Reporters on the Job
• Refusing to Conform : Correspondent Owais Tohid first met Mukhtaran Mai (page 1) two weeks after she was gang raped in 2002 in Pakistan. At the time, he says, she was shattered and could hardly speak. But later, when she came to Islamabad to seek justice, he noticed a change. "I have seen her evolve into what she is now: a confident and courageous icon of strength. Resolve and determination have replaced desperation," he says. Over the past 14 years, Owais has covered many rape cases, often watching as the victims become very passive and defeated. Mai is different - she has refused to conform.
• Journalist and Juggler : Staff writer Scott Peterson is the Monitor's king of multitasking. But events in Iran taxed even his ability to keep several balls in the air at once. Sunday afternoon, Scott sent to Boston a partial dispatch about the Iranian elections (page 1). He planned to file more after Iran's new president held a press conference. Scott also planned to interview a conservative political analyst. At the same time, the Iranian government called to offer Scott and a few others a rare opportunity to visit a military base where 50 tons of heroin from Afghanistan would be burned.
While Scott interviewed the analyst, he sent his Iranian interpreter to the press conference to take notes. After his interview, Scott went to the military base. "I sat in the back row typing while the speeches about Iran's antidrug program began." With his deadline approaching, photographers were ushered to a site where the drugs were to be burned. "As I was shooting, my interpreter called with quotes from the press conference," says Scott.
Out on an exterior staircase, Scott wrote the end of his story as the speechifying continued. He recalled a data-only Internet satellite phone in his bag and sent his story. "It may be the first time this device has been used to send a story within an Iranian military facility," notes Scott wryly.
David Clark Scott