Women Reporters Who Covered Vietnam

In conjunction with the new exhibit “Reporting Vietnam,” the Newseum hosted a special evening program July 27, 2015, featuring women who covered the Vietnam War. Denby Fawcett, Jurate Kazickas, Edith Lederer and Laura Palmer shared their as female journalists reporting from Vietnam, discussing everything from the people they met, the items they carried with them, the challenges they faced getting stories and the tactics they took to beat those challenges.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr moderated the conversation, noting that she was “humbled and honored” to share the stage with the four war correspondents. “We’re talking tonight about being women, being women journalists, and being journalists,” Starr remarked.

The women described the unique ways each of them got to Vietnam, and their attitudes about the war before and after they worked there. Palmer was deeply opposed to American involvement and never expected to end up in Vietnam. “I went with all of the answers, and I left with all of the questions,” she quipped.

Lederer explained how she wanted to be a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, but the foreign editor at the time refused to have a woman on the desk. Another editor found a way to send her to Vietnam anyway. Fawcett was initially promised $35 per story and had to pay her own way to Saigon, while Kazickas used her $500 winnings from the game show “Password” to fly to Vietnam as a freelancer. Palmer summed up the resolve and determination of each of the panelists in covering the war: “If there’s a reason to tell the story, I’ll do anything.”

“Reporting Vietnam” marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, America’s first televised war. The exhibit explores the dramatic stories of how journalists brought news about the war to a divided nation.

CBS News

Contributing support for the “Reporting Vietnam” exhibit is provided by CBS Corporation, in memory of CBS News correspondent Bob Simon.

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