Reporters on the Job

HEATED INTERVIEWS: Chris Morris says the combination of tight security and heat made reporting today's story (page 1) rather combustible.

Even though Chris was there to report on the UN sanctions against Iraq, the Turks are very concerned about how the region - where they've waged a decades-long war against Kurdish rebels - is portrayed to the rest of the world. "Ubiquitous men in small white cars with large radios and bulges in their pockets follow you everywhere 'for your own safety,' " Chris says.

That, in addition to the heat - it was about 104 degrees F. - makes it a pretty tough place to work. The drivers - whose trips are no longer than 100 miles but take about a week - are often tense because of the long waits caused by the "highly regulated, unofficial traffic." One question from Chris nearly provoked a fight between two drivers. He asked how the sanctions were affecting them. "Because of the lurking presence of the Turks and the heat, the two nearly got to blows, discussing what actually should be said."

WITNESS TO HISTORY: Alex Todorovic first heard the news from a friend on his mobile phone, while waiting outside a government building where he had heard Serbia's Cabinet was in an emergency session (the government denied that it was). "Belgrade's B92 radio station just announced that Milosevic is on his way to The Hague," a friend told Alex.

"Of course!" he thought to himself. "It was an ingenious move - take Milosevic out of the prison in a delivery truck, while the domestic and international press were gathered at the government building waiting for the outcome of a meeting that supposedly wasn't taking place."

BUDDING JOURNALIST: Danna Harman's driver recently told her that because of watching and listening to her work, he is becoming more and more interested in journalism.

For today's story on ivory (page 10), Danna says they worked as a "tag team."Danna got him a notebook, and on the drive down to Naivasha, she explained a few basics like getting names. ("That's no problem for us Africans" he told Danna. "We always first approach one another, say our name and where we are from. We are not secretive like you white folks.")

While Danna interviewed the dog handlers, her driver had to go over to the kennels, which was no small thing, Danna says. "He's scared of dogs."

Afterward, he told Danna that he was getting serious about journalism, and brought her a story he had written about traditional weddings in his tribe - the Kisii. He asked Danna to give him some pointers, then told Danna that he wants to learn more about her digital camera.

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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