This week, Martha Raddatz, who is ABC News’ Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, answers the questions that you submitted on the “This Week” Facebook page about her long career as a journalist.
1) Travis Stinger Williams: You are awesome! Do you recognize your own awesomeness?
Raddatz: “I do not consider myself remotely awesome! But my job at ABC News is pretty awesome and so are the people I meet and the places I travel. One of the things I don’t do at home is talk a lot about myself or what I do. Even though my kids are both grown now, I would much rather hear about what they are doing than what I have done. It helps keep me grounded. I suspect you would find me pretty down-to-earth despite all the trappings of TV career! But, your ‘awesome’ comments will secretly make my day! So thanks!”
Raddatz: “I honestly feel that whatever success I have had is due to simple hard work, drive and the great opportunities I have had at ABC News. I am not just trying to butter up my employers. It takes commitment from ABC to cover the things I have covered. I don’t think being a woman has hurt me in any way. You have to just earn the respect of those you cover and keep working, working, working. Oh, and a sense of humor helps if you find yourself in awkward situations out in the field or in a fighter jet!”
3) Joel Sosa: What [is] the most interesting interview that you [have conducted]? Second, do you still remember your very first interview?
Raddatz: “I think one of the most interesting days was interviewing President Bush in Baghdad right after he got two shoes hurled at him. And I interviewed a group of soldiers right after a huge battle in 2004 in Iraq that was as profound as anything I have done. I don’t remember the first interview, but I remember the first time I saw something truly awful on an international scale. I went to Ethiopia to cover the famine in the mid-eighties. The scope of that tragedy, and what we saw, was mind-numbing. Women were trying to give me their babies because they were starving. They literally were running after our truck holding out their infants, hoping we would take them out of that country. We couldn’t, of course. Heartbreaking.”
4) Rick Gibbs: Martha, what military conflict you have covered upset you the most?
Raddatz: “They are all powerful experiences, but my experiences in Iraq were most upsetting. I spent the day in a combat support hospital where I saw a young soldier whose legs had been blown off, and also an Iraqi child who died before our eyes. I have also seen the aftermath of suicide bombings in the Middle East that I will never forget, and the injured and dead in Afghanistan. It stays with me. It always will.”
5) Connie Policriti: How do you stay so focused when traveling the world so often? Great job.
Raddatz: “Thank you! I have a travel routine. It is easier for me to pack to go to Afghanistan than it is to California. I swear I know every flight attendant that travels on international flights. The hours are horrendous when we are overseas. We work all day (an especially early start if I am with the military) and then when most people over there are just getting up, it is time to start writing a story for World News. Thank goodness for caffeine and red licorice and chocolate.”
Editor’s Note: Questions have been edited for clarity and shortened in some cases.
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