Erin Clare Brown
North Africa Editor
Erin Clare Brown is North Africa Editor at New Lines magazine who has spent over a decade forging the path of what crucial global reporting can be for emerging platforms and new audiences. Erin has been an editor at both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, developing strategic approaches to mobile journalism, and empowering some of the world’s best journalists to make new and innovative work.
As a correspondent and reporter, Erin shot one of the first Snapchat-native documentaries, covered the Russia-Ukraine conflict on Instagram, and seeded investigations on everything from visa fraud to vaccination disparity using open calls on social networks. For the last several years she has been reporting from North Africa, where she covered Tunisia with an eye toward the social impact of the nation’s changing politics, writing in depth on police brutality, ecological mismanagement, and the disappearing middle class for The National, The Fuller Project, BBC and others.
In addition to North Africa, Erin’s reporting often takes her to Ukraine, where she has periodically covered the war since 2014. In 2022 she returned to report on the conflict, including the open-source efforts to help tens of thousands of African students flee the country and the overnight transformation of Moldova’s covid wards into refugee centers.
Erin is also an award-winning podcaster and a three-time IWMF grant awardee, including receiving the inaugural Women Deliver Reporting Grant in 2020 for a series on Tunisia’s #MeToo movement. She is the creator of the podcast “Revolution 1” about the Tunisian uprising, and, despite her passion for all things Tunisian, cannot abide tuna on pizza.
She welcomes stories from across the Maghreb and Sahel, as well as those about the North African diaspora elsewhere.
Latest from Erin Clare Brown
In Thanksgiving’s essence lives a kind of perfected American Dream — everyone is welcome, there is enough for all, bring what you’ve got and add it to the spread — even if America has never actually lived up to such lofty ambitions.
On Sunday, Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s far-right prime minister, hosted Saied and a number of other leaders from around the Mediterranean basin for a summit on migration in Rome. While she heralded the conference as a chance to initiate “wide cooperation to support development in Africa," the immediate objective was clear: stop the flow of migrants coming to Italy from Tunisian and Libyan shores.
Inside, the revelers were packed into the courtyard like the sweet sardines fished just off Djerba’s shores. Strands of bunting of Tunisian flags were strung from the upper floors. “Everyone was drinking. Everyone was dancing,” as music — sung in Judeo-Arabic — boomed from the stage set in their midst. There were swirls of color and glints of light off of gold and silver jewelry, their tintinnabulation adding to the din of the music.
The consequences of a default would be catastrophic for Tunisia. The country’s 2023 budget only balances on the assumption of the IMF deal going through. Budget allocations for everything from health care to education to sanitation would dry up. Foreign currency reserves, already low, would disappear; without them the government cannot buy subsidized goods or pay public salaries.
Despite being the first Arab nation to criminalize racial violence, Tunisia has begun a campaign targeting Black immigrants after a racist speech by President Kais Saied.
Tunisians and the international community have largely approached President Kais Saied’s attempt at one-man rule with an attitude of “wait and see.” Recent political arrests show why that approach is growing ever more dangerous.
On July 25 — Tunisia’s Republic Day — the 2014 constitution will almost surely be discarded via referendum in favor of one written by Tunisia’s ascendant autocrat, Kais Saied, a former adjunct law professor who has amassed sole control of the country over the last year as he has systematically dismantled the Parliament, government, judiciary and independent election commission.