‘The Aliveness of Speaking Faces’ – Women Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War

David Deacon

in British News Media and the Spanish Civil War

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780748627486
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651368 | DOI:
‘The Aliveness of Speaking Faces’ – Women Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War

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This chapter concentrates on women correspondents and the distinctive nature of their contribution in the Spanish Civil War. Women correspondents represented just ten percent of the total number of British and North American journalists who reported from Spain during the war. It also determines a ‘high-profile/low status’ paradox in female reporting. Most of these female correspondents came from privileged backgrounds and were highly educated. Regardless of their journalistic experience, female correspondents had little status within their news organisations. The inclusion of women's perspectives was often used strategically to vitalise foreign coverage. Despite the subordinate status of women journalists, news organisations valued and encouraged the production of a female perspective of the war. Female reportage helped fortify the political and public will of democratic nations as they prepared to confront the terrible trials in prospect.

Keywords: women correspondents; Spanish Civil War; female reporting; Spain; status; foreign coverage; news organisations

Chapter.  5400 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Media Studies

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