By Hope Rurik
The passionate stories of Christiane Amanpour, Rocío Idalia Gallegos Rodríguez and Sandra Rodríguez Nieto, Lara Logan and Anna Politkovskaya have challenged my commitment and strength as a reporter.
“I just know this is what we’re supposed to be doing. This is the job; these are the circumstances. We keep reporting because this is the most important story of our lives. We hold the keys to explaining all of this.” – Rocío Idalia Gallegos Rodríguez
Gallegos and her colleague Sandra Rodríguez Nieto received awards from the International Center for Journalism in November for their coverage of the violence and corruption in Juarez, Mexico, which has cost more than 65 journalists their lives in the last year.
“I think the story is bigger than you; that’s what you’re motivated by,” – Lara Logan
Logan is a sometimes heralded, sometimes criticized foreign correspondent and was featured on the Kalb Report in November. She didn’t pull punches on the errs in U.S. foreign policy, and also addressed the “selfishness” of often putting a story before her safety, which her family relies on.
“I am not an investigating magistrate but somebody who describes the life around us for those who cannot see it for themselves, because what is shown on television and written about in the overwhelming majority of newspapers is emasculated and doused with ideology. People know very little about life in other parts of their own country, and sometimes even in their own region.” – Anna Politkovskaya, from an essay written for “Another Sky”
Marina Goldovskaya brought her film, “A Bitter Taste of Freedom,” on Politkovskaya to Georgetown University for a screening in November. The film revealed a woman who somehow managed to balance a family and, as her daughter says in the film, “write miles of text.” It shows a woman whose compassion for the Chechen people ultimately may have cost her life. Politkovskaya was killed in 2006.
“Courage does not mean the absence of fear, it means managing the fear. It means living every single day of your life willing to risk your life to tell those unbelievable, heroic and absolutely vital stories.” – Christiane Amanpour
Amanpour spoke at the International Center for Journalism Awards Dinner in November. She said journalism is a profession that offers the amazing opportunity to both enjoy the world and make it better. She condemned the idea of creating neutrality where it doesn’t exist.
Women or not, these people are largely accepted as excellent reporters. They are not only courageous, but also compassionate. They’re driven by the story and the people within the stories, not by success.
I’ve written on issues and people and had the thought nagging in the back of my mind, “Can I do this justice? Can I do them justice?” I hope every time that I can. The quotes from these women remind me that among the council meetings or congressional hearings or court proceedings are going to be people that need to be heard and people that need to hear. And, ultimately, that’s what makes journalism valuable and good reporters invaluable.