Journalist Kim Barker to give presentation on covering conflict on April 23

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Journalist Kim Barker

“Women can cover the fighting just as well as men, depending on their courage.” 

That’s what journalist Kim Barker said in an op-ed piece for The New York Times, “Why We Need Women in War Zones,” written in the aftermath of a brutal mob attack on a female CBS correspondent in Egypt’s Tahrir square in 2011.

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is pleased to welcome Barker to campus for a special public lecture on Tuesday, April 23, at 6:00 p.m. “From Montana to Afghanistan: Covering Conflict and the Clash of Cultures” will be held at UH Mānoa’s Architecture Auditorium located near the intersection of University Avenue and Metcalf Street in Honolulu. The event is free and open to the community.


Barker will speak about her life’s work in journalism and read from her book “The Taliban Shuffle:  Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

“Without female correspondents in war zones, the experiences of women there may be only a rumor,” Barker wrote in her op-ed piece.  “Look at the articles about women who set themselves on fire in Afghanistan to protest their arranged marriages, or about girls being maimed by fundamentalists, about child marriage in India, about rape in Congo and Haiti. Female journalists often tell those stories in the most compelling ways, because abused women are sometimes more comfortable talking to them. And those stories are at least as important as accounts of battles.”

Now a reporter with ProPublica, Barker was the South Asia bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune from 2004 to 2009 and was based in New Delhi and Islamabad. At the Tribune, Barker covered major stories such as the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and rising militancy in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Parking is available on campus for $6.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

More about Kim Barker:  Barker has been a reporter at ProPublica since 2010, writing stories on campaign finance and the aftermath of the BP oil spill that have run in outlets such as The Washington Post, The Atlantic and Salon. She’s specialized in “dark money,” or social welfare nonprofits that do not report their donors for election ads.  In late 2009 and early 2010, Barker was the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where she studied, wrote and lectured on Pakistan and Afghanistan and U.S. policy.

About the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Distinguished Lecture Series: The Distinguished Lecture Series of the University of Hawaiʻi strives to bring together the University with the larger community it serves. It hosts extraordinarily talented men and women whose work in the arts, sciences, or humanities is innovative and significant, and gives them a forum in which to share their contributions with the people of Hawaiʻi.





  1. "Women can cover the fighting just as well as men, depending on their courage.” – society educates women not to have courage as men do. You don't have or not courage. You learn it or not.

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