Live

Watch CBSN Live

"It's so important to have that contrast"

Clarissa Ward is a foreign correspondent for CBS News based in London. She also contributes to "60 Minutes." Ward joined CBS News in 2011.

Ward is best known for her work in Syria, for which she was won two Emmy Awards, a duPont-Columbia award and a Peabody, among others. She was one of the first journalists to report from inside Syria in 2011 and has been to the country numerous times to report on the civil war there since.

Questions for Clarissa Ward? Join her for a chat on the CBS This Morning Facebook page, Monday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

American Jihadist on why he's fighting against the West

In October of 2014, Ward made the dangerous journey into Syria to meet with two Western jihadis, an American and a former Dutch soldier, who joined in the fight against the Syrian government. She was the first reporter to sit down with an American fighter inside Syria.

Ward says the interviews took months to plan. "You can't go anywhere until you have developed some kind of agreement or mutual trust with the subjects you are interviewing," she said. "It took many months of regular contact and conversations to get to a stage where both sides felt comfortable" with the meeting.

Ward says she's thankful for the support of her family and friends, who understand why she does what she does, and she stresses the importance of at least trying to maintain some degree of work-life balance.

"Sometimes it's easy to get bogged down when you are covering conflict," she said. "But it's so important to have that contrast, to have that levity and that laughter and that balance. Otherwise, you simply can't do this job for a long time."