Reporters on the Job
NO ENTRY Monitor correspondent Cameron Barr had to circumnavigate Jenin for his story today on Israel's invasion of the Palestinian town and its refugee camp (page one). Rebuffed by Israeli soldiers north of the town, he and three fellow journalists set out to find an alternate entry. On the way, they ran into a UN/Red Cross convoy, and continued with them, but the party ran into long delays at another checkpoint. Cameron and the other journalists set off again on their own. Wearing heavy flak jackets and toting gear, they walked across fields for half an hour, admiring the yellow buttercups and purple thistles. "Just outside the next village we found a taxi that drove us to Burqin, a village overlooking Jenin, where a crew from Reuters [news agency] told us they'd just fled Jenin 20 minutes earlier because the Israelis were arresting journalists who made it in. We went up to the Burqin lookout point, did interviews in Burqin and another village, and left."
BUMPY RIDE: While reporting on Mozambique's decade-long transition to peace (page 8), correspondent Nicole Itano and Monitor photographer Melanie Freeman discovered that the country's road system, almost destroyed by 16 years of civil war, remains a repair work in progress. Everyone in Mozambique told them that the road between the coastal city of Beira and the town of Chimoio was wonderful. By African standards, it was, except for a five-mile stretch where there were more potholes than road. Since it was raining, there was no way to tell how deep the potholes were. "I just crossed my fingers and drove through," says Nicole. They were shocked, on the sunny drive back, to discover how bad that stretch of road really was. "I heard stories later about how locals made money guiding people through that section during raining periods," Nicole says.