holding them back because they might get hurt.

    All things being equal (whatever that means) with training and opportunity, I also believe women can bring a unique perspective to violence and trauma.

  2. This is an important subject! If woman are held back from "dangerous" assignments, then the male attitudes that make the world dangerous will never change.


Hey, what do you think? Comment here and let me know.