2009 Dispatches

December 2009

In Manila, a dozen families build shanties beneath a flat concrete bridge that spans fetid waters streaming through the sprawling slums.
by Lee Sinco
The international community has been crying foul since May 2009 when it became apparent that the local Chinese government had acted on plans to tear down much of Kashgar's historic old quarter.
by Ryan Pyle
A recent U.N. report described 2009 as the deadliest year in terms of civilian casualties in Afghanistan since the start of the U.S.-led war against the Taliban in the country.
by Paula Bronstein

November 2009

I'd been covering the country for three years and had become captivated by it.
by William B. Plowman
No child should feel like an outcast like that and it was just disheartening.
by Justin Mott
A vaccine protecting against the HIV disease sounds intriguing, to say the least.
by Ake Ericson

October 2009

Handing us two sealed envelopes bearing official stamps, the women, who had clearly become exhausted with our presence, said "Enjoy Dadaab" and bid us good day.
by Spencer Platt
I felt the most appropriate thing to do was show up in the middle of the night at the largest truck stop I could find – in my vicinity, that's in Ontario, Calif.
by Mark Allen Johnson
Rumors from guidebooks and fellow travelers hinted that our hotel rooms were almost certainly bugged, although there was no way to tell for sure.
by Sean Gallagher

September 2009

Once the polls had closed in the late afternoon of Aug. 20, the stage was set for the next round of drama.
by Derek Henry Flood
Forget about Facebook, YouTube and Twitter -- they have ceased to exist.
by Ryan Pyle
Women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo suffer from the worst sexual violence in the world.
by Jean Chung

August 2009

More likely than not, Spc. Coleman made eye contact with his assailant in that split second in July.
by David Bathgate
I was reminded of how often I work alone.
by Lisa Wiltse
Thankfully, the riot police dragged us through their lines to safety before things got out of hand.
by Adam Dean

July 2009

The reason I want to tell victim/survivor stories is I believe through them we learn how, even as bystanders, we are a part of the violence.
by Tim Matsui
On the boat there could be between 30, sometimes 200 people.
by Marios Stavrou
As I covered the last hours of campaigning in Tehran's streets, the mood was rapturous.
by Roshan Norouzi
I checked the BBC online and switched on CNN and all I saw was that Jackson had been hospitalized after he'd stopped breathing.
by Derek Henry Flood

June 2009

Trains are more novel than tanks in Baghdad and people in cars often gaped and smiled as the train wound its way across traffic.
by Chris Hondros
As I investigated further I saw a little girl rocking back and forth on a small plastic red bucket in the shadow of the concrete staircase.
by Justin Mott
by Sean Gallagher

May 2009

On the outskirts of Budiriro I found women washing clothes in a stream polluted by sewage from the township.
by Will Baxter
As Stretch once told me, "Riding bulls is like drugs; both get you high, both are expensive and both can kill you. So I don't do drugs."
by Lance Rosenfield
With only a small chink of blue sky visible between the buildings overhead and what felt like a rugby scrum around me, it became more difficult to move. [C- should be '..."it became more difficult to move."]
by Billy Macrae

April 2009

Over the last year, reports have been that the situation in Afghanistan was getting worse. When I hear that I say to myself, "…getting? It already was worse." From my first visit to Afghanistan in 2006, I felt that the situation had already started its downward spiral; however, all eyes and most journalistic resources were elsewhere.
by Louie Palu
January 2009 marked the 60th anniversary of a conflict in Burma (Myanmar) that has been going on almost unchecked by the international community throughout. Hundreds of thousands of Karen farmers have fled their homes to seek refuge from the madness of the military junta that controls the country; others have lost their lives as victims of the government's campaign of brutality.
by Luiz Maximiano
FMLN supporters (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) had started kicking the burning effigy of Rodrigo Avila, and I spun around to shield myself from the flying embers. This was my first rally in El Salvador covering the March 15 presidential election and the predictions of electoral violence took on a new meaning. What would happen with this energy if Avila and the ruling ARENA party tried to tamper with the election as some feared?
by Brian Harkin
It was morning. The sun was still low and the light very good. It was remarkably quiet outside our hotel and the gate to the street was locked with a big chain. What was that about! We looked at each other quizzically and didn't quite get the meaning of what was happening. All shops were closed and everybody on the street walked around frowning at each other. Looking for victims.
by Klavs Bo Christensen and Carsten Snejbjerg

March 2009

At least a month before the devastating fires that tore through the southeast of Australia in February, it was possible to see something dangerous was building
by Nick Moir
But I also liked the Tartars' astounding energy in spite of everything -- they were trying to survive despite the local bureaucracy. They were not giving up anything.
by Ilker Gurer
There was a sense of desperation in the air.
by Bernardo De Niz

February 2009

Everything is scary in this crazy war. Even journalists are targeted.
by Ahmad Khateib
You just learn to get back to sleep even though anything can happen anywhere and there is no safe place to hide.
by Stefania Mizara
Why again? Why now? I hate wars! Is it a part of our lives forever? Those were the questions I had in mind on my way south to Kibbutz Tequma where a rocket sent from the Gaza Strip had landed in Aryeh Lazar's living room.
by Ilan Mizrahi
As Israel's war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip ended, Barack Obama was taking the oath of office and became the 44th president of the United States. The last Israeli tank rolled across one of the gates from the Gaza Strip back into Israel, but no one knew when or where. That was a moment no media captured because the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) did not want the media to see the event, or anything else in the three-week conflict.
by Jim Hollander

