Reporters on the Job
• Greeted in Gaza with Song: When correspondent Rafael Frankel walked into the girls' summer camp on the beach in Gaza City, Gaza, while reporting on a United Nations program for kids there, dozens of voices broke into song. It was a welcome cheer for visitors, he says, and not the sort of greeting reporters are used to while working in the often hostile coastal strip. The girls even presented him with a tissue-paper flower resting a jar filled with water.
At another camp site, this one coed, in Al-Shati Refugee camp, the younger boys showed off their moves for Rafael on the trampoline, each trying to outdo the other in an attempt to get their picture taken for the newspaper.
When he asked them what they liked best about the program run by the UN, the first answer from both the boys and girls had nothing to do with politics. "They just said it was fun," Rafael says.
"I thought about what the conversation might be like at home that night with their parents, compared to the kids who go to summer camps run by Hamas," he says. " 'Honey, what did you do at camp today?' Oh, I played on the trampoline," he says.
After a day spent at the Hamas camps, he says, the kids could very well say, "Oh, I learned how to shoot an Israeli."
• Don't Overfill the Kettle: Some stories hit close to home. London correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley, like other Britons watching oil prices rise, dreads the soft thud of another letter from the utility companies landing on his doormat (see story). Four times already this year rates have gone up. The household energy bills have roughly doubled in the last five years. But the utility company also "keeps sending me tips for reducing energy usage," says Mark. "Things like don't overfill your tea kettle, turn off lights in empty rooms, and switch off appliances at the mains. One company boss even said people should pull on an extra sweater instead of turning up the heating."
– David Clark Scott