Reporters on the Job

THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS: Timing and connections can be crucial for a journalist. Both came into play during today's story about the political pact in Macedonia (this page). First, the connection. The story was moving quickly, and reporter Arie Farnam couldn't wait to go through the official press spokesman to arrange for an interview. "A friend gave me the name of a member of parliament who is a good friend of Azis Polozhani, the vice president of the Party of Democratic Prosperity (PDP)," she says. The PDP, aligned with the ethnic-Albanian rebels, was key to a "unity" government and avoiding a civil war. "This is a small country. If you know the right people, you can get to them," says Arie. The timing? Arie and a photographer arrived at the office of the PDP just minutes before the parliamentary vote. "As we sat in the outer office, we could hear this big argument going on. And then Mr. Polozhani emerged with a big smile," she says.

SOLDIERING ON: Scott Baldauf had his family with him during his recent reporting trip to Nepal. Typically, they don't accompany him when he does interviews. But for logistical reasons, his wife and 18-month-old daughter were also at his interview with Capt. Man Bahadur Gurung, an ex-Gurkha soldier (page 7). "It was the first time I'd ever had them with me, and I was a little concerned that my daughter, the ever-talkative Sanaya, might prove a little distracting," says Scott.

Instead, it was Captain Gurung, the deputy mayor of Pokhara, who kept getting distracted. War story after war story was interrupted by an endless string of constituents seeking signatures and stamps and approvals from Capt. Gurung. Through it all, says Scott, Sanaya was a good soldier. "As we left, she even shook the captain's hand."

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