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Reporters on the Job

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A Helping Hand: Correspondent Nicholas Benequista tracked down one of the women turned away from a health clinic for today's story about Ethiopia's food crisis. He ended up in a tiny village accessible only by a footbridge. "The moment I arrived, I was surrounded; they thought I was an aid worker and brought their malnourished children to me," he says.

After interviewing one woman alone, he offered to drive her to a hospital some 30 miles away. He also paid the doctor's fee for treating her child.

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Did his actions influence the quality of his reporting?

"If I can do a little good, and not compromise the reporting, I certainly feel I should do it," he says. "But helping in this case wasn't purely altruistic. I got to spend more time with her, to get more of her story. As a foreigner who must work through an interpreter, it's hard to get Ethiopians to open up. One way around that is to spend more time with them."

David Clark Scott

World editor