This is a collection of experiences and reflections from journalists, old hands and new ones, who see beyond the story at hand. For more practical advice, and rip-roaring tales of life on the road, check out the new book Little Bunch of Madmen: Elements of Global Reporting. If you’d like to contribute, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For periodic musings, grumbling and occasional fresh ideas on global reporting, check out Mort's Notebook. Follow us with the Madmen at Work RSS Feed .

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Dying to Tell the Story

By Umar Cheema
Originally published on on June 12, 2011
Published on on June 20, 2011

Islamabad, Pakistan – WE have buried another journalist. Syed Saleem Shahzad, an investigative reporter for Asia Times Online, has paid the ultimate price for telling truths that the authorities didn’t want people to hear. He disappeared a few days after writing an article alleging that Al Qaeda elements had penetrated Pakistan’s navy and that a military crackdown on them had precipitated the May 22 terrorist attack on a Karachi naval base. His death has left Pakistani journalists shaken and filled with despair.


Tired, Testy, Even Rumpled: French Reporters on the Big Story
By Sarah Maslin Nir
Originally Published on on May 22, 2011
Published on on May 23, 2011

They’re weary and disheveled, overworked, underrested and above all cranky — some say they haven’t had a drop of red wine for days.

Legions of French journalists were imported at great haste last week to cover news the French public cannot get enough of: the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former chief of the International Monetary Fund, who is accused of sexual assaulting a Manhattan hotel housekeeper.


Foreign press crackdown a blot on China's image

Beijing is acting against the very people whose work raises its image

By Peh Shing Huei for The Statesman
Originally published on on March 3, 2011
Published on on April 26, 2011

My doorbell rang unexpectedly on Sunday (March 6) afternoon.

I wasn't expecting guests, but I guess the two uninvited ones at my door belong to an organisation that is not in the habit of ringing ahead to announce its arrival.

Read more...  

What I did in the war:
A rookie’s two-week hitch in the Middle East

Steve Hendrix
Originally Published on on March 21, 2011
Published on on April 24, 2011

This is a normal day reporting on the ground in eastern Libya:

The cellphone went off at 4 a.m. A photographer and three Libyan interpreters and I were in a spartan worker’s apartment in the town of Ras Lanuf. We were desperate for sleep after a full day of nonstop fighting near this oil port.

But the army of Moammar Gaddafi had other ideas.


A Memorial to a Fallen Madman…

As a memorial to Chris Hondros, the Columbia Journalism Review reran an interview with him in 2006. Chris was one of the best, not only as a photographer but also as the sort of guerrilla journalist that modern times demand. Here he talks about how the world got to see photos he took when a U.S. soldiers at a roadblock opened fire by mistake on a family car full of kids.

From CJR’s Covering Iraq Oral History

By The Editors
Originally Published on on April 21, 2011
Published on on April 24, 2011

As the world knows by now, the photographers Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington were killed on April 20 in Misurata, Libya. Hetherington was the better known of the two for his documentary, Restrepo. But we have a special feeling for Hondros, whom we got to meet when he took part in a CJR panel discussion. In late 2006, for our forty-fifth anniversary issue, the magazine ran an extended oral history, which later became a book, Reporting Iraq, an oral history of the war by the journalists who covered it. It included photos, and every time we laid our potential choices out we were drawn to Hondros’s work.

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