Reporters on the Job

A HARD STORY TO WITNESS: Reporter Chris Morris has witnessed the horrors of human conflict in Sri Lanka, Kashmir, and the Middle East. But talking to civilian hunger strikers for today's story about prison conditions in Turkey (page 7) was particularly difficult. Media access to the prisons has been denied by the government. So he, like others covering the story, visited a striking 22-year-old girl whose sister had recently starved herself to death. "You're torn between feeling admiration for her dedication, a sense of intruding on a private affair, and wondering, 'What on earth is this girl doing throwing her life away?' "

A WHIFF OF DISSENT: While covering the Summit of the Americas meeting in Quebec this weekend (this page), the Monitor's Ruth Walker checked in on the skirmishes between police and demonstrators on a couple of occasions. She didn't pack a gas mask. But like some of the protesters, she improvised to mitigate the effects of the tear gas being used to keep protesters at bay. She brought a couple of wash cloths and a bottle of local water, which had been included in the summit press kit for accredited journalists. "It wasn't as effective as a gas mask, but it helped," she says.

FOREIGN BIAS FADING: Before the Monitor's Ilene Prusher took up her assignment in Tokyo, she read about kisha clubs. Politicians and corporate officials would give press conferences and briefings at these private clubs, which were open only to Japanese journalists. So, Ilene found it notable that the leading Liberal Democratic Party candidate for prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi (page 1), first publicly announced his intentions at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. "It either shows either how much Japan has changed or how much of a political maverick Koizumi is," says Ilene.

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