Reporters on the Job

Rupak de Chowdhuri/Reuters
JUNIOR GANDHI CONTEST: In the Indian city of Siliguri, boys dressed up Tuesday as Mahatma Gandhi as part of the famous leader's 139th birthday celebrations.

Hiding in the Food: To reach the heart of the delta region of Burma for today's story about how people there are recovering from the cyclone four months ago, correspondent Anand Gopal had to travel many hours by car and boat, in disguise, because authorities don't allow journalists into the area. By doing so, he learned how hard it is for aid to get there.

"We left around midnight, riding in a big van full of aid supplies, including notebooks, pencils, and food," says Anand. "The drivers like to go at night because the Burmese soldiers are often sleeping at the checkpoints."

Four hours later, they reached the Irrawaddy River, the delta's main river. "Under the first light of dawn, we loaded the supplies onto a small motorboat – quickly and quietly to avoid catching the authorities' attention – my guide and I slipped under the pile of food and books as the boat left the dock. The boat puttered along for three or four hours, through a seemingly endless maze of rivulets and thick reeds, before we reached the tiny village of Mya Sein Ken. The villagers gathered around our boat and helped unload the much-needed provisions, extremely grateful for the aid and a little bewildered at the sight of a foreign visitor.

Not Exactly Bollywood: Pyongyang is hardly noted as a film capital, but correspondent Don Kirk says that government appointed guides are glad to show you around the elaborate complex of film studios, once the pride and joy of the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il. His enthusiasm for the medium has faded, but the studios and an international film festival are a reminder of an era when he used films to inculcate North Koreans with his notion of revolutionary art. Mr. Kim went so far as to kidnap South Korean director Shin Sang Ok and his wife, actress Choe Eun Hui, from Hong Kong in 1978, and force them to produce movies.

David Clark Scott

World editor

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