CNN Camerawoman: "I Never Saw Myself As A Daredevil"

I highly recommend watching these snippets of Fearless: The Margaret Moth Story, about the CNN camerawoman who was hit by a sniper's bullet in Sarajevo and almost died.

Margaret was an interesting character before she started working for CNN: She was born Margaret Wilson, but changed her name because, she explains, in every class she was in, "there were at least three Margarets" and "there were always other Margaret Wilsons." She continues:

"One day thought, you know, women, we inherit our father's names, then you get married and have a husband's name. I thought, well why should I have to live with my father's name? Why can't I have my own name?"


She chose "Moth" after a Tiger Moth — a plane she used to skydive out of. Margaret was the first "cameraman who was a woman" in Australia and New Zealand. Various friends and colleagues agree: She was fearless, unafraid to get as close to the story as possible, even if that meant getting close to armed militia men. CNN's Christiane Amanpour calls her a "larger than life character" who slept with her combat boots on.

In July 1992, Margaret was in Sarajevo when she was wounded by sniper fire — shot in the face. When she was in surgery, doctors said that even if she did survive, her life would be "very different" due to the injuries to her face and throat. "It felt like my face was falling off," Margaret recalls of the shooting. "I remember… I was trying to hold it on."

After more than a dozen surgeries to rebuild her jaw and the base of her tongue, Margaret returned to the war zone in Sarajevo in 1994. Wearing a bullet-proof vest.

Former CNN President Tom Johnson says he was reluctant and worried about sending Margaret back out. But, he explains: "I could just see her getting shot again, and all the cries — why in hell did Johnson and CNN permit her to go? Well it wasn't a permit deal: Margaret was determined to go."


Today, Margaret says: "I think some people are really brave people. Some people are cowards. Most of us sort of fit somewhere in between, and I guess I just think of myself like that."


She also says: "People say, 'Ah, people like you — you have a death wish. And it used to make me so angry. I thought, don't you dare insinuate I have a death wish. I don't know anyone who's enjoyed life more or values my life more."

Two and a half years ago, Margaret was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She told a colleague: "If I had had an uneventful life, I would be in a panic."


This piece ends with Margaret saying: "To me, it's no different if I did in six weeks or in 20 years. I don't think it matters how long you live as long as you can say that I've gotten everything out of life." She is currently in a hospice.

Battle Of CNN Camerawoman [CNN]

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