Perspectives

Tania Rashid, Freelance Journalist, Targets Human Rights and Women’s Issues


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Tania Rashid views storytelling focusing on human rights and women’s issues through her own personal lens of experiences.
Her life encounters have molded her into the journalist and filmmaker that she is – tracking down stories of the enslaved, the impoverished, and women who are abused, raped, trafficked and discounted by various societies.
As a young girl, Rashid grew up in Saudi Arabia where she witnessed her Bangladesh mother be deprived of even the most basic rights – such as the right to drive or the right to an education.
She then moved back to her ancestral home in Bangladesh where she found rampant governmental corruption, political instability and violence.
From there, her family moved to the United States and settled in Utah where she was the “only brown, Muslim girl in my class, in a community of Caucasian Mormons.”
Rashid learned first-hand what it felt like to be “different” and to be the target of racism, she says.
Her background in the Middle East and South Asia combined with her being the subject of racism in Utah, led her to a degree in history and global studies at UCLA in 2007. She also did an internship with ABC’s “Nightline.”
Upon graduation, she worked for Al Gore’s global “Current TV Network” for three years watching other female journalist role-models. She learned that she had a unique perspective but wanted to learn more about journalism and filmmaking.
With encouragement from other women journalists, Rashid enrolled at Columbia University. Although she felt that she had to go the extra mile to prove herself to her professors, she received her master’s degree in broadcast journalism and documentary filmmaking.
“I learned to shoot, edit, and produce my own stories,” she says. “I wanted to be a one-woman shop to tell stories the way I wanted them to be told.”
To date, she has covered major breaking news events globally plus has delved deeply into dark issues such as sex trafficking in Bangladesh and the plight of refugees.
Rashid’s work can often be seen on the PBS NewsHour, Al Jazeera English, CNN International and VICE News. She recently visited Ohio University for the Schuneman Symposium on New Media and Photojournalism.