Logan Has 'Broken That Code of Silence'

Female journalists have suffered abuse for years, writes Kim Barker

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 20, 2011 5:33 AM CST

(Newser) – Journalist Kim Barker was covering a jubilant demonstration in Pakistan in 2007, with thousands cheering for the country's chief justice, when the crowd turned on her, groping her relentlessly. She only escaped because the chief justice saw and let her take shelter in his car. "I knew other female correspondents who weren’t so lucky," Barker writes at Pro Publica. "I would never tell my bosses for fear that they might keep me at home the next time something major happened. "

In going public with her sexual assault while covering protests in Egypt, Lara Logan "has broken that code of silence," which Barker says female reporters have endured for years. While The Committee to Protect Journalists tracks the number of reporters killed in the line of duty, they do not record rapes, and more journalists do not report it. "[T]the lesson she is now giving young women is probably her most profound," writes Barker: "It’s not your fault. And there’s no shame in telling it like it is."

In this Feb. 11, 2001 photo released by CBS, 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan is shown covering the reaction in in Cairo's Tahrir Square the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.
In this Feb. 11, 2001 photo released by CBS, "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan is shown covering the reaction in in Cairo's Tahrir Square the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.   (AP Photo/CBS News)
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