Skiba, Katherine M.
Skiba, Katherine M.
Married. Education: Marquette University, B.A.; attended Harvard University, 1990-91.
Writer, journalist, photographer. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI, reporter, 1982—, Washington correspondent, 2000—; has covered stories in the United States, Iraq (as an embedded journalist), Kuwait, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Bosnia, Kosovo, England, Germany, France, Belgium, and Mexico; has taught at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI; lectures frequently on journalism at various universities; has appeared on nightly news programs including The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.
National Press Club, Harvard Club of Washington.
Outstanding Graduate in Journalism, Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists; Nieman Fellow, Harvard University, 1990-91; By-line Award for career achievement, Marquette University, 2001; Vivian Awards, for service to the National Press Club, for four consecutive years.
Sister in the Band of Brothers: Embedded with the 101st Airborne in Iraq, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2005.
Contributor to various periodicals, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nieman Reports, and Die Zeit.
Katherine M. Skiba is a writer and journalist. She attended Marquette University as an undergraduate, then continued her education at Harvard University where she held one of twelve Nieman fellowships that were given to American students that year. Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists, later pronounced her an Outstanding Graduate in Journalism. In 1982, Skiba joined the staff at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and in 2000 became a Washington correspondent for that newspaper. Over the course of her career, she has reported from a wide range of exotic locations, including Kuwait, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Bosnia, Kosovo, England, Germany, France, Belgium, and Mexico, and was one of a small number of journalists, and the only woman at the time, to be embedded with the military in Iraq to report on the war there. She has covered the events of September 11, 2001, presidential campaigns, conventions, elections, and inaugurations, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the funeral of Diana, the Princess of Wales. In addition to working for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, she has contributed to other periodicals, such as the Nieman Reports and the German publication Die Zeit. She has won a number of awards for her work, including the Vivian Award, for service to the National Press Club, four years in a row, and more than twenty awards for various news stories. She has taught classes in news writing at Marquette University, and presented lectures on the subject of journalism in general as well as specific stories she has reported at universities across the country.
Skiba is also the author of Sister in the Band of Brothers: Embedded with the 101st Airborne in Iraq, which recounts her experiences reporting on the Iraq war from within the country's war zone. As a civilian and a woman, she counted herself fortunate to get the opportunity to report from such a dangerous and precari- ous position, and she appreciated the opportunity despite being disappointed that she was not given quite the access to information that she was led to believe she would prior to her arrival. In an interview posted on her home page, Skiba explains what she believes to be her own personal perspective on the war: "A lot of men I know immersed themselves in war books and movies in their youth, while my interest in the military developed only during the course of my professional work. Perhaps I saw things less through the prism of all wars past, and more simply from the heart." The 101st Airborne, with whom Skiba traveled, is perhaps best known for their heroism during World War II, a time immortalized in the HBO drama, Band of Brothers. Skiba had the opportunity to bond with a number of the troops in the group, which made it all the more difficult to know that sixty of the individuals in the 101st Airborne never made it out of Iraq. The book tells of the eight weeks that Skiba spent in Iraq toward the beginning of the war, her experiences there, and the way they changed her once she finally returned home. Wayne H. Bowen, writing for the Military Review, remarked that "Skiba writes with compassion and empathizes with the soldiers she encounters, but without becoming an uncritical booster for the war. Skiba's intimate account is a valuable contribution to the growing literature on Operation Iraqi Freedom." In a contribution for Booklist, reviewer Carol Haggas commented of the book that "Skiba's candid, self-deprecating anecdotes artfully balance this no-holds-barred account of war's grim reality." Alissa J. Rubin, writing for the Nieman Reports, opined that "the most compelling aspect of her book is her vivid, ‘you are there’ description of life with the 159th Aviation Brigade, a helicopter unit within the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Skiba, Katherine M., Sister in the Band of Brothers: Embedded with the 101st Airborne in Iraq, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2005.
Booklist, March 1, 2005, Carol Haggas, review of Sister in the Band of Brothers, p. 1135.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, October 1, 2005, L. Loomis, review of Sister in the Band of Brothers, p. 285.
Editor & Publisher, May 1, 2005, "A Woman in Wartime."
Historian, spring, 2007, D'Ann Campbell, review of Sister in the Band of Brothers, p. 96.
Infantry Magazine, January 1, 2007, Tracy Raines, review of Sister in the Band of Brothers
Military Review, March 1, 2006, Wayne H. Bowen, review of Sister in the Band of Brothers.
Nieman Reports, summer, 2005, Alissa J. Rubin, "Getting an Up-Close View of the Military in Iraq," p. 59.
Kansas University Press,http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/ (May 28, 2008), author profile.
Katherine Skiba Home Page,http://www.katherinemskiba.com (May 28, 2008).