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Reporters on the Job

Candor in the Vineyard: Staff writer Scott Baldauf was primed with a sense of moral outrage as he launched into his reporting about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in South Africa. The Cape Town area has the highest FAS rates in the world (see story). "It's easy to put on your investigative reporter's hat and go after the forces of evil – from the drunk mothers to the greedy liquor barons," says Scott. "But this story surprised me because I found that many of those people I assumed were evil were trying to make a difference, to correct the problem."

He says that foster parents, like the Lourenses, are "clearly heroes, since they are often the only support system for these children diagnosed with FAS." They participate in a parent support group (www.FASlink.org) and field questions from around the world.

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But Scott was also pleasantly surprised by the candor of the vineyard manager he interviewed. "He talked openly about the wine industry needing to take responsibility for the problems caused by the use of their product."

In a personal aside, Scott said that as a father of two girls, he was impressed by how the Lourenses handled their relationship with Tisha, their foster daughter. "We told our daughters at a young age that they were adopted," he says. Tisha's parents waited to explain their relationship with her. And they never addressed the issue of her race until Tisha raised it. When she did ask, 'Why am I dark, and you are white?' Her mother told her, 'That's the color God meant you to be and you're beautiful.'

David Clark Scott
World editor


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