Women War Correspondents of World War II

Women War Correspondents of World War II

Women War Correspondents of World War II

Women War Correspondents of World War II


Women War Correspondents of World War II is an in-depth analysis of the life of the woman correspondent. The problems of censorship, a war fought on different fronts, and the dangers of then-modern warfare are recounted. Many women entered the field through newspaper jobs vacated by men who left for the front; they then worked their way into becoming war correspondents. For the most part they did not expect preferential treatment and avoided exceptional notice. According to their own accounts, they encountered problems unique to their sex, but were adept at handling the problems and were professional in their work.


Although the history of journalism contains names of women who made a significant impact on the field--from the colonial widow printer, the big city reporter, the sob sister, the war correspondent, to the postwar pioneers--the literature that discusses the accomplishments of women in journalism is scarce and limited. Yet just a brief acquaintance with details about any one of these women would indicate that women journalists have always been a potent force in the field, although largely ignored in a listing of accomplishments.

Some attempts have been made to document the significant contributions of women to the field of journalism. While these are credible as well as interesting, they merely touch on the highlights of women's experience in journalism. One segment of women's history of journalism that lends itself to serious study involves war correspondents.

When World War II began, most American newsmen wanted to get to the front, where the "big story" was. They faced problems correspondents had not been troubled with in previous wars--increased censorship, the war being fought on several different fronts, and the dangers of then modern warfare. Journalists, however, managed to carry out their responsibilities in a commendable manner. Shortly after the war ended, Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson said at a dinner honoring war correspondents:

World War II was the most thoroughly reported war in history. . . . When we consider the scale of the struggle, the speed of operations, the great distances covered and the startling scientific developments, the very quantity of the coverage is a credit to the press. . . . and to the men and women who made that coverage possible. It was in the quality of reporting, however, that the coverage . . .

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