Reporters on the Job
• What Drug Violence? Staff writer Danna Harman isn't surprised that the American tourists she interviewed were unaware of the drug-related violence in Cancún, Mexico (this page). "The resorts are designed so that you never have to leave your hotel - or know what's going on outside their property. Most people have package deals with food, drinks, water sports, and entertainment included. You can go down the beach, but if you go out the front door of the hotel there is nowhere really to go. You are on the road leading to the other hotels and the airport," she says.
The hotel gift shop sells some US and British papers, but no local ones. "The drug story has been on the front pages for a month. But none of the tourists I spoke with had any way to know about the problems going on here. They're in a different world," Danna says.
• Another Rice-Oxley: Correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley has the good fortune - or handicap, depending on your perspective - of having a surname that's well known. It's shared by two distant relatives. One is an actor, and another is a pop singer who performed on the Band Aid Christmas CD (page 1). "Almost every time I work on a story, someone asks me if I'm related to Tim Rice-Oxley, who is a cousin," says Mark. "On this story, I thought I might cash in on the relationship. I called him for an interview, but it seems his agent decided against it."
Did Mark buy the new Band Aid CD? "I bought it more for the cause than the chords," he says. "I was already working out my gift aid contribution for the coming year. In Britain, you can set aside a sum for charity to be taken out of your salary and you don't pay tax on the income. I feel better about giving money this way, and to Band Aid, than giving a dime to the guy on the street. Rather than feeding someone's problem, you're funding a solution."
David Clark Scott