Reporters on the Job

• KEEPING UP WITH THE IVANOVS: While researching Russia's middle class (page 1), Margaret Mary Henry found that members of the budding bourgeoisie were very gracious in agreeing to interviews - but reluctant to invite her into their homes.

"I think it stems from a deep-seated fear of neighbor envy," says Margaret, who once lived in Russia. "When I moved to Moscow in 1992, a Russian friend told me the difference between Americans and Russians: 'When an American sees a neighbor who isn't doing well, he says, let's help him get on his feet. But when a Russian sees a neighbor who's prospering, he says, Let's bring him down.' "

During the collectivization of agriculture under Stalin, that kind of envy flared into violence, Margaret notes. The most productive farmers - the kulaks - were considered the bourgeoisie of the countryside. Their poor neighbors helped hound the kulaks out of their homes and steal their possessions. Many of the kulaks were killed or sent to prison camps.

"With the fear that at some point, either a jealous neighbor - or the state itself - might take everything away, it's no wonder that Russians tend to be secretive," Margaret says.

• GENTLY ON THE PLAIN: For her story on Northern Ireland's Bloody Sunday (this page), Anne Cadwallader attended several memorial services for the 14 Catholic civil rights marchers who died in 1972.

At the exact time that British soldiers opened fire 30 years ago, Catholic Bishop Edward Daly led prayers at a monument in a low part of town called "the Bogside."

As the bishop finished praying, an ice-cold rain poured down. "Hundreds scattered for cover, many running into Glenfada Park - the scene of some of the worst events of Bloody Sunday," says Anne. "How infinitely more merciful was the rain than the bullets 30 years ago."

Cultural snapshot
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