From the Publisher: Dec 18 1989

Journalists usually go about their jobs by chasing down rumors and interviewing sources. Sometimes, though, reporters learn a lot by gathering experts in one room and firing questions at them. If the mix of guests is right and the topic intriguing enough, the conversation can be as exciting to cover as a revolution or a natural disaster. In fact, revolutions and nature were on the agendas of two TIME-sponsored conferences that we report on in this week's issue.

Fifteen TIME journalists met with five experts on European affairs in Brussels last week to discuss the changes sweeping across the East bloc....

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