Female Journalists

CNN’s Nima Elbagir on risking her life for the stories that must be told, and the challenges of being a female, Muslim journalist of color.

Nima Elbagir’s acceptance speech at the 2019 duPont Award Ceremony, Columbia University.

Nima Elbagir’s acceptance speech at the 2019 duPont Award Ceremony, Columbia University.

CNN’s Senior International Correspondent Nima Elbagir has reported fearlessly across Africa. For her 2019 duPont-Columbia award winning work, she and her producer snuck into a modern day slave market in Libya, exposed child labor in Congo and trailed a smuggler’s network in Nigeria to show the world rarely seen exploitation and corruption. In this episode, she talks about the challenges of taking such risks as well as the challenges of being a Muslim, female journalist of color. “People like me 10 years ago didn't end up in front of the camera. People like me were fixers.”

She also talks about some of the advantages. In her human rights abuses reporting, “it was eas(ier) for us to disappear. It was easier to have Arabic speakers. It took the temperature down a lot for it to be women in such a chauvinist cultural context as Libya.”

Elbagir talks to Columbia J School student Sarah Moawad in a wide-ranging conversation about her work, being a new mom on the frontlines and how she learned what “Selena Gomez viral” was --  when it happened to her.

And a reminder to be like Nima Elbagir and enter your best audio or video reporting for #duPont2020 while we’re open for submissions (Deadline July 1). Visit www.duPont.org for info and to enter.