Reporters on the Job

PARAMILITARY PERSISTeNCE: To talk to the Macedonian paramilitary soldiers in today's story (page 1), reporter Elizabeth Rubin basically went on a hunting trip. A source suggested she check certain villages east of Tetovo. Sure enough, she and her interpreter came across a road checkpoint manned by the paramilitary troops. But getting an interview wasn't going to be easy. "They started arguing among themselves about whether they should talk to us. Her interpreter overheard one guy say in exasperation: "We're starting to behave like typical paramilitaries - we have to talk to reporters." Finally, they turned Elizabeth away. She came back a few days later, only to be met by one guy who "cocked his gun and yelled at us to get permission from the commander." But some locals arrived and her interpreter told them: "If you don't let people talk to journalists, they'll use their imaginations and write anyway." That did it. Elizabeth and her interpreter were escorted to the paramilitary commander.

NO SECOND GUESSING: Reporter Ann Cadwallader feels a sense of relief now that the tensions in North Belfast have eased somewhat (page 1). She also is personally struck by how little journalists and the public see of the anguish that Catholic parents are going through there. "We only see the parents rushing their children past the police for a few moments each day. But some of these children and parents are deeply affected by this," says Ann. She's also annoyed at those who question the Catholic parents' motives. "They've been at the frontline of this violence for 30 years. I don't know what I would do. But what is the greater form of abuse? To do what they're doing, or take the detour around the protesters, and teaching their children to be ashamed of who they are by sneaking in the tradesman's [service] entrance of the school?"

- David Clark Scott

World Editor

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