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Brave Women Doing Men's Job; Colleagues Feel Proud Of Mary Rogers; Margaret Moth Hit By A Sniper. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired September 05, 2022 - 22:00   ET



MARY ROGERS, CNN CAMERAWOMAN: The pyramids are off in that direction somewhere, but we can't see them today too much pollution. Sometimes if I want to warm up my picture, I blue balance on the sky. It's a, it's a good little trick.

I wanted a job that would take me traveling around the world. My parents got National Geographic magazine and I loved looking at all the photos, you know, taken all over the world. And I thought, I want a job that will take me traveling. I want to see all of this.

UNKNOWN: Our driver --


UNKNOWN: Get in the car, Mary. Thank you, guys. Wait.

UNKNOWN: Get in there.

UNKNOWN: Wait, wait, wait. Wait!

CYNDE STRAND, CNN CAMERAWOMAN: When I was little, there was nothing better than going out on my bicycle. And I can really like almost close my eyes and go back to seeing that kid. And I literally would ride my bike through China. And to me, that was just a dream. It was like, I'm going to go to China one day.

MARGARET MOTH, CNN CAMERAWOMAN: So, I wanted to be a camerawoman in news and I fought for years to get that position and they would say, all right, now we don't have women. I do seem that I was born to be a news camerawoman.

MARIA FLEET, CNN CAMERAWOMAN: One of the first jobs I had at CNN was editing. They decided they would rotate the editors out into the field to work with the camera people. Once I got outside the building, I was like, I'm never going back in the building.

JANE EVANS, CNN CAMERAWOMAN: In fourth grade, my teacher wanted us to give a gift to the world and my gift to the world was a camera. I was worried about people in war and I wanted to help make peace. And I also wanted people to understand each other. And I felt like with a camera, you could understand each other.

UNKNOWN: All of us. We were like frontline combat camera women. Right. And we would we'd come back with the goods.

UNKNOWN: I think the five of us, we all had the same dream. We wanted to tell stories and we wanted the rest of the world to see these stories and understand what was going on in the world.


UNKNOWN: Some people just aren't cut out for an ordinary life.

FLEET: As a photographer, you have kind of a daunting responsibility because what you're doing is witnessing the event for the world. There's such a power in pictures. People often, we'll remember only the photograph.

STRAND: In the early 80s, you just didn't see that many female photojournalists. So, people were often surprised or people would ask if you're carrying the equipment for the cameraman.

We were just as good as the guys. And we were just as brave as the guys, it was like scooch, tripod over we're here. Please.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: These camerawomen blazed a trail, but they didn't even know they were blazing at the time. They were incredibly brave, incredibly resourceful.

INGRID FORMANEK, CNN INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: They were tough. There was a little bit of competition among them, but they supported each other because they knew that being a female in a traditionally male dominated business needed support from, from your fellow sisters.

AMANPOUR: I grew up alongside these camerawomen. They had a lot to teach me. I was delighted to be with a group of, with the sisterhood.

EVANS: It is a sisterhood. When you go into these situations that are very difficult, very scary, it's nice to know that somebody understands what you've been through. There's not that many people that understand what you've been through.



FLEET: We were all learning together, when we found ourselves together on the same assignment, there was kind of a little bit of a, just a -- an unspoken understanding. Like, you know, we had each other's backs.

FORMANEK: We all commanded a lot of attention as a group. Because it was unusual to have that many women working together. We were breaking down certain barriers and conceptions about women in the field and women in front lines.

ROBERT WIENER, FORMER CNN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: The only people that really have to put their lives on the line are the camera people. They were not there simply to make pictures. They were there to get to the truth.

FLEET: Being a camerawoman is a tough job. It's physically very demanding.

ECANS: I got beaten a lot, beaten up a lot back then. The cops I and Maria and I one day and they just came and threw us in the back of a cop car and all of our gear and off we went, we got interrogated probably for about four to six hours. Then they said, OK, go.

UNKNOWN: It can be a very aggressive business.

UNKNOWN: Who are you? Who are you?

UNKNOWN: Go, go, go.

UNKNOWN: Who are you?

FLEET: If you're women showing up on the scene with a bunch of men, sometimes men think they can, you know, they can have the advantage over you professionally. So, we always had to stay on guard about that. Make sure people knew that we were serious.

EVANS: I had to be twice as good and twice as fast, just to be on the equal playing ground as a guy. I had to work harder. I had to be better to be seen as an equal.

WIENER: In Somalia, there was this GI that said to Mary, need any help carrying that big camera, ma'am? Mary said, no, you need any help carrying your gun?

STRAND: If I had a dollar for every time somebody asked me how much the camera weighed, I could have retired.

UNKNOWN: So Mary, what you doing today?

ROGERS: Well, what do you think we're doing, Ben? It's another day of fun and games, you know.

STRAND: Mary is outrageous and energetic and not to be stopped and not to be told no and fun and just, you know, never winds down.


Mary is still kicking ass. Mary is still on all the big stories. Mary is still doing incredibly brave camera work, journalism.


ROGERS: We're here doing a vanilla being story, but that will happen tomorrow in the meantime, doesn't get any better than this and that a great thing. Look, no shoes. These -- these boys need to save their ammo for the flight in Sabah. This from a bullet casing, too much celebratory gun fire.

STEFANO KOTSONIS, FORMER CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mary is a lot of fun to work with. Mary is almost resistant to gas, to tear gas. It's almost like she drinks tear gas from breakfast in the morning, and then sets off the day with her coffee.

UNKNOWN: What did you see?

ROGERS: Did you see?

UNKNOWN: What happened?

ROGERS: More like what I smell, Ben, blinded by teargas. They got nasty stone here in this.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What's unique about Mary is her perseverance. This is a physically, mentally, and in every respect, demanding job, it's difficult. And here she is, you know, I've known Mary for 24 years and she has the same level of enthusiasm and attention to detail and sort of a demand that others maintain that kind of focus. And I don't think you see that many other people in this business.

ROGERS: Yes, this is our glamorous, you know, here's our workstation over here today. You know, we're charging batteries and running on generator power because we have no electricity out here.

WEDEMAN: No running water.

ROGERS: It's a camping trip, no running water. And for me, the biggest challenge is as the only woman of this group here. And as you can see, come on out here. Great. The biggest challenge for me is if I have to pee, where do I go? Do you see a rock to hide behind? I certainly don't.

It's nice to sleep outside. It is definitely. And you can see so many stars at night. The entire, the entire Milky Way galaxy. How often did people get to see that.



ROGERS: I was lucky to cover a huge chunk of the Arab Spring and live to tell the tale. Lucky. Somebody said I had, I'm like a cat. I have nine lives. It's like, no, I don't want don't. Don't say that. Don't say that. Don't say that.

Several days into the beginning of the revolution in Egypt, I called it battle of Cairo day. There were big battles going on this bridge on this street, but later on in the day, and this was like, goose bumpy. It was historic. The moment that Egyptian army tanks and APCs pulled up this street.

UNKNOWN: OK. Dramatic developments here. Yes, Jim, what you're seeing is dozens of trucks full of riot police. I see a large column of black smoke. It's not apparent.

ROGERS: Earlier that day, I started out ugly for me because I had a camera ripped out of my hands by (Inaudible) plain clothes thugs who took it and ran off. WEDEMAN: We're going. I don't know what's going on but we're going. And Mary, just watch out somebody has moved up.

ROGERS: When (Inaudible) became a civil war, it became leaving really dangerously. Because, you know, we were in and out of different front lines along the way. And every time, every time there were a couple close calls.

UNKNOWN: Get in the car, Mary.

ROGERS: You guys, wait. The driver starts to take off. And all I was thinking was this has happened to me. I've had a driver piss off during an ambush.


UNKNOWN: Wait, wait, wat.

UNKNOWN: You're in, Mary?

ROGERS: Yes, I'm in.

WEDEMAN: We're leaving this area. There's gun fire all around us. And we believe it.

ROGERS: I was afraid at some point, you know. I'm not an adrenaline junkie. It's not all about the front lines and bang, bang with me. In war zones what I care about the most are the civilians, the human beings through no choice of their own are forced to live in these places.

As we were covering the battle for west Mosul the amount of destruction was unbelievable. The citizens of Mosul, you know, were under ISIS control for three years. It must have been hell living under it.


The people that would come out that had hidden in their house, you know, for days with no food or water, you know, the looks on their faces. I really felt for them, the things people had to resort to, to survive were incredible.

It's important to let these people talk, tell their stories.

WEDEMAN (on screen text): OK. Thank God, you're safe. How are you?

UNKNOWN (on screen text): God keep you safe.

ROGERS: That's important to me. Kids should never have to experience war. They just shouldn't.


[22:29:57] EVANS: With Mary and Cynde and Maria, we always talked, we talked about life. We talked about personal things. We talked about things that upset us. We really talked, you know, we really, we really talked, we really knew each other.

STRAND: I think that's why we became -- we all became such good friends because that was our family.


EVANS: First, Mary, your --


UNKNOWN: What about --

EVANS: -- your problems not straight. Secondly, this is the forbidden soul. So, I must tell you it's time to go away. You must go now, please go. Enough picture. OK.

UNKNOWN: Jane is the one with the big heart. People just trusted her, you know, she's just so big hearted and so good natured and so empathetic that when Jane would be on shoots you just got, you just got extraordinary things from people.

EVANS: I got out of college, wanted a job, got an interview, very excited. And the news director basically sat me down and he said, I've brought you here because I'm not going to give you a job. I brought you here to tell you that you're a girl and you can't do this job.

I was flabbergasted, I couldn't believe it. And I just thought I'm going to prove you wrong. Because I can, I always knew I could.

There was a job opening in Lebanon and I wanted it. I wanted to be there. I wanted to take pictures. That was my passion.

I was 21, 22. Seeing war itself for the very first time getting shot at, seeing somebody shot, seeing the aftermath of a massacre. It was, sometimes it wasn't easy at all.

UNKNOWN: Two young Palestinians who the day before allegedly killed and robbed local merchants are brought out and a militia man tells us he will execute them now in front of our cameras.

CNN's Jane Evans is taken by surprise at such an offer. No. They are not executed.

EVANS: The people that were there weren't sure if they really wanted a girl as the camera person, but we were sent out on these stories and they were very dangerous. There was a lot of shelling going on, a lot of shooting going on. We got right in the middle of it.

Had to hunker down a few times for the snipers. Frightening.

UNKNOWN: Take the camera down.

EVANS: But we got the story and I got the job.

UNKNOWN: And what are you going do when you are older? A doctor. Very good. Very good. What are you going to do?

UNKNOWN: A teacher.

UNKNOWN: Very good.

STRAND: We all just loved the visuals and we all just love being there that moment when history is happening.

UNKNOWN: Please raise your right hand and say so help me, God.

UNKNOWN: So, help me God. And there is nothing like it.


ROGERS: Cynde is amazing. You know, I love her. She's like a sister to me. She is so funny. She was a brilliant photographer. So creative.


AMANPOUR: Cynde was just known as like, Such a great camerawoman. What she brought visually to a story was just phenomenal. And you could almost just use her pictures and to help with the correspondent.

STRAND: In 1986, I moved to China to study Chinese. It was a calculated risk because I knew CNN was going to open a bureau in China in a year. All the things went well.


I traveled across the country, and fortunately, CNN opened the first bureau in 1987 and I was given the camera job.

It was an incredible time in China because suddenly, the young people said stood up and they said, you know, we don't like this. And for the first time in their lives, they were driving fast and they were not obeying their elders. And they were staging of this big sit-in in Tiananmen Square. And it was just the most amazing piece of history?


STRAND: I took the evening shifts, because I knew when they clamped down on this, they were going to do it at night. That particular night I knew that was the night. I just felt it in my bones that the government was going to shut this down.

You're at, you're the one that's going to see it. And you're the one that's going to record it. That's why you're a journalist. So, we stayed.

We started to get to reports that the tanks were coming. There's flames in the distance. And we're starting to hear bullets cracking down the street and not just zing, zing, but pretty heavy fire and bodies coming into the square. We snuck around the back and started talking to the kids that they

left. Do you think anybody got killed?

UNKNOWN: Of course, I'm sure. Very sure many students were killed.

STRAND: How do you feel right now?

UNKNOWN: It is said one solid student.

STRAND: But how do you feel right now?

UNKNOWN: What O feel right now? I'm very angry.

STRAND: To this day we don't know how many people died on the access roads and the roads to the square. We still don't know how many people died that night.



FLEET: People often said that our images looked different, that they could tell there was something different about the images that we, as women made. I can just tell you that we were really good camerawomen. We were really good photographers, and I think we did see things that other people didn't see.

ROGERS: Maria and I were in Somalia together. She took beautiful images and incredibly brave.

FORMANEK: Maria is in many ways, unflappable. Maybe she had fear but you would never see it. She would go to every front line. She -- I've never known Maria to not go someplace.

FLEET: The job of a camerawoman is also, it's very humbling. People allow us to see them at their most vulnerable at the worst point in their lives. And it's always amazing to me that they, they do allow that. It's a privilege to be able to tell these stories.

I have always felt very strongly since I started going out into the field and covering these stories. And especially these stories of upheaval, civil unrest, war, refugees. I have felt very strongly that they need to be told.

I really can barely say the word refugee sometimes without tearing up, because we've seen so many refugees running from horrible things. You come and you see that and you try and tell those people's stories. And then after a week, or two weeks you leave and you go back to your life, to your nice life.

And you know, those people are still there on that mountain side or in that tent struggling. The guilt, that's the -- that's the hardest thing. That's the hardest thing I think that we deal with as camerawomen,

[22:45:08] UNKNOWN: Daniella. Gabriella Vichlenka (Ph).

AMANPOUR: The advent of more women in the field, particularly women camera people coincided with a different type of storytelling because wars became different.


AMANPOUR: There was an ethnic cleansing that was beginning to be recognized. It led to a genocide. This was a place where the world didn't want to hear the truth.

Women in Bosnia were being targeted by the snipers in the Hills, by the shelling when they went out to collect water, when they went to the bread lines, women and children were also deliberately targeted, not just men. And I think perhaps a woman's touch whether viewed through the camera of what a woman focuses on, whether the sound of the, maybe the crying or the sighing.

Focusing on the very human aspects of these conflicts, whether it's war or famine. I do think storytelling changed and women were at the forefront of that movement.

FLEET: I was kind of spooked by the story in Sarajevo because they were targeting journalists, they were specifically shooting journalists.

Journalists were considered part of the problem. Journalists were considered fair game.

Whenever Margaret showed up, it was full on.

UNKNOWN: She was an individual. She was unlike anybody else. She had no fear.

AMANPOUR: Margaret was one tough cookie. There's no two ways about it. The way she looked with that Gothic look with the black hair and the black eyes and the black clothes. You didn't cross Margaret lightly and you didn't make small talk with Margaret. She was somebody that I took really seriously.

My first two weeks in Bosnia, we did some really dangerous stuff. We crossed front lines together, Margaret, you know, did what it took to tell the story and never complained and nothing was ever too much or ever too dangerous for her.

You have to know and you have to develop that instinct of when to leave a situation to get out while you still can. But I definitely took a break after two weeks of being in Bosnia of the most intense two weeks of my life and certainly my career.

I remember asking Margaret don't you think you need to leave for a little while you were here before me? You can come back, you know again? No, no, no, no, no. I'm going to stay.

KOTSONIS: This was my first time in Sarajevo, but there was a famous street called sniper alley. As we were driving down, sniper alley talking, I was in the front seat, next to the driver.


Margaret was behind the driver and the other correspondent was behind me. That moment it sounded like 20 ball hammers hammering the side of the -- the glass and then wow. And the -- the glass, I could feel a mist of glass. And then I hear Mark say, my God, Margaret is hurt.

And I look back and she slumped on him and there's blood on his whole white, his white shirt is drenched in, in red, and she's leaning over him. She's fallen onto him. And now it's obvious that she was hit right here and everything's blown apart.

Margaret is still in surgery right now. And the doctors have now said that it's not guaranteed that she will survive this or serious injuries of -- to her head and throat are very serious. Even if she does survive it, her life will be very different from now on.

AMANPOUR: I felt an amount of not responsibility, but guilt, certainly sorrow, but you know, guilt that I didn't just drag her out, but Margaret was not to be dragged out. And that was her strength as well.

EVANS: When Margaret was hit, I was shocked. I was stunned. You know, you just sort of freeze, I think. I know she was fighting for her life.

AMANPOUR: I mean, it just, you know, it just puts all your own -- it puts everything in play. It makes you ask yourself, am I going to continue this job? Am I going to do this? Is it worth it? Is she going to survive? What are we doing? Why are we doing it?

FLEET: Margaret? I mean, she was -- it's a wonder she survived that. And you know, she paid a very heavy price. I just made us all realize, you know, we're not invulnerable. It can happen.

(on screen text): I remember I could hardly breathe and I thought my teeth were stuck in my throat. I had to get down to breath. I couldn't breathe sitting up. But I know I'd be OK. I didn't know if I was going to have a bottom of a face though. I thought of Yashinka. I truth. I always felt something would happen to me. I didn't expect to get shot in the face though. Do I look like a monster?

STRAND: Ultimately, you are making the choice to put yourself in danger. And then ultimately, there is nothing that can protect you from that.

EVANS: I was getting called in for another assignment for Sarajevo, with Christiane and my brother-in-law called me on the phone. And he said, your mom is not going to call, your sister is not going to call because you know, they always want you to know that, that they support you. But I'm going to call you because they're crying. They're upset. They can't take it anymore.

They're worried about you. They see what's going on. Can you just say no for once? Just say no this one time. So, I did. I said no for an assignment. It was the first time I ever did that to say no. But I did it for my mom. She was worried. So, they sent me to Somalia instead, and that was no help. My God.



UNKNOWN: As I speak a Marine amphibious ready group is offshore Mogadishu. These and other American forces will assist in Operation Restore Hope, make no mistake about it, now we and our allies will ensure that aid gets through.

FLEET: We were the first team to go to Somali to cover the famine. When those images hit the world, people were just like, something has to be done.

The aid was being stolen by the Somali clans at the port when it arrived. And so, the U.S. intervened to control and secure the aid.

AMANPOUR: Everywhere you looked, you know, people were, were dragging themselves to these feeding centers.

EVANS: One of the hardest stories to cover is famine. I have a very hard time understanding how people through war or political means would allow people to starve to death.

It's a hard, hard story to cover. And for me, particularly with the children, little kids, the innocence. Not easy. And not easy, because you know you can walk away and you know they can't.

STRAND: It was the first time in my life that I watched someone die because they didn't have any food. No one trained you to process that. No one trains you to, you know, look don't ever lose your empathy no matter how much you see, and no matter how much you witness and no matter how important it is to bear witness. Right? Because really when it comes down to it, our job was to bear witness and show people what was really happening in a place.

But sometimes when you're, so in the moment, the most intimate moments of people's lives, you do feel like you are taking something from them. And I feel like you carry that responsibility.


And you know, you, you carry that responsibility to do good journalism for the rest of your life.