Reporters on the Job

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    Doing it All: A woman didn't let a little sports competition get in the way of text messaging as she twirled her hula hoop at a community event in Shanghai Dec. 13.
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Anarchist vs. Journalist: Hostility toward journalists has been on the rise in Greece – making it increasingly difficult for reporters to cover the story, says correspondent Nicole Itano. "Anarchist groups have often targeted journalists, whom they see as part of the establishment," she says.

Photographers and cameramen bear the brunt of their anger because they can't blend into the crowd. Over the past few days, several have been seriously beaten by protesters or had their equipment smashed.

"The protesters aren't targeting ordinary people, but police and journalists have become fair targets," says Nicole. "As a reporter, in some ways it feels like reporting from a war zone, even though most of the violence is directly at property. But you constantly have to worry about what side of the line you're on -- if you're with the protesters, they can turn on you. If you're with police, you're in the line of fire from rocks and Molotov cocktails."

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No Time for Beauty: Correspondent Simon Montlake visited a working-class neighborhood in Bangkok to gauge reactions to Thailand's political turmoil. "We wound up at an outdoor restaurant talking to a fervent antigovernment activist, a coffee vendor who had joined the airport protest. She believed wholly in her cause. My Thai interpreter had heard that this woman had driven away customers by blaring pro-PAD TV broadcasts."

After Simon spoke to her, they crossed the road to a beauty salon and met the owner. "It was quiet – and air-conditioned – inside the salon, and we sat and talked awhile," says Simon. Normally, he would be much busier, he explained – 20 to 30 customers a day. But since the turmoil, business has been way down. It wasn't fear of violence or economic woes, he told Simon. "People don't feel the need for beauty," he sighed.

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor

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