Reporters on the Job

THE FEEL OF INK ON PAPER: When reporter Ben Lynfield was asked to write a story on Yasser Arafat and the issue of the Palestinian security forces, he knew the first thing he had to do was read the three Palestinian daily newspapers to get himself oriented. "I needed that background," says Ben.

The problem: "I live in West Jerusalem, the Israeli side of town, and you can't get Palestinian papers there." Whereas Hebrew papers are available on the Palestinian side of Jerusalem, Ben says that only one newsstand in West Jerusalem stocks the Palestinian papers.

"Do I go on the Internet and read them, or do I go to East Jerusalem and buy them?" he asked himself. "Even though it's most time efficient to read them over the Internet, I went to East Jerusalem. At the end of the day, even though we live in the age of the Internet, there is no replacement for sitting in a cafe reading the papers. I value having the paper in hand."

IN THE LINE OF FIRE: Reporter Nicole Itano's first encounter with the fighter from the women's rebel unit who calls herself Black Diamond came the day before LURD pulled out of Liberia's capital, Monrovia. Looting was rampant, and thousands of civilians were taking aid shipments that were stored in warehouses.

"The women's unit was sent in to chase the looters. There was one looter running toward me and he was being chased, I later found out, by Black Diamond." She wore a back-revealing red tank top and was firing an AK-47. And Nicole was caught between Black Diamond and the looter she was firing at.

"I was running toward her, hoping that I could get behind her. As I passed Black Diamond, she said: 'Oh don't worry. I'm not trying to hit you, just the looter.'"

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot
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