Reporters on the Job

Mick Tsikas/Reuters
Aboriginal dancers perform Jan. 26 as part of Australia Day celebrations.

Left at the Abandoned Tractor: For today's story about Israeli reaction to the Winograd Commission report, staff writer Ilene Prusher went on an hour-long drive in the desert to meet Israeli parents who'd lost their son in the war in Lebanon.

"What I didn't realize until I got out there was that they lived in a small and remote settlement outpost (yes, one of the illegal ones, but not slated to be taken down, I was told by the settlers), somewhere in arid hills north of Jericho," she says.

She found driving on the unlit, pot-holed roads at night difficult. And it was raining.

The directions?

"When you see the old abandoned tractor on your right, take the left fork.... You'll pass a bunch of water pipes on your right, and then you turn left, or you'll wind up getting lost somewhere in a Beduin camp."

Ilene got there and back to Jerusalem before a rare snowstorm hit.

At an Arm's Length: Staff writer Jill Carroll was desperate to spend time alone with Cairo's street kids for today's story."I wanted to see where they slept, how they found food, what happened to them when they worked in the street. But it was the hardest reporting goal I had ever given myself," she says.

"To the kids, an approaching adult, especially a foreigner, was someone out to hurt or exploit them. The kids are extremely, extremely wary of everyone around them. They often lie about their names and ages and are loath to lend someone insight into their personal lives," says Jill. And the charities working with the children were very protective, too. And Jill was concerned about the ethics of interviewing children, who may not understand what a journalist does. So, she hung out at the shelters and learned what she could about the kids' lives, "knowing it wasn't really a full picture of their daily experiences," she says.

David Clark Scott

World editor

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