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How Three Women Correspondents Changed Modern War Reporting


Elizabeth Becker FCC First Vice President Eric Wishart speaks to author Elizabeth Becker.

Three pioneering women correspondents — Frances FitzGerald, Catherine Leroy and Kate Webb — changed the nature of modern war reporting and even the course of history with their coverage of the Vietnam War, Elizabeth Becker said in an FCC book event.

“They expanded the lens, they looked at the country and the people, they brought a humanity that was missing,” Becker, author of You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War, told FCC First Vice President Eric Wishart.

She explained how the three correspondents’ work was different from both previous war reporting and that of their male contemporaries. 

In her book, Becker tells the inspiring story of how these three women from very different backgrounds made their own way to Vietnam and overcame sexism and other challenges to become well-respected war correspondents.

No stranger to war having covered the conflict in Cambodia, Becker noted the high mental and emotional costs of reporting in war zones, though she said that the difficult subject matter did not lead to bias in coverage.

“Once you see the pain and the destruction and the horror of war, your motivation is to be more objective, not less,” Becker said.

Watch the full conversation below:

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