The Liberian Avenger

Obscure Journal Takes on the Glossies

Vanity Fair's entries in the Reporting category are "Madness Visible," by Janine Di Giovanni, a foreign correspondent for the Times of London, and "The Forensics of War," by Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm. VF editor Graydon Carter says he was surprised, reading Junger's piece, to find out how war crimes investigators in Kosovo do their job: "Your first inclination would be to think they go for mass graves and try to solve those cases, but instead, they go for things they think they can prove."

Carter calls Di Giovanni "a brave woman" who "goes places few people would go." In his eyes, she deserves credit simply for returning to the Balkans time and again. "Just the nerve of her going back—just the air flight to Kosovo. . . . "

Harper's contributing editor Paul Roberts spent about a year researching his 10,000-word piece "The Sweet Hereafter." His editor, Clara Jeffery, calls Roberts a "great reporter and graceful writer" who "did an amazing job at integrating current events regarding the Everglades' supposed cleanup and the history of the sugar industry." She compares it to another Roberts piece about the timber industry, in that both show "how the government and the lobbyists affected legislation to the detriment of the environment."

Dark horse Cain remains humble. "I'm gratified and surprised that the men and women who made this selection recognized the importance of the universality of the value of life," he says, "even in forgotten corners of the world like Liberia."

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