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MARK LEFFINGWELL
CBS correspondent Lara Logan captivates CU-Boulder students, locals

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The room was silent as foreign correspondent Lara Logan detailed moments of her nearly 20-year journalism career in 45 minutes at the University of Colorado Tuesday night. 

Tales of dying children in Afghanistan and of brave soldiers in Iraq were just a few of the graphic experiences Logan described as she examined her more than 10 years working on battlefields. 

Stories of death and war were woven between slightly more lighthearted experiences — like meeting rock stars and pop-culture icons.

“I do them (stories) all the same way with the same amount of passion, but the funnier ones don’t mean as much in the end,” Logan said.

Stories filled nearly every second of the 45-minute discussion as her enthusiastic voice proved the passion that she claimed early on. 

She later joked about her lengthy and energetic answers to audience questions: “I’m not at all passionate about these issues,” she said, sarcastically rolling her eyes. 
In February 2011, Logan was raped and beaten by a mob while reporting on the Egyptian Revolution as the CBS chief foreign correspondent.  Among her war stories, was only a brief mention of the attack.

“I thought if I screamed… surely someone would stop them or they would stop themselves,” Logan said. “But it was just the opposite.”

The event — hosted by CU’s Cultural Events Board — drew about 450 students, faculty, staff and Boulder residents eager to hear Logan’s personal stories about covering war zones and her experience as a leading female journalism in a male-dominated industry.

Logan acknowledged the challenges she faced, especially early on, as a young, female journalist. But she said it was her integrity and strength that kept her going.

Logan said it wasn’t the war zones or battlefields where she struggled most with her femininity, but in the newsrooms where bureaucracy created obstacles. But she said she didn’t let anything stand in her way.

“It’s the work that matters in the end,” Logan said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t the work that mattered more than anything else.”

Audience questions continued for almost an hour after Logan’s talk. The crowd booed as organizers interrupted the lines of people waiting to ask questions. A crowd of at least 50 stragglers crowded around her after the event asking questions and attentively listening to extra details she was willing to give.

CU freshman Ellie Gebhardt said she was “blown away” by Logan’s candid recounts of her personal experiences.

“She had a way of being respectful, but gave her opinion very freely,” Gebhardt said. “She was informed but not pompous.”

Gebhardt said as a journalism major she was encouraged, despite Logan’s frequent trials and sacrifices.

Gebhardt said she felt hopeful about her future in journalism, hanging on Logan’s early emphasis on the significant impact that stories can make on the world.

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