Marine Olivesi, reporter

Marine Olivesi

I unexpectedly caught the radio bug at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Though I was an avid radio listener in my teen years in France, I never considered the medium as a possible outlet for my future-reporter-self. At Columbia, I mulled over specializing in every medium but radio — partly, I reckon, because I was terrified of sounding “too French.”

My awakening came with an audio postcard I produced on ice cream trucks in Harlem. I’ve been hooked to a mic ever since. By the end of journalism school, I had lost all interest for print stories: I wanted the music of New Yorker’s accents — the cracks and laughters in their voices to come out.

I freelanced for a year as an associate producer at WNYC, then moved back to Europe to cover migration issues. In March 2011, I bought a one-way ticket to Tunisia to report on the exodus of foreign workers out of Libya. A few weeks later, I took the opposite direction and crossed over to the embattled country. The journey took me from the rebel-held Western Mountains to Tripoli, and from Sirte to Gaddafi's body just a few hours after his death.

In 2012, I became an Immigration Journalism Fellow with the French-American Foundation and the Ford Foundation and traveled to West Africa to look into the migration-based connections between the Libyan conflict and the turmoil in Mali. I also started reporting on Syria's civil war and humanitarian crisis for public radio programs on PRI, the CBC and Deutsche Welle.

After two years on the move, I put my bags down in Southern Turkey in 2013, while keeping an eye on Libya and making regular visits back to North Africa.

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