Reporters on the Job
IT'S WHO YOU KNOW: One of the challenges in reporting today's story about Germany's counterterrorism efforts (this page) was finding people willing to talk. In Hamburg, where the media have combed the city since Sept. 11, "the Arabic and Islamic community has turned inward and, even when I could find the needed individuals, they refused to talk," says reporter Arie Farnam.
So she tried another tack. Arie knew Hamburg had one of the strongest left-wing movements in Germany. "Even contacting these non-Islamic groups and persuading them to speak to an American journalist is not easy, but I had an old Ukrainian contact that I thought might help," she says. The European network of antiglobalist and anarchist organizations is at least as extensive as that of Islamic groups. With her initial contact, she was able to move from person to person across Europe to Hamburg and eventually into the Hafenstrasse, a "law-free zone" controlled by left-wing groups that the German security services have been unsuccessfully trying to infiltrate for years.
"After I met with the activists and heard their views of the proposed security package, one of them told me, 'We would never normally talk to the outside press, but you aren't really an outsider if you know one of our friends somewhere else.' "
SETTLEMENT TONGUES: According to old-timers, there once was a time when pioneering in Israel was associated with Jews working the land and reviving the ancient tongue, Hebrew. That is not the case in the Jordan Valley settlement of Tomer (page 1). "I found that the most important language - especially during the midday hours - is Thai," says reporter Ben Lynfield. "The wealthier residents of the settlement employ Thai housekeepers for their villas. And Thai agricultural workers toil in the fields, having in recent years replaced Palestinians, who were perceived as a security threat."
- David Clark Scott
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