Reporters on the Job

A BETTER VIEW: When the US and Britain began the air assault on Afghanistan Sunday, the Monitor's Scott Peterson was about 30 miles north of Kabul, in Northern Alliance-held territory. "We couldn't see much from our hamlet, so we asked if we could get a better view," says Scott. The alliance has kept journalists on a tight leash, he says, "erring on the side of caution." So he was surprised by how risky the trip became.

"We jumped into a convoy of six or seven cars. Normally, everyone keeps their lights off, but as we approached a narrow bridge, some turned their lights on." That alerted the Taliban to their presence. Scott and other journalists climbed to the lookout point, with a view toward Kabul. He could see the tracer fire of antiaircraft guns. Then the Taliban forces lobbed a shell toward the journalists.

"We scattered, sprinting back toward the cars," says Scott. Three shells were fired, the closest coming within 100 yards. Scott jumped into the back of a pickup truck. Asked: "You pay [for the ride]?" he agreed. Once out of range, the driver demanded $50 for the 10-minute lift. "Forget it," said Scott, angry at the outrageous fee. He pulled out a wad of Afghani bills. But the driver was insulted and turned away. Scott says that prices are soaring for all journalist services. The going rate for the drive from the Panjshir Valley to Feyzabad: $2,000, from $500 a week ago. "I'd rather walk," he says.

WAVING AN OSAMA FLAG: In the Pakistan border cities of Peshawar and Quetta, Osama bin Laden apparently has the edge in the battle for hearts and minds (page 1). Yesterday, foreign correspondents were locked in their hotel in Quetta "for their own safety," says reporter Phil Smucker. Pro-Taliban demonstrators tried to break down the hotel gates. In Peshawar, Phil ran into some journalists who had been beaten by demonstrators. "I bought an Osama T-shirt from a street vendor, in case things got ugly," Phil says. "I figured I could use it as a white flag."

- David Clark Scott

World editor

Let us hear from you.

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

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK