Reporters on the Job
• A CITY FROZEN IN TIME: For today's story about Burma (Myanmar), reporter Simon Montlake made his first visit to the capital of Rangoon in five years. "What struck me immediately upon arrival is how Rangoon has stood still during that time, while the rest of Southeast Asia - Bangkok, Singapore, and even Jakarta - has moved into the 21st century," he says. "It was one of the richest British colonies when it gained independence [in 1948]. But now it's a dilapidated place.
"Of course, the preserved-in-aspic feeling of old Asia can be quite charming," Simon notes. "Men and women here still wear the traditional longyi - a sarong wrap. There are still rickshaws in the streets."
• AS SEEN ON TV: The Monitor's Robert Marquand says that evangelical Christians are relatively commonplace in of Seoul. "You can see evangelical choirs in the street and neon crosses," he notes. But his interest in the Yoido Full Gospel Church - the largest Christian church in Asia - was piqued by a pro-US demonstration. "I attended an anti-US rally in Seoul a few months ago, which was followed by a rally in support of American policies. There were 30,000 to 40,000 people at the second rally. I learned that about 25,000 were members of one church, Yoido Church."
Bob says he attended a Sunday service, but didn't get into the main sanctuary. "If you don't come early enough, you won't get a seat. I had to watch the service in the overflow area on a large- screen TV."
• SETTLEMENTS AND THE MEDIA: Israeli settlers are sometimes hostile to the media, apparently out of frustration with how they are represented, says the Monitor's Cameron Barr. So when a reporter visits a settlement - especially the more radical outposts - it means "managing a little anxiety," he says.
But while reporting today's story on the West Bank outposts being dismantled by the Israeli government, Cameron detected a change in attitude.
"This time, compared with settlement forays a couple of years ago, I noticed that people were more kindly disposed toward The Christian Science Monitor than they once were. I can only assume that the rising level of support among some Christians in the US for Israel is rubbing off favorably on the Monitor.
David Clark Scott