Reporters on the Job

Some Are Connected, Some Are Not: In most countries, a computer or a video console is all you need for evidence of a generation gap. Kids push buttons and get things to work; parents watch, speechless with ignorance.

China's no exception to the phenomenon, says staff writer Robert Marquand (page 1). "Students are extremely connected," he says. "They'll tell you they don't pick up the phone to arrange lunch with a friend - they use an electronic bulletin board or text messages."

Parents, meanwhile, grew up in an age when meetings were often a time for self-criticism, and private phones were few and far between. "Parents' references were the Cultural Revolution, while kids live in a time when they can rent video games and Western movies. They often feel their parents simply don't understand the world they live in."

Uh, Pardon Me, Excuse Me: Rome's security forces are not the only people tested by the enormous crowds pressing around St. Peter's.

Monday evening, staff writer Peter Ford (page 7) was invited to appear on a CNN program, and told to find the CNN truck at Piazza Pia, down the road from the Vatican. Twenty minutes before showtime, Peter had not found the truck and called CNN in New York. They eventually figured out he was meant to be 400 yards up the street, in St. Peter's Square. That meant there were 50,000 people and a police line between Peter and the camera. "It took some shoving, but I made it to the live shot just in time," Peter says.

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

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