Reporters on the Job

NO LONGER A SKEPTIC: Journalists are trained to be suspicious of vast conspiracies, cases that look airtight, and correspondences that seem to indicate an individual or small group of individuals are behind everything that happens. While Dan Murphy was reporting this series on the Bali bombings, he was skeptical. "I kept wondering, 'maybe this is being dressed up, all of these bombings are being tied together when they shouldn't be.' "

But in the course of his reporting, he met a lawyer representing one of the alleged bombers. She allowed him to see the police documents and depositions being used in the case. "It was a treasure trove of information on Samudra [allegedly the Bali bombing field commander] and his methods. Delving deeply into the documents around Samudra's career - the people he knew, the men he met with before the Christmas 2000 bombings, his training abroad, his ideological mentors - brought me to the same conclusion as the Indonesian investigators," says Dan.

NO POTTER MANIAC: Reporter Mark Rice-Oxley confesses that he's not been swept up in Harry Potter mania. He has "skimmed" one book, but "it's just not my cup of tea. I'm not a big J.R. Tolkien fan either." To add insult to blasphemy, Mark says that he thinks the craze will have run its course by the time his young sons are old enough to read, and he'll escape having to read the series to them. "I admire J.K. Rowling for what she's accomplished. She reinvigorated the genre of children's fiction. But I don't think they'll be teaching it in English Lit class when my boys get there."

David Clark Scott
World editor

Follow up on a Monitor story

BECKHAM SOLD: The Manchester United soccer star, David Beckham, was sold Tuesday to Real Madrid for 35 million euros ($41.35 million). As reported on June 6, "European soccer trips over bad economics," his transfer capped weeks of speculation, and received front-page and back-page treatment in all the British papers.

At left, fans gathered at the Tokyo airport Wednesday. In the off season, Beckham is touring Asia.

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