But on the other hand, in the midst of the chaos, you find normal people. You find people who are willing to risk their lives to tell you what they saw, even though they have no dog in the fight.
Working overseas is more difficult in that it's much more complicated to get people to open their hearts to you and to tell you information.
A lot of times when we work overseas we tend to put the experience of someone who lives overseas, a Chinese person or a Korean person or a Bosnian person, within the prism of an American life.
Good journalism, I think, represents life and if you try to organize something too neatly it usually blows up in your face and doesn't really happen the way you want it to.
I had my life threatened by Bosnian Serbs on numerous occasions.
One of the problems that we have as American journalists is that we bring the American cultural baggage with us and we plop it down and it follows us around and that's just a fact of life.
Srebrenica was a horrendous war crime and it had to be uncovered.
I grew up in New York City in the late '70s, at a time when U.S. - China relations were something that was on the front page of The New York Times on a regular basis.
I think some of the best reporters are the ones who can really illustrate the differences between societies, at the same time trying to connect the fact that there are a lot of shared values in addition to those differences.
I was posted to China in the summer of 1988, which was the greatest time ever, I think, to have been in China.
My main form of transportation at that time was a bicycle, because bicycles could move though the crowd.
The one indication that I got that I was doing the right job in Bosnia was that at different periods of time all the factions came down very hard on me.
For me the much more significant question is what did the Americans do, if anything, to help the Croatian army, because they are the ones that changed fundamentally the map of Bosnia, not the Bosnian army.
I think to a certain extent in Bosnia and among the Hutus in Rwanda and also among the Tutsis in Rwanda who then took revenge on the Hutus, there is a sense of being swept up and a sense that the society in which they live has gone mad.
The work is a calling. It demands that type of obsession.