Lara Logan has reported from war zones around the world, and she is visiting the University of South Florida tonight.
CBS News’ chief foreign affairs correspondent attracted world-wide attention in May 2011 when she described in detail the sexual assault she experienced in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the anti-Mubarak uprisings. She will be speaking as part of the University Lecture Series at 8 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom.
Logan was born in Durban, South Africa, where she started her journalism career exposing the atrocities of apartheid, at the age of 17. In an interview with The Digital Bullpen, Logan said that her passion for journalism was molded in the fires of hell in South Africa.
“I was always, even as a little girl, filled with a sense of the injustice around me,” Logan said, ”and filled with a very idealistic sense of wanting to make it right.”
After leaving South Africa, Logan reported for CBS from some of the most dangerous regions of the world, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and Pakistan.
“It’s not about being caught in the crossfire, it’s about being a target,” Logan said. “If people are going to risk their lives, if people are going to put their lives on the line, if people are going to lose their lives, then you have to have people there to witness that. For me personally, this is my responsibility. People are born to do different things and I was born to do this. I was born to change the things that I can and to fight for the things that I believe in.”
Logan voiced her distaste for partisan media outlets. Speaking about her graphic report from Haifa Street in Baghdad, Logan said, “I was so annoyed in the end, not with CBS, but with all these people and the shows to make political capital out of me and my work. None of them actually care about any of the people who died in that story, it’s not that they cared anymore of any less, it was just a chance to score points on each side and that’s exactly the kind of bullshit I can’t stand.”
Following her assault in Egypt, Logan has not returned to the Middle East.
“It’s made this harder for me, because I am afraid now and I wasn’t before,” she said. Logan still prefers, however, to be in a Humvee in Baghdad rather than backstage at an Aerosmith concert.
USF brought Logan to campus because students asked for her.
“The ULS board chose Lara Logan as a speaker based on student interest. We have had numerous requests in the past for speakers in the news and political arenas, and we felt that Ms. Logan was a great combination of both of these segments,” said ULS Marketing Director of Marketing Spencer Southard. “She speaks about war in a very candid manner, drawing from personal experiences during her coverage.”
According to Southard, the Logan lecture is costing the Center for Student Involvement $40,000. There will be a question and answer segment following the lecture, but there will be no meet-and-greet. The lecture was scheduled for the fall 2011 semester, but Logan rescheduled due to a prior obligation with CBS News.
The lecture is open to the public and admission is free.