Tanya Pampalone

A brief story about me

Hi. I’m an editor, writer, and senior media manager. I’ve written a lot of articles about a lot of different things: elections and the state of the media in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; migrancy and race in South Africa; white farmers and border crossings in Zimbabwe; AIDS denialists and art in the United States; and urban development and coal mining towns in the Czech Republic. But I have edited far more than I’ve written. I have spoken at global journalism conferences, and created a really cool narrative podcast. I was mentioned, exactly once, in a best-selling memoir by a super famous writer. I taught journalism, held workshops on writing, co-edited two books on migration, and contributed to two others on journalism. (Sadly, not one of those were best-selling.) I lived and worked in post-communist Prague, post-apartheid South Africa, dot com San Francisco, and the San Fernando Valley, where I spent my formative years, and is — fun fact — home of the original Valley Girl. And I co-owned an art gallery, a clothing store, a couple of restaurants, and three bars. But that’s another story.

Stuff I can do pretty darn well

Write and edit | Full spectrum editorial production | Editorial systems and strategy | Cross-platform editorial projects | Project management | Newsroom management | Communication strategy | Stakeholder relations | Audience development | Public speaking | SEO and metric conversant | Backseat designer | Coach and mentor | Teach journalism and writing

Day jobs

Managing Editor, Global Investigative Journalism Network (2017 – 2021)

Contributing Writer, US News & World Report (2016 – 2017)

Nonfiction Editor, Pan Macmillan South Africa (2017 – 2019)

Head of Audience Development and Strategic Partnerships, The Conversation Africa (2015 – 2016)

Executive Editor, Mail & Guardian (2008 – 2015)

Managing Editor, Maverick (2006 – 2008)

Assistant Producer, Carte Blanche (2005 – 2006)

Assistant Editor, San Francisco Examiner (2001 – 2003)

Side gigs

Editorial Advisory Board Member, ReNEWS, 2020 – Present

Creator, One Night in Snake Park, 2018 – 2020

Founding Partner, Media Hack Collective

Editorial Director, Duke University’s Menell Media Exchange, 2014 – 2016


Contributor, Unbias the News: Why Diversity Matters for Journalism, Hostwriter, 2019

Co-editor, I Want To Go Home Forever: Stories of Becoming and Belonging in South Africa’s Great Metropolis, Wits Press, 2018

Contributor, Southern African Muckraking: 300 Years of Investigative Journalism, Jacana, 2018 

Co-editor, Writing Invisibility: Conversations on the Hidden City, Mail & Guardian, 2013


Lecturer, Journalism Department, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2016 – 2017

Lecturer, Sol Plaatje Institute at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 2011 – 2014

Education & Awards

Media Fellow, Dewitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy, Duke University, 2013

Winner, Creative Writing, “Confessions of a Walmart Shopper,” Standard Bank Sikuvile Awards, 2012

Finalist, Feature Writing, “In a Dainfern State of Mind,” Standard Bank Sikuvile Awards, 2012

Master of Fine Arts: Writing, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, 2005