Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Reporters on the Job

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Reporters on the Job

Article excerpt

* Seek and Ye Shall Find: Finding a woman in Germany to talk about forced marriages (page 7) was not easy, says reporter Andreas Tzortzis, particularly for a male foreigner. "Most stories like this are done by female beat reporters who have built a relationship with caseworkers," says Andreas.

But the Berlin-based reporter doggedly spoke with women's groups, caseworkers, and lawyers trying to find a woman who was willing to discuss her situation. "After three weeks, I had nothing," he says. "The caseworkers wanted to publicize the problem, but their first duty was to protect the identity and safety of the women."

Andreas mentioned his frustration to a German friend, a reporter in Cologne - and struck pay dirt. "Her sister-in-law had been in a forced marriage before marrying her brother. Andreas went to Cologne and met Guelcan Guentemur over dinner at his friend's house. "Afterward, she told me her story. I didn't want to push her too much on such a sensitive topic, but she was very forthcoming. …

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