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Reporter’s View: Philip Kleinfeld on the urgency of covering the Central African Republic

“It may be their only chance to talk to a journalist”

What compelled freelance journalist Philip Kleinfeld to spend five weeks reporting for IRIN on the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, embedding on dangerous operations? What drives him to seek out conflicts overlooked by many media organisations and to report stories few others bother to cover?

IRIN’s Whitney Patterson grabbed Kleinfeld in London after he returned from CAR for a quick video Q&A to get answers to those questions, and others: Why does he feel the tough stories like those in his series from CAR (he’s also reported for IRIN from various regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Congo-Brazzaville) are his responsibility? And why is being shot at like singing the national anthem?

Read his series from CAR, which looks at UN operations in one of the world’s least understood conflicts, how the splintering of armed groups is hobbling humanitarian efforts, and the rape victims left to fend for themselves long after initial revelations of their abuse by peacekeepers has faded.

Reporter’s View is an occasional series featuring tales and tidbits from correspondents’ on-the-ground reporting.

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