Jina Moore


Behind the story: The lingering effects of South Africa’s war on AIDS | 

After years struggling with the AIDS epidemic, South Africa has turned the corner. Fewer people are contracting HIV and treatments are making it so those who do get it can not only live full lives, but not pass it along to their children or partners.

We caught up with the Christian Science Monitor’s Jina Moore to ask her more about a cover story she did examining the lingering effects, and hidden dimensions, of the impact of HIV and AIDS on South Africa.

Readers meet Olga Thimbela, a woman who cares for her her nieces and cousins orphaned by AIDS. South Africa is in many ways a story of success, in terms of foiling a pandemic that once threatened to overwhelm the nation.

It’s difficult to resist the evangelism of South Africa’s good news on AIDS, and not just because there’s finally relief in a country that was the worst-hit in the world for so long. It’s difficult because South Africa represents what can be achieved around the world.

But it’s not an unmitigated success, free from ongoing tragedy and struggle. Thimbela’s challenges show what families must continue to endure. I asked Jina how South Africa found success and what readers should expect next as she reports from Congo, South Sudan and Rwanda in the coming months. Continue reading

Telling Different Stories About Africa Involves Both Journalists and Readers | 

The subject of how to report on Africa has come into focus the past few months with articles from academic Laura Seay in Foreign Policy and a response by Tristan McConnell in the GlobalPost. Both make some points worth considering, but it is the nuanced entry from Jina Moore in the Boston Review earlier this month that provides a critical perspective from a journalists who has dealt with the desires of readers and editors while being mindful of the complexity of telling stories from Africa.

One example of this is the need to reference the genocide when writing about Rwanda.

Nearly every story I published from Rwanda in my three years reporting there included a reference to the 1994 genocide. Dredging up suffering can win a busy audience’s attention, but it’s a limited kind of attention. It’s the attention of the kind-hearted stranger from a distance, the reader who stops eating his breakfast or reading her stock quotes to remember just how bad it is in other places.

By narrowing the lens of storytelling into one that largely focuses on compassion, a single and problematic narrative emerges. Continue reading