Reporters on the Job
• A Case of Mistaken Identity: Staff writer Peter Ford says he has rarely been reminded so forcefully of his graying beard, his ruddy cheeks, and the spectacles he wears on the end of his nose when he is taking notes as he was the other day, interviewing young customers at the Christmas decoration market in Beijing for today's story on how the Chinese are taking to Christmas with glee .
"One young woman was lugging a huge plastic bag full of Santa Claus hats," Peter reports, "and I asked her what they were all for. She told me everyone at her office party would be wearing one, and that I should put one on, too."
Peter, innocently, asked her why.
"Because you look just like Santa Claus already," the young woman giggled.
• Let Us Know When You Find It: Worthwhile stories can pop up anywhere, but staff writer Scott Peterson's tale of the Tehran Peace Museum today had an uncommon origin. Last spring, the Monitor ran a series of Scott's stories about the rise of Shiite Muslim power in the region. Among them was a sidebar about the Martyr's Museum in Tehran, a sparsely attended, stark place full of the stories of martyrs that illustrated how many veterans of the Iran-Iraq war viewed their fight in ideological terms.
One reader, Scott says, wrote to complain about "one very slanted view of Iranian society that the US media so often presents to the public." The reader went on to describe "another museum that Americans should know about, the Tehran Peace Museum."
Scott decided to track it down for a story, though he had never heard of it. And when he returned to Iran, neither had any of the Iranian officials or translators he worked with. One told him: "If you find it, let us know, so we can tell other journalists about it."
– Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor