The Press: A Reporter Vanishes

When William Oatis, 37, went to Prague last June to head the Associated Press bureau, he knew he was in a hot spot. Two of his predecessors had been expelled in 18 months for "unobjective reporting," i.e., giving the news. Oatis, a mild-mannered man who seemed unlikely to offend anyone, stuck close to official handouts in writing government news. His five Czech assistants helped him service A.P.'s file to the official Czech news agency. Although he ran into the routine snags, it seemed likely he would have no real trouble.

Then, a month...

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