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 .

Bookmark and Share

Join the mailing list

On Afghanistan: As Tough as Reporting Gets

By Peter Osnos for The Atlantic
Posted on on August 31, 2010
Posted on on September 12, 2010

The war in Afghanistan, already the longest conflict in American history, may also be the most difficult major military operation reporters have had to cover in the modern age of journalism and communications. By contrast, the Iraq invasion was a classic undertaking on a grand scale.


On Going On Assignment
‘Every time I leave for war, there are rituals and routines—and one unyielding truth.’

By Kevin Sites for Nieman Reports

Originally posted on Nieman Reports for their Fall 2010 Issue
Posted on on September 10, 2010

The sun is a tea bag dipping into the Pacific seeping orange and reds onto the horizon. Scattered surfers catch the meager waves of this summer evening while members of a fitness boot camp do crunches near a homeless man sleeping under a tree. I’m running with my girlfriend along a bluff next to Ocean Avenue. It’s in the 70’s with a soft onshore breeze that makes the palm leaves shudder above our heads. We keep an easy pace—chatting about what happened during our day. She is preparing for a half-marathon in Seattle. I’m preparing to go to Afghanistan—for the fourth time.


On Traveling to Rough Areas
By Nicholas D. Kristof for The New York Times

Originally Published on on May 30, 2009
Published on Bunch of on September 2, 2010

One of the great failures of American universities is that they are far too parochial, rarely exposing students to worlds beyond our borders.


On Security in Baghdad a Deadly Serious Business
By Margaret Warner for
Originally Published on on August 17, 2010
Published on on September 7, 2010

BAGHDAD, Iraq | The Royal Jordanian flight from Amman no longer has to make a missile-avoiding corkscrew landing on the runway of Baghdad International Airport. And though our security detail had us don 10-pound body armor jackets for the ride out, the Baghdad Airport-to-downtown road no longer enjoys the distinction of being the most dangerous stretch in the country.



On the U.S. Occupation of Iraq
Along-time Middle East correspondent recalls his bizarre experience of the Iraq invasion in the house of a Yezidi prince -- and meeting a fortune-teller who only revealed to him that his future was not in journalism.

By Hugh Pope for Foreign Policy magazine.
Originally published on April 5, 2010

Published on on August 31, 2010


Page 4 of 7