January 2009

After a month in Congo I finally met up with some rangers who were unfortunately living in an IDP site with their families rather than on patrol in the park.
by Paul Taggart
One leader sang slogans while playing his guitar; the masses cheered and waved their flags and yellow plastic hands in support.
by Katharina Hesse
"Two tropical storms and two hurricanes hit the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere in the first eight months of 2008."
by Klavs Bo Christensen

2008 Dispatches

December 2008

KIWANJA, Congo – Eleven-year-old Protegee carried her sobbing niece on her back as they searched for relatives in a sea of people in eastern Congo.
by Jerome Delay
It does not matter how many badly wounded people you might have seen in the field. After all, they unfortunately are part of the horrible scenes of any devastating earthquake, bombing or air strike.
by Tarik Tinazay
It was 5 a.m. and the temperature was about –20 degrees C. As I stood shivering in the darkness down a back alley in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, I was starting to believe the claims that this was indeed the coldest capital city in the world. This alleged fact, however, wasn't why I was there.
by Sean Gallagher
Friday, Oct. 30, I spent the day inside as the pounding rain kindly pointed out the weaknesses in my poorly constructed home in Hanoi
by Justin Mott

November 2008

The earthquake sites were rebuilding rapidly and people who were affected by it were struggling to go on with their lives.
by Jean Chung
Really? A tent city in downtown Reno?
by Max Whittaker
Each family had its own unique story of terror and desperation but each family also told a story of how even in the throws of confusion people make life work
by Paul Taggart

October 2008

I came expecting to be shocked by the forestry devastation but instead I find myself more shocked by the conditions that the local workers and people live in.
by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
The ballroom was shaking, wind was howling, something was banging.
by Jason Witmer Johnny Hanson

September 2008

Rajman said no faces could be caught on film or tape and that shooting time would be limited to just an hour.
by Jason Motlagh
Although the sides of the tent were open, a profound smell of dust, sweat and vegetables cooked in oil in pans was filling the air.
by Tarik Tinazay
The start of a war is a little like the early stages of a romantic relationship: always intense and inclined to make people too likely to believe the things they hear even when they have the experience to know better.
by Chris Hondros
Throughout the time of the Olympics I felt uptight about all the different types of security guards.
by Jean Chung

August 2008

Not since Yitzhak Rabin's funeral has Israel hosted as many senior officials from abroad as it has this year.
by Rafael Ben-Ari
During the day I worked to the rhythm of Charlie Company that was ultimately tied to the desert and its unrelenting heat.
by David Bathgate
Almost anywhere you would want to photograph there was a danger of getting picked up either by the police or harassed by Zanu-PF supporters or war veterans.
by Will Baxter
Gold fever is infectious in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. The forest is destroyed to dig gold mines and I wanted to see what was happening.
by Philip Poupin
Never-ending home construction in habitat that is based on a cycle of fire and re-growth, generations of heavy fire suppression, and years of worsening drought conditions conspire to create ever more dangerous fire conditions.
by David McNew

July 2008

The poor do not need reminding that they are poor nor do they equate journalism with its' potential to solve society's problems.
by Scott Nelson
The rest of the trip was spent in similar fashion, desperately trying to get access and then at the last minute getting what I needed.
by Justin Mott

June 2008

On the ground, the ruggedness of the Hindu Kush leaves little doubt that one could easily hide here or fail to secure and control its perimeter.
by David Bathgate
...it seemed to me as if their loved ones had just departed, not some 18 years ago with the end of the war.
by Ali Akbar Shirjian
The first day I headed straight for Beichuan County a small town a few hours drive from Chengdu which was one of the worst effected areas.
by Adam Dean

May 2008

by Stewart Cook
Looking at certain maps of Africa, especially those produced in the last century, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Congo actually had something resembling a decent road network.
by Andrew McConnell
She closed the book after praying and singing with her sisters and turned her eyes back to the street in hopes of catching a glimpse of the holiest man she knows.
by Chip Somodevilla

April 2008

Ain't gonna happen, man. Everybody wants a piece of Rampage
by John Gilhooley
That day at least 20 missiles were fired from Gaza at Ashkelon.
by Rafael Ben-Ari
The refugees found places to live in shut down army barracks, schools and hotels and, unfortunately, most still live there.
by Carsten Snejbjerg
Above the senator was a dive-bomber from WWII and on either side of him were veterans and Boy Scouts.
by Stephen Voss

March 2008

Getting to my spot on the red carpet at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood and Highland is a bit like running an obstacle course.
by Lisa O'Connor
Decades of swinging from feudal democracy to blunt dictatorship have left people here beyond cynicism.
by Derek Henry Flood
I stand in the shade outside the Catholic Church in Kisumu waiting for the march for peace to set off.
by Alex MacNaughton
Any minute now the Kenyan paramilitary General Service Unit was going to charge the mob of protesters in the Kibera slum of Nairobi.
by Danfung Dennis

February 2008

With no electricity outside of the capital and virtually no paved roads, it is a land abandoned.
by Spencer Platt
The dispersing crowd and thinning smoke revealed the hideous aftermath of the bomb
by Adam Dean
But when I heard a cheer erupt, I turned around, and there she was.
by John Moore
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