The First Female War Correspondents


The project looks into the role of female war correspondents in the Spanish Civil War. With the debate about gender equality and the women’s movements at the turn from the 19th to the 20th century, women had started to work as journalists – predominantly for women’s magazines, but also for daily newspapers such as the “Neue Freie Presse”. The Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939 was the first armed conflict in which women were able to take root as war correspondents. Thus, they broke with gender stereotypes – and effectively changed their profession.

Up till today, these women were only examined in the context of general studies of the international press in the Spanish Civil War. Moreover, there are books about or by some of them. However, we do not have a comprehensive account about the first female reporters at the front line, about their particular experiences and their significance. Even in the histories of female journalists, this chapter has been excluded so far. Our research intends to close this gap: At the crossroads between historical and communication sciences, we evaluate the entry of the first female war correspondents into journalism, their modes of operation, their roles and self-concepts – and contextualize the findings in the discourse within historical and communication sciences about the role of women in journalism.


OeNB Anniversary Fund (Project No. 16092)

CMC Staff

Matthias Karmasin (Project Leader)

Renée Lugschitz (Project Management)