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Reporters on the Job

Flight Delay: How does a quick day trip in Iraq turn into a logistical nightmare? When an hour's delay in leaving Baghdad (on a C-130 aircraft labeled "Iraqi Air Force," with a joint US and Iraqi crew) created a compressed schedule, says staff writer Scott Peterson.

"The real problem came on the way back to Baghdad," says Scott. The plane developed mechanical problems and was diverted to Nassiriya.

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"The good news was that we were able to eat freshly cooked pizza, and I could edit a story over the Internet," says Scott. The bad news? "We finally got to the Green Zone by 1 a.m. I had to sleep there in my clothes on a cot."

I Do It All: Correspondent David Montero visited several reporters in Pakistan's earthquake-devastated areas for his story on Pakistani media. One was Shahed Ali of GEO TV, who is living in a tent in a military camp (so his equipment won't get stolen, he says). He plans to follow families through the winter, assessing their ability to rebuild and to cope with the loss of relatives.

David noted the willingness of the reporters he talked with to go the extra mile. That was confirmed by Ali when David asked him about his crew. "I am the crew - cameraman, reporter, editor," Ali said. "I'm a one-man show."

"The Pakistani reporters look at this story as their biggest challenge," David says. "People around the country have said they're heroes. This is a moment that gives credibility to their stand that they operate independently."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor