Reporters on the Job

Turning the Tables: The reporting trip that correspondent Simon Montlake and staff photographer Andy Nelson took to a school on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, was no secret, says Simon. "The staff actually put out a welcome sign in Thai for us – but it wasn't just the faculty that were watching us," he says.

For much of the day, they were shadowed by student reporters with video cameras. Even their lunch stop seemed worthy of coverage. "The school and its antiviolence program was our story," says Simon. "Our visit became their story!"

The reporters are part of a program that allows students to produce their own public service spots. The best get aired on local TV. "We sat down with their producers, who showed a spot about how conflicts start between students. Plan International, an nongovernmental organization, is helping students in six countries in Asia to use cartoons, multimedia, and theater to discuss violence in schools. The videos were nicely put together on a laptop – another example of how tools of the media are spreading fast in the hands of young learners."

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Silent Treatment: Sharing an elevator with Richard Barnbrook can be interesting, says contributor Ben Quinn. As the leader of the far-right British National Party in the London Assembly, Mr. Barnbrook is persona non grata.

"Members of other mainstream political parties studiously avoid eye contact, while attempts by Mr. Barnbrook to initiate conversation are rebuffed," Ben says. "The polite, smartly dressed, and well-spoken BNP politician appears to be a million miles away from the 'Nazi' jibes that he and his colleagues sustain on a regular basis. I've met a range of individuals who have been on the political extremes – ranging from Irish Republican militants to racist skin-heads," says Ben. "In the case of the BNP, the stereotypical image many people might have of the far right is slightly at odds with meeting one of its leaders in the flesh."

– Amelia Newcomb

Deputy World editor

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