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Staff Highlights

Sunday 24 June 2018

James Brooke
“I had been a journalist for probably 30 years, and decided to take a try at business. In 2007, I signed with an American company in Moscow to be the business development director. I had been an observer all my life. Now to be a player and to make money for a company – it was a good mental stretch. But due to the global economic situation that job ended and I came back to journalism in 2010. In June of that year, I was hired by VOA to be the Moscow Bureau Chief and it’s a lot of fun! The challenges are getting videos, you have to think pictures and images and telling a story through pictures. You need to get those pictures and do it in a way where you minimize the hassle to people in Washington. The blog, too, is a lot of fun. You put out your researched opinions on current events. I’ve covered 14 wars in 60 countries, so at this stage in my life I have a good understanding of how politics evolve and the roles of what happens. No one can predict where they’re going, but you know what’s in the background. I’ve got 20 years of Russia under my belt, the comings and goings, and that’s really important to get a sense of where this massive country is moving. I love the job! That’s why I’m doing it. I think I appreciate it more having jumped off the treadmill and then coming back in. You freshen up; you have new eyes and new energy.”

VOA Moscow Bureau Chief reports for Voice of America in radio, video and Internet providing direct information from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Libya. His journalistic work experience includes reporting for The New York Times, Bloomberg News and The Miami Herald. He holds a BA from Yale University in Latin American Studies with a strong focus in Russian language. Brooke speaks French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and basic Japanese. His experience in the business field makes him not only a well-rounded professional but also a great asset to Voice of America. You can read his news reports on VOA’s website as well as follow his blog, Russia Watch, for the latest on the country’s trending topics.

Irene Larraz

“I love covering things for VOA – it gives me the chance to take photos, interview people, and do the things I enjoy. I had a friend who talked with me about working at Voice of America. He told me about the level of professionalism and so I came to VOA [as an intern] to learn from people who had more expertise than me. They allowed me to cover things and listened to my ideas seriously. I always feel I am having great experiences on every platform. Now [as a correspondent] I feel at ease at VOA and feel that there is always someone to hear your needs and your point of view. I also love working in Argentina, which is the area I have studied as part of my masters program and where I am currently based. In Argentina I try to meet people in the streets and they are very open and comfortable. Everywhere you go, they talk to you. A lot of interesting things take place and, since I am not from there, I always feel there are so many things to cover.”

Irene Larraz came to the Voice of America as in intern in 2010 and was hired in January 2011. She currently serves as a correspondent in the Latin America Division, focusing on events in Argentina, where she is currently located. As a reporter, she writes articles and works on the Latin America Division’s Spanish website. In addition, she works on a blog about student life in Latin America. She graduated from Spain’s Universidad de Navarra in 2010 and is currently working on her M.A. in International Relations, with a focus on Latin America, at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Originally from Pamplona, Spain, Irene has always been fascinated by Argentine history and culture.

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