Reporters on the Job
A MAN'S BEST FRIEND: Reporter Jacqui Goodard didn't expect to spend yesterday looking for a missing canine. She filed today's story about the death of a farmer in Zimbabwe (page 8), and then went looking for his dog. A British newspaper she freelances for ran a photo Tuesday of the dog, Squeak, curled up next to his owner's body. "It struck a chord with readers, who started calling the editors, asking about the fate of the dog. I can tell you that Squeak is safe at the house of his master's fiancé. But Squeak's still recovering from wounds he received during the attack, and pining for his owner. The two were inseparable. He used to ride on the handlebars of his master's motorcycle when they went hunting or fishing.
"A man was murdered and a nation is starving," says Jacqui, "but if this dog's story propels to greater prominence for readers the larger woes of Zimbabwe, then that's all for the good."
KEY TO A GOOD STORY: The Monitor's Ilene Prusher was at Afghanistan's royal-family tomb, working on a story about the king's return (this page). Her interpreter was talking to the caretaker in Dari, when they discovered that to their delight each was an ethnic Pashtun. "Suddenly, they both switched to Pashto and the tenor of the interview changed completely," says Ilene. "He urged us to come downstairs to see the real tombs, not the ceremonial granite stone on display. I wasn't particularly keen to go, but he was eager. He unlocked the cellar doors, we started our tour, and he started telling us fascinating tales about the royal family.
"It just underscored to me as a journalist the value of patience, and letting people unlock as many doors literally and figuratively as they are willing to unlock for you."
David Clark Scott