Reporters on the Job

Fugitive Humor: During the past seven years of reporting in the Balkans, correspondent Beth Kampschror has not witnessed as big a media feeding frenzy as the one that's erupted during the past few days. The possible capture of Bosnia Serb war-crimes fugitive Gen. Ratko Mladic has generated calls from all over the world and a flurry of rumors.

How bad is it?

"I called a source in Belgrade the other night," says Beth. "It was about 11 p.m. I called him on his cellphone and I was on mine, so he knew it was me. He answered: 'Hello, you've reached Mladic Arrest Hotline. For the latest media speculation, press 1. For the latest conspiracy theory, press 2.'

"He went down the list before closing with, 'For giggling American reporters, press 5."

Beth's Belgrade source had captured the essence of the past few days of reporting.

Does Beth think Mladic will be captured soon? "I believe it when I see it," she says. "But I'm obsessively following this like everyone else here."

Waiting for the Train: Correspondent Anuj Chopra arrived at the Munaba, India, train station on the morning of the historic day. But he grew restless after several speeches by politicians, and started searching for people who could illustrate what the resumption of the train service between India and Pakistan would mean.

Anuj came upon Nandu Ram, selling tea. For him, the train symbolized a peaceful future for his cows. "In the scorching desert sun, we stood near a little shed that housed two of his cows," Anuj says. "He told me that he'd lost 16 cows to land mines planted in a pasture during a war between the two countries. These were the only two left. He loved them as his children and even gave them names: 'Laxmi' and 'Bhagvanti.'"

David Clark Scott
World editor

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Reporters on the Job
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today