Reporters on the Job
• Wrong Answer: When he went to accredit himself for the upcoming 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, staff writer Peter Ford was sorry to have to disappoint a young reporter from the official "China Daily" newspaper who interviewed him and asked what interested him most about the meeting (see story). When he told her that in the expected absence of any major policy announcements he was focusing on the significance of the power struggle at the top of the party, her face dropped.
"She knew she could not use that," Peter says. "Most Chinese citizens, like foreign reporters, look to the party congress for clues about who their next president will be. But that is the one topic that you will never find in Chinese press reporting on preparations for the meeting. It is just too politically sensitive."
• A Different Ramallah: When correspondent Josh Mitnick went to Ramallah, in the West Bank, to report about the Palestinian Authority police enforcement of the Ramadan fast (see story), he got a new view of the city, which he has always viewed as open and cosmopolitan.
"When we interviewed Palestinians on what they thought of the 'morality police,' I was surprised to hear very few qualms about the infringement on freedoms. It was a stark reminder of how much of a hold traditionalism has in Palestinian society, and a reminder that what passes for liberalism and secularism in one place doesn't necessarily translate one for one. "
– Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor