Reporters on the Job
• Killed in Russia: Last Friday's murder of Paul Khlebnikov, the American editor of Forbes Magazine's Russian edition, has shocked and shaken the community of foreign journalists (this page). "It's not unusual for Russian journalists to be killed. There have been five this year. They often run afoul of local businesses or authorities. But foreign reporters, until now, have felt exempt from those attacks," says correspondent Fred Weir.
Fred didn't know Paul beyond rubbing shoulders at press conferences, but he admired his work. "His book, 'The Godfather of the Kremlin,' is one of the most eye-opening accounts of Russia in the 1990s, and I lived here through it myself. He was one of the best business journalists here," says Fred. "He specialized into getting into the mechanics of how Russian businessmen made their wealth. That's dangerous ground in Russia. But he was fearless about it, and had been doing it for a long time. This will have a chilling effect on the whole journalistic community," says Fred.
• Choose Your Guide with Care: Trying to find a safe way to visit and report in Fallujah, staff writer Dan Murphy approached a Sunni Imam in Baghdad who frequently visits the insurgent-controlled city (page 1). He told Dan that something could be arranged "and that you'll be at least as safe as I am." But as the two talked, Dan started to get worried. The Imam praised the routine murder of "spies" in Fallujah, and said the beheading of a South Korean translator who worked for a US contractor was deserved. He finished by telling Dan: "Don't worry - as long as we're convinced you're not working with the Americans, there won't be any problems." Dan decided to pass on the trip. "It's not impossible for Western reporters to go to Fallujah safely," he says. "But you really need a guide that you can trust. Someone that praises beheadings probably isn't that guy."
David Clark Scott