Times reporter Alexandra Zavis on reporting from Syria
Times staff writer Alexandra Zavis recently returned from a 10-day trip to Syria. There, she reported on the difficult conditions in the besieged country, in which two Western journalists were killed Feb. 22.
Zavis' articles included reports on the plight of observers in the country, dueling protests by supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and the economic toll of the country's unrest.
Earlier this week, she answered questions from World Now blogger Emily Alpert about her experiences -- and the perils -- in reporting from Syria.
You knew a lot about Syria before you left. What surprised you once you were there?
One of the things we always wrestle with when covering Syria is trying to reconcile the often wildly divergent accounts we get from the government and opposition activists. So I was looking forward to getting a firsthand look. I quickly learned that even when the bullets are zinging past you, there are times when you still can’t be certain who is doing the shooting and what is the intended target.
Did you dress differently to work in a conflict zone?
We brought bulletproof vests and helmets, which we used when we went into parts of the country where there was fighting. And I put on comfortable shoes if I thought I might have to make a run for it. But in Damascus, I dressed the way I would in any other big, cosmopolitan city.
Read the full Q&A on World Now: The perils of reporting from Syria
-- Deirdre Edgar
Photo: Syria's capital, Damascus, on March 1. Credit: Anwar Amro / AFP/Getty Images