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Reporters on the Job

April 9, 2008

The world's largest photo album, measuring about 13 feet by 10 feet and weighing about 2,200 lbs., was unveiled in Hanoi, Vietnam, on April 8.

Chitose Suzuki/AP

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Heart and Head: Correspondent Kelly Hearn says that he's well aware that, as a journalist, he has to keep emotion away from the keyboard. But, he says, it's sometimes the hardest part of the job.

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"Last week, as oil executives were in Washington defending profits and salaries, I was near Ecuador's jungle border with Colombia reporting this story," he says. "I met a young woman from an extremely poor Ecuadorean family who had grown up in a shack near an oil well whose toxic byproducts were sloppily discarded. She, like others I met, is sick. I saw polluted streams and 'remediated' pits where oil is still found just inches below the ground. I have also met many decent people who work for oil companies. This story is complicated and it raises hard questions about those who have so much and those who seem powerless to fight back."

Political Ads in Nepal: Apart from the usual electoral assemblies and door-to-door campaigns, Nepal's political parties chose for the first time to use the media for their campaigns, says correspondent Bikash Sangraula (see story). "Nepalese, who are not used to seeing the logos of political parties on national dailies, were surprised on Sunday and Monday to see quarter-page advertisements of the Maoists, CPN-UML and Nepali Congress," he says.

Apart from newspapers, the parties have also used the radio stations and televisions to reach out to the people. Maoist print ads show Prachanda, with his habitual neatly combed hair and sunglasses, waving, with a smile on his face. Their slogan is: We supported other parties many times, let's support the Maoists this time.

– Amelia Newcomb

Deputy World editor

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