Lara Logan to tell stories from war's front lines
Award-winning foreign correspondent and war zone journalist Lara Logan will make her way to Portland as part of the 25th annual Voices, Inc. lecture series that highlights powerful women in the world.
She'll speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Tiffany Center, 1410 S.W. Morrison St.
The 46-year-old has been something of a pioneer in a male-dominated industry, inserting herself in extremely dangerous war situations including in Iraq, where she lived for five years as a reporter following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
While reporting on the Egyptian Revolution in February 2011, she was sexually assaulted and beaten by a mob in Tahrir Square — a life-changing moment that she discussed on "60 Minutes" to draw attention to the difficulties female journalists face in war zones.
These days she's living in Texas with her family while still working as a correspondent for "60 Minutes."
"I was able to break down a lot of doors and make a lot of things possible. When I started as a war correspondent, people told me that no one would ever get news from a battlefield from a woman with hair like mine, you know, who wore makeup and was feminine," Logan tells the Tribune in a phone interview. " I think that I was one of the people who changed that forever. "
Though she was quick to backtrack: "Hopefully forever. No, I wouldn't say forever cause you can always go backward."
Logan says one of the biggest misconceptions people hold about being a war correspondent is that people just hand her stories.
"Because nobody ever gave me anything in my career," she says. "I've always had to fight to get there and you have to be the one that they send, and it's a never-ending journey.
"I would say that the biggest misconception is that someone sends you there and gives you a story and you sort of go out and sprinkle your magic on it and make it real."
And what's more, is that it takes a lot of time to get a good story. Sometimes weeks, sometimes months.
"You can spend weeks and months sometimes on the battlefield and never really get a great story. So you have to be really invested," she says. And she notes, covering situations from afar in cities like Washington, D.C., or New York City isn't the same as being on the ground.
She says the best reporters are out in the field always digging — and are rule breakers, too.
"In a way, we're like an entire ... group of people who exist just to break the rules because very often if you follow them, you're not ever going to understand or get to the heart of something," Logan says.
Her reporting style hasn't gone without criticism, with some calling her overly aggressive, or using her sexuality to forward her career.
She has pushed ahead, anyway.
"I feel as if I've been part of a generation that has been breaking down doors and changing the way women are perceived. I fly that flag wherever I go," Logan says.
Find out more about the Voices series and order tickets at voicesinc.com/. Tickets to see Logan are $60, and $179 for all four lecture events. Following Logan are authors Sue Monk Kidd on Nov. 15 ( "The Secret Life of Bees"), Ruth Wariner on Feb. 7 ("The Sound of Gravel"), and Alexandra Fuller on April 11 ("Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood").