Lara Logan, 34, CBS News correspondent and contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes
A native of Durban, South Africa, Logan was imbued with a love of books and reading by her parents. She was all of eight years old when one of her teachers declared that "if this child doesnít become a writer or journalist, itíll be a sin."
About a quarter-century later, on April 9, 2003, Logan found herself in Baghdad when the Saddam Hussein statue fell. Without a CBS crew to accompany her on that momentous day, she phoned in her urgent reports to New York.
"I think the ultimate thing for me was being here in Baghdad alone for two weeks, the last two weeks of the war" said Logan, who has recently been working on a 60 Minutes story in Iraq.
Being raised in a South African "township where people were hacked to death," Logan has a history of viewing bloody conflicts up close. "Growing up in South Africa ... I was just conscious of the fact that there was something very wrong. And that made me ask questions." She began interning for a major newspaper while still in high school, heading out to the local morgues to count up the victims of violence.
Logan expects to head back to Iraq soon for another 60 Minutes piece that will take her near the Syrian border. She admits that physical danger is part of the job. "We talk about it, we joke about it, but itís in the back of our minds all the time," she says, conjuring up the nightmare of "being put on the Internet in an orange jump suit."
"You rely on a little bit of luck or a lot of luck," she adds. "You have to be smart about it."
Hannah Allam, 28, Cairo Bureau Chief for Knight Ridder
Having spent some of her formative years in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Hannah Allam saw her career change after 9/11. Formerly a court reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, she was assigned to cover the domestic reaction and the Arab-Muslim angle in the aftermath of the attacks in Washington and New York.
"That kind of set the stage for overseas work, which is what I wanted to do all along," Allam says. Two years ago, she went to Baghdad for Knight Ridder, the company that owns the Pioneer Press and more than 30 other papers. Within months, she became bureau chief there, overseeing a staff of almost 20 journalists and support personnel.
"I just didnít think there was any way they would give me a chance," she recalls. "I was young and inexperienced.... Some of the people coming through on those rotations had covered Vietnam. [Running the bureau] didnít come naturally. But I think theyíll tell you I grew into it all right."
Last month, Allam was awarded the John S. Knight Gold Medal, Knight Ridderís highest recognition for employee accomplishment. Having now been reassigned to Cairo, she will use that post as a base to travel and cover the entire Middle East, which she calls "my dream job."
"Just [knowing] the little cultural dos and doníts ... makes it easier to get access and trust," she says. "They invite you in and they think youíre this non-threatening woman and so they tell you things. And theyíre surprised to see it on the cover of the Philadelphia Inquirer the next day."
Allam says she is befuddled by this nationís apparent disinterest in global events and detachment from the war in Iraq. "I find the lack of engagement with international news to be a problem, or at least disconcerting," she says. "What struck me the most about coming back [to the US prior to moving to Cairo] is this does not strike me as a national war."
Corky Scholl, 28, photojournalist for KUSA-TV in Denver
Back when this Minneapolis native was in high school, Corky Scholl was making snowboarding videos for a local public-access station. A decade later, he is the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Television News Photographer of the Year. His winning contest tape included about a dozen feature, sports, general, and spot-news stories, including a piece he did after following a homeless musician around for a year.
"It seemed to me that this is the type of photographer people really go to when an important story needs to be shot," one of the contest judges noted. "I loved the variety of the stories, and how so many of them really dealt with people and their lives."
For his part, Scholl says he loves "the creative aspect obviously first and foremost. You get to document history. You get the adrenalin rush."
Beginning his career at a local cable-news operation before working at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, Scholl moved to Denver about two years ago and works on stories primarily for KUSAís signature 10 pm newscast.
"Sometimes, Iíll get to a story and people will think Iím an intern. I donít mind," says the youthful-looking Scholl. "Other people seem to think itís helpful because theyíre surprised about how people open up to me."page 1 page 2 page 3
Issue Date: October 14 - 20, 2005
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