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Reporters on the Job

• TWO STATES OF MIND: The Monitor's Nicole Gaouette has not reported on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for more than a year, and was struck by the unanimity of opinion across the political spectrum that the peace process is dead.

"Some sources were unusually sensitive about how they were identified. They felt strongly that the two-state solution (this page) was in enormous danger. But they were anxious not to go on the record because speaking about it publicly might push the two-state solution further into obsolescence," says Nicole.

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• GETTING COPS TO TALK: Asking someone how much he earns in bribes is not part of polite table conversation in any culture. And at first, reporter Alexander Hanrath, got nowhere with a Mexican police officer (page 1). "But when I packed up my things, and got ready to go, he opened up. Evidently the tape recorder had been bothering him."

The policeman drew Alex detailed diagrams of how the police's secret "brotherhood" of bribery worked. "I asked him what pseudonym he wanted – Juan, Pablo or Pedro. A false name would only get someone else in trouble, he told me. Chris was one of the few names I could think of that have no equivalent in Spanish.

"When I did leave, he told me that a whole bunch of his cop friends at work had said they wanted to speak with el periodista, too. Evidently, he and all the other cops were dying to spill the beans on the brotherhood," says Alex.

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot