The Washington Post

Alex Crawford explains her safety gear

Celebrated war-zone Sky News correspondent Alex Crawford last year explained how she balances “motherhood and the front line.” Before setting off to cover a tough story, Crawford has long discussions with her family in which she details where she’s headed and why she’s heading there. She wrote:

I have four children – Nat, aged 14, Frankie, Madeleine, aged 10, and seven-year-old Flo – and a very long-suffering partner, Richard, who is also a journalist. Because of this, there is grudging acceptance in our house that I have to go to places most people would never dream of going, nor ever want to.

There are risks. There are dangers.

A remarkable segment from yesterday shows Crawford in a ride-along with Libyan rebels as they stormed Tripoli — a scoop that is winning her plaudits around the Internet. There are many highlights of this clip, including the chaos around Crawford, the history unfolding on camera and a bumpy ride in a pickup truck.

What tops them all is Crawford’s explanation of those risks and dangers that worry her family. They were minimal, she said, and she used her protective gear to make the point:

I’m only wearing this helmet and the bulletproof vest not because I feel in any danger whatsoever but because there are so many bullets flying around as they’re firing off into the air these celebratory volleys of shots and I don’t want any of them landing on me — and that’s the only reason I’m wearing it.

Count those words as a compelling reason why you want a mother of four on your roving war-zone staff. In accounting for her helmet, Crawford not only assures us and her loved ones that she’s all right, she also sheds light on just how little resistance rebel fighters have encountered in their final thrust to unseat Moammar Gaddafi.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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