To Our Readers: Jun. 27, 1994

One of journalism's challenges is covering a story while one step removed from it. Reporters very often must rely on other people's accounts of an event, figuring out just how much credence to give each version. The resulting uncertainty may give rise to an article that lacks authority and necessarily leaves gaps and unanswered questions.

Occasionally, however, reporters are caught up in an event, sometimes dangerously. Then no reconstruction or third-person testimony is needed. The truth of the event comes home to them with a painful certainty. Such was what happened last Thursday evening to Jamil Hamad, a reporter for 10...

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