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Performer (Interviewee)

Kathy Gannon

Interviewer

Dr. You Li

Geographic Location

Afghanistan and Pakistan

Biography

Kathy Gannon covered Afghanistan and Pakistan for the Associated Press as chief correspondent and later news director for 35 years. She also covered the 2006 war in South Lebanon, the Iraq War, the Central Asian States, and the Middle East. Gannon was the only Western journalist allowed in Kabul by the Taliban in the weeks preceding the 2001 U.S.-British offensive in Afghanistan. In April 2014 Gannon was seriously wounded, hit by seven bullets while covering preparations for Afghan national elections when an Afghan police officer opened fire on the car in which she was riding. A Canadian native, she received numerous awards, including the 2022 Fall Semester Joan Shorenstein Fellow at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard Kennedy School, the 2022 Columbia Journalism School Lifetime Award, the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage In Journalism Award, and many others. In May 2022, Gannon retired from the Associated Press.

Gannon recalled her reporting on COVID-19 on top of other regional conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She criticized the Western media's institutionalized double standard when covering foreign countries. Gannon believes in the role of journalists to witness and record history as a detached observer. She reviewed incidents where she pushed cultural, religious, and political restrictions against a woman to accomplish reporting tasks. She encouraged fellow women journalists to use their gender to their advantage and maneuver in challenging situations. She also urged more institutional attention and changes to resolve gender and race inequalities.

Interview Date

5-5-2023

Subject

Afghanistan, Pakistan, international reporting, Associated Press, institutional bias, gender stereotypes, sexism, racism, inequality, COVID-19, pandemic, women in journalism, journalism, Eastern Michigan University Archives, regional conflicts

Publisher

Eastern Michigan University Archives

Digital Object File Type

mp3

Run Time

1:16:31

Rights

Copyright to the audio resource and its transcript, headshot, and stories is held by the content creator, author, artist, or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any other format without written permission of the copyright owner, Eastern Michigan University Archives (lib_archives@emich.edu).

Kathy Gannon, Oral History Interview, 2023

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