Reporters on the Job

WATER ON HER MIND: Reporter Diana Coulter hadn't given much thought to the relationship between water and the Canadian character before doing today's story (page 7). But as a Canadian, the process awakened a fount of H2O feelings. "I hadn't realized how much of our lives, particularly our recreational lives, revolves around water," she says. Like many Canadians, Diana's family has spent every summer (going back four generations) at a cottage near Georgian Bay. "It gives us a strange affinity and an attitude about exporting water that we don't have toward oil and gas," she says. For readers with a thirst for more about this aquatic possessiveness, check out a Canadian government website: www.ec.gc.ca/water/.

Night and Day: Today's story on Taiwan's culture of ambiguity (page 1) underscored the difference, for the Monitor's Robert Marquand, between reporting in Beijing and Taipei. "In Beijing, no professional or official will talk about politics without official clearance, which can take weeks to arrange. Just mentioning that I'm a reporter can send low-level officials into a panic," says Bob.

But in Taipei, a single phone call to the ministry of information resulted in a list of a dozen appointments with top officials and scholars a day later. "At the bottom of the list," says Bob, "was a single question: 'Is this enough?' "

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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