Reporters on the Job

KURDISH CUT AND A KISS: The Monitor's Cameron Barr was taking the pulse of the Kurdish street for Monday's story, stopping at a teahouse and a barbershop in Sulaymaniyah (this page). The second stop was also prompted by grooming standards. He keeps his hair short - really short.

"I usually tell the barber two millimeters," he says. On Sunday, he sat down for his third Kurdish cut in two months. "Before the barber let me go, he asked my translator if I were British or American," Cameron says. "When he heard that I am American, he told the translator that he felt he should kiss me on the top of my head, which is a Kurdish way of expressing gratitude."

Cameron begged off the kiss, but had the barber go over his pate with the electric shears one more time, just to get the length right.

AWAY FROM THE FRONT LINES: The day that the Monitor's Ilene Prusher reported about the northern Iraq city of Mosul (page 7) was the same day that she went near a front line, where journalists were perched on a hilltop watching the action. "There's a temptation to be as close to the action as possible," says Ilene. "But after a while, that doesn't continually produce new ideas and approaches."

Later, while she was sitting in a guard house interviewing Kurdish paramilitary guards she saw a convoy of journalists' cars racing for the front lines.

"I don't want to sound critical of my colleagues; their assignments may be different from mine. But I have been so disturbed by the number of colleagues we've lost [including two European journalists killed near Baghdad Monday], I find it useful to remind myself that sometimes the safer place to report also produces better material."

David Clark Scott
World editor


GREEKS IN A WOODEN HORSE: In "How the US plans to take control of Baghdad" on Monday April 7 issue (page 8), an editor inserted an incorrect historical reference. The city of Troy was, in fact, taken by Greek soldiers.

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