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Reporters on the Job

Driving Miss Jill: As reported in this column recently, Baghdad now has restricted driving on alternate days - to reduce traffic, gasoline use, and pollution. Correspondent Jill Carroll has petitioned for an exemption, which apparently some journalists have been allowed. "We've tried calling, e-mailing, and going in person to various government and press offices. Everyone keeps telling us to talk to someone else until we end up back with the person we started with," she says.

Jill's solution on days when she has to cover a story but isn't supposed to use her car: She carries around 30,000 dinars (about $20) to pay the fine. The other system, apparently devised by her driver: pose as his daughter or wife dressed in head-to-toe black.

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"I sit in the front seat of the car every other day now. Every time we pass a policeman Adnan smiles and shrugs his shoulders towards me in some kind of sign to the officer that since I am a woman he has no choice but to drive me where I want to go. Sounds flimsy but so far it's working."

Just in Time Journalism: To get today's story about the state of music in Iran, staff writer Scott Peterson first met the director of Tehran's House of Music. Scott was invited to arrive early to the concert Saturday night, so that he could photograph rehearsals and speak to musicians. Photos during the performance are officially forbidden.

But shortly before the rehearsal, the spokesman of the Supreme National Security Council called requesting a list of questions for an interview for another story. The questions had to be faxed in before offices closed.

So Scott and his interpreter wrote out and sent the questions, and arrived at the concert venue 45 minutes behind schedule. Security guards blocked them. But with just minutes to spare - Scott got his photos and the backstage interview with the performers.

David Clark Scott
World editor


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