International Handbooks on Gender series
Edited by Simona Sharoni, Julia Welland, Linda Steiner and Jennifer Pedersen
Chapter 15: Gender under fire in war reporting
This chapter offers a history of women war correspondents from the US and UK to highlight what has changed since the mid-nineteenth century when Margaret Fuller was assigned to cover the revolution in Italy. On the other hand, for nearly a hundred and fifty years women who wanted to cover war, and many did, faced considerable sexism. So the growth in the number of women reporting from war zones does not necessarily reflect gender equity. Despite the general feminization of journalism, women war reporters face obstacles from all quarters. Women have been relegated to covering featuring angles and collateral damage, denied access to fronts on spurious grounds, accused of undermining military security, subjected to gossip about their personal lives and chosen for their looks and the likelihood that their appearance would draw audiences. Women’s presence when covering war continues to be controversial; several accusations persist about women reporters that would never be made about men.
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