NPR ‘icon’ Sylvia Poggioli to retire

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Wanyu Zhang/NPR


Sylvia Poggioli, NPR’s longest-serving international correspondent, will retire at the end of the month. 

“After 41 years reporting for NPR and 51 years in journalism, I have decided to move on,” Poggioli said in an announcement Friday. 

Poggioli, NPR’s senior European correspondent, started with the network in 1982. Her last day is March 31. She will have a farewell interview March 25 with Scott Simon on Weekend Edition

“Sylvia’s wide-ranging, often hard-hitting and always rich storytelling helped NPR distinguish itself in its early years as a news organization with deep interest in the wider world,” Didrik Schanche, international editor, and Edith Chapin, acting SVP of news, said in an announcement to NPR’s editorial staff. “Her work helped build the foundation for what is today NPR’s award-winning International Desk.”

Schanche and Chapin called Poggioli an “NPR icon” and said that “her name is synonymous with NPR.”

Poggioli has received numerous awards and honors during her career, including a Peabody Award and an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts at Boston alongside Barack Obama. She was also elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“It’s been a wild ride — from endemic Italian political chaos (and food, art and movies) and three popes (and scandals) at the Vatican, to the fall of Communism in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, and more than a decade covering disinformation, wars and war crimes in the Balkans,” she said in the announcement. “And in between, tracking the impact of immigration throughout a mostly unwelcoming Europe, and traveling across the globe, from Cuba to Myanmar to Iraq with Pope Francis.”

NPR said that Poggioli will work on a biography of her father, an Italian academic and antifacist who fled the country during Mussolini’s rule. 

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