Reporters on the Job

Code of Silence Broken: Today's story about Jordan's spy agency was originally destined for the magazine that Nicholas Seeley edits in Jordan. The film "Body of Lies," which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and is set in Jordan, was coming out. Willow Belden was assigned to get the original novel and do a short piece on how well it reflected the real Jordan.

But Nick soon learned that the book was about the operations of Jordan's security service, the GID. Jordan's press law bans insulting the security services – a provision that can be broadly interpreted, he says.

"Moreover, there's a code of silence in the Jordanian media when it comes to talking about the security services, and particularly the GID's cooperation with the United States in the War on Terror. None of our editors or publishers had ever seen a story like this in print locally, and after much debate, it was decided that it couldn't run in the magazine."

So Nick found another home for it (page 4).

David Clark Scott

World editor

Who's Best at Building Top Universities?

The US again topped the 2008 global ranking of more than 600 universities. But the survey also found that many top non-US schools offer a better value for the investment. For example, No. 4, Oxford University, costs 31 percent less to attend than No. 1, Harvard.

In the chart below, the survey by Times Higher Education ( ranks nations based on four criteria: The education system, accessibility for students, number of flagship or globally ranked top universities, and investment relative to size of economy.

1. United States

2. Britain

3. Australia

4. Germany

5. Canada

6. Japan

7. France

8. The Netherlands

9. South Korea

10. Sweden

11. Switzerland

12. Italy

13. Belgium

14. New Zealand

15. China

16. Hong Kong

17. Ireland

18. Finland

19. Taiwan

20. Austria

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