Reporters on the Job

Words or Pictures? Staff writer Scott Peterson is both a reporter and a photojournalist. As such, he is in a somewhat unusual position to judge the adage: A picture is worth a thousand words.

"Each medium conveys a part of the story. But some events are more evocatively told through images, rather than words," says Scott. After filing his Monitor dispatches from the siege of Russia's hostage drama and its emotive aftermath (page 7), he stayed up until the early hours every morning, editing and transmitting photographs as well.

"Words capture all the nuance and grace and context of how people survived the hostage drama, or how they perished," says Scott. "But a powerful picture - of a family wailing beside a coffin, of endless tears at the morgue, or of the joy of escape for the survivors - can communicate in a single glance all the emotive impact of a scene."

Losing sleep for a week, he says, was a small price to pay to record and share that visual history.

Stay Tuned: What drew staff writer Dan Murphy to Friday's story about Arab anger over the killings in Beslan, Russia, was the prominence of one of the loudest complainers - the general manager of Al Arabiya.

The Arab satellite channel, which claims 20 million viewers, has often been attacked by US officials for allegedly serving as a propaganda conduit for terrorists. But Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, the channel's general manager, is not only taking a strong stand against violence, but helping to make the channel a conduit for Arab voices who criticize both terrorists and the clerics who support them (this page). "Arabiya - one of the forces the US thinks is negative in the Arab world - actually seems to be creating space for a crucial dialogue," says Dan.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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