Reporters on the Job

ALWAYS FIGHT ON A FULL STOMACH: Breakfast and Kurdish front lines seem to go together, says correspondent Scott Peterson (Page 1). After a briefing about the battle he was about to visit in northern Iraq, a Kurdish commander turned to Scott and said: "Breakfast is ready." Scott replied: "What about the war?"

He then remembered this wasn't the first time that war had waited for boiled eggs, bread, cheese, and sweet tea. While they ate, Scott told the commander of when he first arrived in Kurdistan in 1991, walking illegally overnight from Turkey, to report on the Kurdish uprising.

"The 'peshmerga' [Kurdish fighters] did the exact same thing," Scott says. "We arrived safely to meet a group of fighters in the mountains. But instead of marching off to the front, they sat us down and gave us breakfast: boiled eggs, bread, cheese, and sweet tea."

TAKE A CUE, JAMES BOND: Access to Very Important People can be a challenge under the best of circumstances. But at the NATO summit in Prague, reporter Arie Farnam, who contributed to today's NATO coverage (page 1), found the event taxed more than a few journalists' creativity.

The problem: the Congress Center, where the event took place, sits atop a steep hill and a maze of twisting streets. Some strategic road barriers and restricted public transport were all it took to keep protesters - and journalists - at bay.

"A week before the summit, journalists were meeting in cafes, hashing out methods of getting into position to hear or see or photograph a moment," Arie says.

Prague entrepreneurs saw the opportunity. "The original packet of press handouts contained ads for rugged 'frontline' walkie-talkies for unit coordination," Arie says. How did she outfit herself for action? "Good boots, waterproof yet chic clothing - and a wet towel in case of tear gas."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor

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