“The most interesting aspect of working at VOA is the game of catch up,” explains John Tanza, co-host of South Sudan in Focus. “A news event will happen in Sudan in the morning, and we will broadcast it at the end of the day, so inevitably there are people who have published the story earlier than you. But it’s your angle that matters. An interesting perspective will expose the story, so what I do with my show is bring out the South Sudanese angle. In doing so, it gives an alternative voice, one that makes the audience identify with the issues. What I have learned is that giving people accurate, balanced information sells.”
John Tanza’s eight years of experience working in the region as a journalist have made him quite familiar with Eastern Africa and South Sudan in particular. After starting as an Information Officer for the Refugee Consortium of Kenya, he moved on as a reporter for the Sudan Radio Service, the first USAID-funded independent radio station in Sudan. In 2010, he joined VOA’s English to Africa Service, where along with his broadcast work, he helped lead several Town Hall meetings and a journalism workshop in Juba. Now, his days involve co-hosting South Sudan in Focus.