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Reporters on the Job

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Hard Choices: While reporting today's story, staff writer Abraham McLaughlin had several conversations with Jauhara Naluyange, a 19-year-old former prostitute in Uganda (this page). "One of the most surprising things Jauhara said was that some sex workers would rather avoid pregnancy than AIDS," says Abe.

"For those of us from the wealthy world, it seems an astonishing choice. But the slum Jauhara worked in was full of people who survive on less than a dollar a day. In a city full of big beautiful hills, this slum sits in a swampland. Whenever it rains, streets and houses are filled with up to two feet of dirty water. In this context of poverty, the sex workers' choice carried a logic of its own. Pregnancy prevents them from working - and getting money to survive until tomorrow. AIDS may threaten their lives, but it isn't seen as an immediate threat to income," Abe says.

Difficult Subject: Hispanics are traveling to Mexican resorts in greater numbers (page 1), but how does a journalist spot a living example? Staff writer Danna Harman spoke with government tourism offices and hotels in and around Cancún to see if any could give her names of Mexican-American tourists. But last names aren't much of a clue. So, she applied the man-on-the-street approach. "I literally walked up to people in hotel lobbies, restaurants, and pool areas and tried to guess who might be from the US. That was a complete failure. "I kept approaching Mexicans, who were offended that I'd think they were Americans, and vice versa. I also found English-speaking Spaniards, Argentines, and even a Pakistani family," she says.

Ultimately, Danna called the Mexican Embassy in Washington and through friends of friends, they hooked her up with live examples of middle-class Mexican-Americans making the journey south for Christmas.

David Clark Scott
World editor


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