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Reporters on the Job

Tapping the Network: Tracking down victims of war months after the dust settles is never easy, and so it proved for staff writer Scott Peterson in Beirut. During the July-August war between Hizbullah and Israel last summer, Scott photographed and wrote about 4-year-old Riham, as she was taken from the rubble of a building destroyed in an Israeli airstrike, and the reaction of her grandparents ( see story).

But trying to find the family again was not easy. The building has been cleared into a parking lot. The cellphone number of a distraught cousin who was helpful at the time no longer works – it turns out he is now in Syria.

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But Scott's translator searched for a man who had been there that morning; the Monitor ran a photo of him making a pile of teddy bears plucked from the ruins, to honor the dead children.

That man could not be found. But a shopkeeper knew a relative, who knew a relative ... who was able to eventually lead Scott back to Riham's family, and to their story.

Different Standard: Correspondent Sarah Gauch, who has been in Egypt for 17 years, notes that foreign journalists can typically write whatever they want, and nothing really happens to them. "I'm very impressed by the bloggers and the Egyptian journalists who are so willing to put their lives on the line and write so forthrightly about the government and sensitive topics," she says ( see story). "This new generation shows real courage in their desire to make a difference." 

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor