Reporters on the Job

A PARENT'S PERSPECTIVE: The Monitor's Nicole Gaouette was putting her daughter to bed when she heard the explosion in Jerusalem Tuesday night (page 1). "You learn to recognize the peculiar flat 'plock' sound a bomb makes as opposed to the sound of a backfiring car."

A lot of children are hurt or killed in this conflict and it's impossible not to think of your own children, she says. After going to the scene of the bombing, Nicole went to a nearby hospital where she spoke to a 7-year-old boy, David Solomon, who had gone outside to play with a friend and saw the bus explode.

He was physically unharmed, but when his parents finally found him outside they were worried about what he had seen, especially after he started wetting himself once he was home.

He was tired and curled up on the floor clutching an inflated white surgical glove that looked like a balloon with udders. "I saw some bodies and people were very anxious," he told Nicole. "People called to me for help and other people said to me 'take this, do that' and I did and then somebody said to me that I was a hero. So I guess I'm a hero."

SERGIO VIEIRA DE MELLO: Senior bureaucrats in organizations like the UN often sound as if they'd rather paper over problems than own up to them, and frequently appear self-important, says reporter Dan Murphy. When Dan covered the UN mission in East Timor, he braced himself for a heavily bureaucratic and inefficient UN machine. There were inevitably a lot of problems, but UN Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello confounded his expectations (page 7).

"Here was this distinguished gentleman in charge of the whole show, and he took the time to thoughtfully listen and answer each and every reporter's question," says Dan. "And he said things that made a lot of sense, while acknowledging the limitations of his own organization. He was one of those people who radiated confidence and warmth. I didn't know him well but he definitely made a huge impression on me."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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