Reporters on the Job

FEELING A FARMER'S PAIN: Sometimes it's relatively easy to stay detached from what you witness as a journalist. But not this time. While reporting today's piece about the debate over how to cope with Europe's foot-and-mouth outbreak (page 1), the Monitor's Peter Ford rang his brother, who manages an agricultural estate in southwest England. He asked him how local farmers there felt about vaccination versus culling. "I wouldn't try to talk to anyone today," his brother said. Foot-and-mouth had been declared on three estate farms earlier in the week: As a precaution the vets were shooting cattle on seven other nearby farms even as Peter spoke to his brother. One of them belonged to Arthur Pullen, an organic farmer Peter interviewed two years ago while doing a story about the rise of organic farming in Europe. "He was immensely proud of his dairy herd," Peter recalls. "I could not get his face out of my mind. As I wrote my story today, his life's work was being destroyed."

POSTERS AND HISTORY LESSONS: The Monitor's Scott Peterson noticed the posters on the way to a workout - one of his favorite off-hours activities in Belgrade is to climb the walls of the ancient Kalamengen fortress. The posters, showing refugees fleeing Serb troops, weren't around during his last trip to Yugoslavia's capital (this page). But he didn't think much about it, initially. Then, a friend told him a story about how his grandmother, a Slobodan Milosevic supporter, had visited Sarajevo, a city under siege by Serbs in the early '90s. She returned disturbed by the tales she heard and the destruction she saw. "She, like many Serbs, had only seen what the state television had wanted her to see of Milosevic's wars. Like the grandmother's experience, the posters are a sign of how Serbs are just now coming to terms with what their former president did in the name of Serb nationalism," says Scott.

Let us hear from you.

Mail to: One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 via e-mail: world@csmonitor.com

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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