Today's Story Line

There was no hearts-and-minds campaign. Jakarta used brute force to hold onto East Timor and failed. As it tries to keep other restive provinces from following suit, what lesson will it learn?

How do you inform the public about violent events without sensationalizing and contributing to more violence? The Colombian media is tackling this question head on.

From the fractured island of Taiwan, a letter from a school teacher living in a parking lot.

- David Clark Scott, World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB *COLOMBIAN RULES: Colombian journalists aren't the only ones who face moral dilemmas. Foreign correspondents confront similar challenges, too. A few months ago, reporter Tim Pratt was interviewing a scientist about the manufacture of a pharmaceutical drug sold in the US. The scientist's son accused Tim of putting his father's life in danger. Once it became public that the scientist was making money on the project, he would be targeted by guerrillas. To intimidate Tim, the son had him investigated by the Colombian federal police. Tim didn't back off. Two weeks after the story appeared, the scientist was kidnapped. "I was doing my job, investigating legitimate concerns," says Tim. "Did I get him kidnapped? Journalism here is not simple, nor does it follow the same rules as elsewhere." The father was later released unharmed.

*STICK WITH THE LOCALS: A couple of nights ago the Monitor's Cameron Barr was standing near a university campus in Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, watching a riot. At one point, a protester began throwing rocks at police from a spot near 20 or so Indonesian journalists. The reporters quickly shouted at the student to move back into the street - alongside other protesters - if he wanted to throw rocks. That way the police wouldn't charge where the media were standing.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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