Reporters on the Job

Gone Fishing: To find out what was happening to India's fishermen in the post-tsunami world, correspondent Nachammai Raman first called a non- governmental group who works in a local fishing village near Madras, India. "I checked to see if they were getting back to work. Then, I arranged to see for myself," she says (page 7).

She arrived shortly before 5 a.m. "They were a little surprised that I showed up and was alone. One of them said I was "terrible," using a Tamil expression that meant I was brave. They also tried to discourage me from coming. I had to assure them that I'd been on a boat before (although never one this small), and could swim, and wouldn't get sick."

The boat went about two miles out into the harbor and trailed a net behind. "We stayed for an hour and brought in exactly one fish," she says. "They didn't blame the meager haul on me. They said that the tsunami had changed the seabed," says Nacha.

Where's the Slum? Today's story about demolishing a Bombay slum (this page) was prompted by the local media coverage. "I took a train to the closest stop and asked where the slum was located," says staff writer Scott Baldauf. "I was told to 'follow the tracks.' There's no road. The tracks served as toilet, sidewalk, highway, and, by the way, were used by trains. So you stay alert.

"The slums themselves had paving stones on narrow, clean 'roads' flanked by a ditch carrying sewage and waste water. The stench was awful. No one who had better choices would choose to live here," says Scott. "I've done other slum stories in India, so I was prepared to be both horrified and impressed by the ability of people to make a life for themselves on the precipice of society."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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