Reporters on the Job

New Bureau, New Partner: With today's edition the Monitor reestablishes a long tradition of full-time coverage and presence in Latin America. Through a partnership with USA Today, the nation's largest circulation daily, the Monitor has opened a bureau in Mexico City, jointly funded by the two organizations. The new bureau chief will be Monitor correspondent Danna Harman, a name familiar to readers for her coverage in recent years of Washington, the Middle East, and Africa.

Ms. Harman's dispatches, the first of which appears on page 1, will be available to both newspapers and their websites. Were delighted with the arrangement as it allows us to strengthen our coverage and expand our audience. USA Today Editor Ken Paulson calls the relationship a "perfect fit," and we couldn't agree more.

- Paul Van Slambrouck, Editor

Counting Clicks: Every newsroom has its own flavor, so Danna Harman enjoyed getting a look inside Las Ultimas Noticias (LUN) in Santiago, Chile. The paper shapes its coverage based on readers' selections on its website.

When she got there, she says, it was clear there was a lot of tension. "Many people I spoke with admitted ambivalence about their work - even though the paper was obviously doing well (as were they, as a consequence). They worried that they were selling out to lowbrow interests and stressed at having to compete constantly for popularity. Even as they typed up their news stories, journalists were flicking onto the Intranet site with the listings of clicks and checking out how their stuff was doing."

Ripple Effect: Correspondent Mike Crawley says that when he went to Manya Krobo district to see AIDS education at work, he wondered why it had such a high HIV infection rate (this page). "Everyone blamed the Akosombo hydroelectric dam, a pet project of Ghana's founding president Kwame Nkrumah back in the days when rapid industrial development was all the rage. The dam created Lake Volta, and displaced tens of thousands of people. Many settled in Manya Krobo districts. Residents say the displacement left a legacy of unemployment, which led people to travel in search of greener pastures, which led many of them to bring HIV back into the community."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

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