Sylvia Poggioli

Senior European Correspondent, Foreign Desk

Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's foreign desk and reports from Rome, Italy; the Balkans; other parts of Europe; and the Middle East. Poggioli can be heard on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Since joining NPR's foreign desk in 1982, Poggioli's on-air analysis has encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and noteworthy coverage from Prague. In early 1991, she supplemented NPR's Gulf War coverage, reporting from London on European reactions to events surrounding the war.

In 2004, Poggioli was the inaugural recipient of the WBUR Foreign Correspondent Award, presented to an outstanding public radio foreign correspondent. In 2002, Poggioli received the Welles Hangen Award for Distinquished Journalism from Brown University. In 2000, Poggioli received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Brandeis University. In 1994, Poggioli was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences "for her distinctive, cultivated and authoritative reports on 'ethnic cleansing' in Bosnia." In 1990, Poggioli spent an academic year at Harvard University as a research fellow at Harvard University's Center for Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government.

From 1971 to 1986, Poggioli served as an editor on the English-language desk for the Ansa News Agency in Italy. Prior to her duties as editor, she worked at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. She was actively involved with women's film and theater groups.

Poggioli's reports on the Bosnian conflict earned two awards in 1993: the George Foster Peabody Award and the Edward Weintal Journalism Prize. She also won two awards in 1994, the National Women's Political Caucus/Radcliffe College Exceptional Merit Media Award and the Silver Angel Excellence in the Media Award. Poggioli was part of the NPR team that won the 2000 Overseas Press Club award for coverage of NATO's 1999 air war against Yugoslavia.

The daughter of Italian anti-fascists who were forced to flee Italy under Mussolini, Poggioli was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She graduated from Harvard College in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in romance languages and literature. She later studied in Italy under a Fulbright Scholarship.



Sat April 2, 2011

Migrant Crisis Exposes Two Sides Of Berlusconi

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sharply criticized for his handling of a migrant wave on Lampedusa — an island in the Mediterranean Sea that is the southern most point of Italy, about 70 miles from Tunisia. Last week, Tunisians who had fled the unrest in North Africa outnumbered the 5,000 islanders.

Visiting the island, the prime minister made many promises, but he also alienated his European Union partners and earned the scorn of human rights groups.

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Tue March 29, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Italians Rescue Africans Fleeing 'Boiling' Libya

The sleepy off-season of Linosa, a tiny, picture-perfect Southern Italian island, was disrupted Sunday by the sudden arrival of hundreds of refugees from Libya — mostly Eritreans and Somalis.

The Italian coast guard had rescued about 1,000 people on three separate boats as they fled violence and discrimination in Libya.

The men were sheltered in a ruined port building and were eager to share their stories.

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Wed March 23, 2011

Italy Freezes Its Nuclear Plan After Japan Crisis

European leaders meet in Brussels Thursday with the nuclear disaster in Japan very much on their minds. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for the European Union to have common safety standards for nuclear power plants, but agreement will be difficult.

On Monday, energy ministers could not even agree on how and when to conduct stress tests on European nuclear plants. Reactions to the Fukushima accident have differed sharply across Europe.

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Thu March 17, 2011

A Divided Italy Prepares For Unification Anniversary

On Thursday, Italy will mark the 150th anniversary of its unification at a time when the country has never seemed so fragmented. Italy's image is at a low point, with its prime minister mired in sex and corruption scandals.

Now, the powerful Northern League — a partner in the conservative coalition that has at times espoused a separatist agenda — is refusing to join the commemorations. Northern League disdain for Italy is such that League members walk out when the national anthem is played in public.

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Thu March 10, 2011

Gadhafi's Military Muscle Concentrated In Elite Units

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has deliberately kept his army weak in recent years, but he has bolstered elite forces that are personally loyal to him, Italian analysts say.

As the former colonial power in Libya, Italy has maintained a close interest in the country. The Italian intelligence services are relatively well informed about what's happening there; an Italian intelligence report on Gadhafi's military strength was recently presented to Parliament.

"We know very little, but we know one thing: His military machinery is not so big," says analyst Alessandro Politi.

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