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Reporters on the Job

Interviews with Streetwalkers: What does a reporter do when trying to cover all sides of a story about a plan to legalize prostitution in Britain? "It presents something of a challenge," says correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley. "You can't just go to the streets of southwest London and find a prostitute to interview because you might get arrested," he notes.

Never mind what Mrs. Rice-Oxley might say.

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So, Mark e-mailed a British colleague who'd written on the topic, asking for a few phone numbers. "I got a wry reply, but he sent the numbers."

Mark called several women. "You're talking to people who either don't like what they do or aren't anxious to publicize or talk to the media about what they do. They're not sure if they can trust you. But I explained that my goal was to shed some light on the subject, and it seemed to work."

And Mrs. Rice-Oxley? "I told her about my day that evening over dinner. She had a good laugh about it," he says.

David Clark Scott
World editor