As I think about my work this past year in Liberia and Haiti, I am reminded of these thoughts I included in a Reporter's Notebook that I wrote for Newsday after returning from having covered the famine in Somalia in 1993. It strikes me that what I wrote then is always applicable to reporting in the developing world.
In a country like Liberia, it matters who fires live rounds. It matters who uses less lethal means to control crowds. It matters who is present when things go awry. The reputation of an entire institution is at stake. Because, in Liberia, where mistrust of the government runs deep, incidents can be used to fuel the flame for future violence.