The Girls at the Front

A look into the lives of female war correspondents Christiane Amanpour, Marie Colvin, Janine di Giovanni, Maggie O’Kane, and Jacky Rowland:

“Amanpour and her colleagues are reporters, they insist, not women reporters, as rugged as any man, and they’ve got the war stories to prove it. Take Afghanistan alone. Amanpour discovered what she believes were ‘mini– training camps’ and a trove of documents about how to make chemical and nuclear weapons. The BBC’s newest sensation, a confident and exuberant 37-year-old Brit, Jacky Rowland, completed her mission of being one of the first Western correspondents into that country after September 11. ‘We left CNN and their equipment on the tarmac [in Tajikistan], which was a sheer delight,’ says Rowland. During the first few days of the U.S. bombing, The Guardian’s Maggie O’Kane—a disheveled human tornado from Ireland who now lives in Edinburgh—endured a weeklong trek from Pakistan into Afghanistan, traversing ‘Horse Killer Pass.’ Janine di Giovanni, an Italian-American with Jessica Rabbit looks, who writes for the London Times (and is a contributing editor at this magazine), vigorously dodged al-Qaeda fire while in Tora Bora. The only member of the group not to have recently visited Afghanistan is the toughest of them all, Marie Colvin, an American who writes for The Sunday Times of London. Instead, she was relearning to negotiate stairs after losing sight in one eye to shrapnel. She now wears a black pirate’s patch. She also has a beaded, sparkly one that was given to her by her friend Helen Fielding, who wrote Bridget Jones’s Diary. ‘It’s my party patch,’ says Colvin as she brings her shaky match to her Silk Cut cigarette. ‘I never thought in my life I’d be the woman with the patch. But there you are, life changes.'”

Source: Vanity Fair
Published: Jun 1, 2002
Length: 20 minutes (5,008 words)
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