Reporters on the Job

SEEN IN THE RIGHT LIGHT: Monitor photographer Andy Nelson and writer Danna Harman spent high noon one day with a farmer in Lilongwe who was learning about "winter cropping" - growing corn in the traditionally idle time from July to November (pages 1, 12, 13). But the light was harsh, so Andy came back just before sunset. "I visited a field where a mother was working with eight children - four of her own, and four orphans," Andy says. The young boys weren't going to quit until the light was completely gone.

"They were the most adult-like kids that I have ever come across," Andy says. "They were very much about getting the work done that they needed to get done."

Most of the children Andy photographs in his work stop what they're doing and mug for the camera. Not these guys. Still, Andy took some digital portraits and showed them the results. At that point, they finally smiled and laughed.

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Despite the long hours of labor, this family was imbued with a sense of hope. "They were taking advantage of a resource that hadn't been utilized before," Andy notes. Only a few miles away, other people were in desperate situations. "It made me wish that I could distribute the water pumps they were using - and the know-how - all over."

VIEWS OF BIN LADEN: Cairo-based reporter Philip Smucker looks at Arab public reaction to news that Osama bin Laden may be alive (this page). He found a young Yemeni man who was excited. But when he ventured into a middle-class Egyptian neighborhood, "I found more bitterness toward bin Laden than I'd expected," Philip says.

One man criticized the Arab television news channel, Al Jazeera, for giving an Islamic extremist free publicity. By contrast, notes Philip, the mostly government-controlled Egyptian newspapers didn't even put the story about bin Laden's reemergence on Page 1.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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