About

Editor | Writer | Media Manager

Tanya Pampalone has more than 20 years of experience in legacy media and digital native publications, working in and running newsrooms in Johannesburg, Prague, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. She oversaw dozens of wide-ranging editorial projects — books, guides, stories, series, a podcast, social media, media conferences, and pop-up newsrooms — for Pan Macmillan, U.S. News & World Report, Duke University’s Menell Media Exchange, the Global Investigative Journalism Network, the Mail & Guardian, The Conversation, and others.

Her coverage areas have been wide-ranging, with special interests in migration, urban development, LGBTQ issues, inequality, and the media. Some of the stories she covered include the 2010 elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; an investigation into South Africa’s public broadcaster; a profile of the most notorious AIDS denialist in San Francisco; the first same sex adoption in California; and the environmental destruction of a coal mining town in the Czech Republic.

Between 2011 and 2016, Tanya lectured at two of South Africa’s top universities, teaching digital storytelling, ethics, and narrative nonfiction to working journalists. A 2013 media fellow at Duke University, in 2012 she won South Africa’s top journalism prize for creative writing. In 2017, Tanya co-founded Media Hack, a multiple award-winning digital storytelling collective. Tanya wrote the opening essay for Unbias the News: Why Diversity Matters for Journalism and contributed to Southern African Muckraking: 300 Years of Investigative Journalism Which Has Shaped the Region.

In 2020, Tanya released a six-episode narrative podcast, One Night in Snake Park. The podcast was based on a story from I Want To Go Home Forever, an oral history collection about xenophobia that she co-edited alongside the foremost academic on African migration. She currently sits on the editorial advisory board of ReNEWS, an international initiative with senior journalists at the BBC, AFP, and CNN, to stage conversations about socio-cultural challenges, how they affect newsrooms, and how journalists report on them.

Skills

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 | SEO and metric conversant | Backseat designer | Coach and mentor | Teach journalism and writing

Work Experience

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)

Additional Roles

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

Books

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

Teaching

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