According to the New York Post, CBS News only announced the awful attack on correspondent Lara Logan because other media outlets had found out about the sexual assault and beating. This should have never been released without Ms. Logan’s consent.
However, the very public nature of Logan’s injury does raise awareness of sexual assault rates on women foreign correspondents. A 2007 Columbia Journalism Review article by Judith Matloff points out that sexual harassment is sadly common in war zones. There’s not much data on sexual assaults, but Matloff points to a small survey of female war reporters that was done by the International News Safety Institute, in which more than half the 29 women polled said they had been sexually assaulted, and two said they had been raped. But almost none of them told anyone because of shame.
I think that the major news stations need to evaluate the way they place female reporters in harm’s way. I also think they need to think before they tell the world a woman has been raped. This is a process the victimized woman needs to determine when she wants to allow others to know about.
Maybe this will force the networks to look at what they are doing when sending female reporters to these areas.
What do you think? Be the first to post. ——Paul Schrader