Tanya Pampalone has more than 20 years experience living and working as a writer, columnist and editor for magazines, newspapers and online publications in Los Angeles, Prague, San Francisco and Johannesburg. More than half of that time has been spent in senior editorial management roles, including strategic planning and new project management.
Currently, she is the managing editor for the Global Investigative Journalism Network, a Washington DC-based nonprofit which supports investigative journalists around the world. From her base in Johannesburg, Tanya oversees the organization’s website and heads up the group’s audience engagement, as well as contributors from around the world and GIJN’s regional editors who cover the US and Europe, China, Russia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Tanya’s most recent book, I Want To Go Home Forever: Stories of Becoming and Belonging in South Africa’s Great Metropolis, which was co-edited with international migration expert Loren Landau, was published by Wits Press in September.
Prior to joining GIJN, she was a contributing writer to US News & World Report, taught creative writing for journalists and digital story-telling in the journalism department at the University of the Witwatersrand and was the editorial director of the Menell Media Exchange, Duke University’s annual media conference in Johannesburg. Tanya also continues to moonlight as a non-fiction editor both independently and for Pan Macmillan South Africa, where she has edited some of the publisher’s best-selling titles over the past four years.
Tanya was previously with The Conversation Africa, part of group of international news and analysis websites run by editors with academics as contributors, where she was the head of audience development and strategic partnerships. Prior to joining The Conversation, she was the executive editor of the Mail & Guardian. There, she oversaw longform journalism as well as select series and special editions, including the end of year and annual religion issues and flagship projects such as 200 Young South Africans and the South African Book of Women. Tanya also edited the the publication’s eBooks, including Nkandla: The Great Unravelling by journalist Phillip de Wet and co-edited, with Darryl Accone, Writing Invisibility: Conversations on the Inner City, a narrative journalism collection.
Between 2011 and 2014, Tanya was a visiting lecturer on media ethics and editorial independence the Sol Plaatjie Institute at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. In 2012, she won South Africa’s top journalism award, the Sikuvile, for creative writing and was a finalist in the feature writing category. She also was selected as the 2013 Menell Media Fellow at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Tanya was a judge for South Africa’s premier creative digital award, the Bookmarks, in 2016 and 2017.
Tanya began her career as a freelance writer in Prague following the fall of communism, later becoming an assistant editor at the award-winning Buzz magazine in Los Angeles. She moved to Johannesburg in 1996 at the dawn of South Africa’s democracy, and was a freelance magazine writer. In 1999, Tanya went back to California, living in San Francisco where, after working the dotcom circuit and stringing for Agence France-Presse, she became an editor at the San Francisco Examiner. In 2005, Tanya went back to Johannesburg and was a freelance magazine writer until she was appointed managing editor of Maverick and Empire magazines, which transformed into the Daily Maverick. She has been a columnist for the Institute of Security Studies’ TheAfrican.org, Food and Home and the San Francisco Examiner. Tanya has a BA in journalism from San Diego State University and an MA in writing from the University of San Francisco.
Email: tanyapampalone @ gmail.com