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Early career and resignation from RAI
Gruber was born in Bolzano and is a German and Italian native speaker. She graduated in English Language and Literature at the University of Venice. In 1987 she became the first female anchor to present the TG1, Italy's most popular television news program on Rai Uno. In 1988, she became international political correspondent for RAI, covering events such as the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in the former Yugoslavia, the situation in the United States after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and the Iraqi war.
In April 2004 Gruber resigned from her position at RAI in protest against the influence on state controlled media by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. She attacked his "unresolved conflict of interest", and considered that RAI had abandoned its tradition of pluralism in order to support the government's views. Gruber has also worked for the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa, and for "Io Donna", the women's magazine of Italy's leading newspaper Corriere della Sera, and for magazines TV Sorrisi e Canzoni and Anna.
As Member of European Parliament
In the European Parliament elections of 2004 she ran as an independent candidate for the European Parliament under the centre-left Olive Tree ticket; her candidacy was proposed, together with Michele Santoro, after she was pushed out of Silvio Berlusconi-controlled RAI. She topped the Olive Tree votes in two electoral regions, and beat Berlusconi himself in the Central region vote. After election, she joined the Socialist Group. She served in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and as an alternate on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Gulf States, including Yemen. She resigned from her position in September 2008, months before the natural completion of her mandate, to return to her previous journalism career.
Back into national TV
After her resignation from European Parliament, Gruber accepted an offer from private TV channel La7, where she took charge of the long-running political talk show Otto e mezzo, that she still hosts to date.
- since 1982: Professional journalist
- 1984 to 2004: Worked for RAI (Italian radio and television broadcasting company)
- 1999: Worked with the German TV channel SWF (1988) and Pro 7 (1996) and with CBS
- Since 2008: Anchors the Italian television news magazine "Otto e Mezzo" broadcast on the commercial La7 TV network.
- 1993: 'William Benton Fellowship for Broadcasting Journalists' at the University of Chicago
- 2002: 'Visiting scholar' at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University; for two years 'discussion leader' at the World Economic Forum of Davos
Awards and honours
- 1991: "Numeri UNO" Prize
- 1995: Best Female Journalist
- 1995: Carlo Schmidt Preis, awarded in Germany for distinguished service to freedom of information
- 1995: Fregene prize
- 2001: Spoleto prize
- For covering the war in Iraq, inter alia
- 2004: Honorary graduate of the American University of Rome
- I miei Giorni a Baghdad ("My Days in Baghdad", 2003)
- L'altro Islam ("The Other Islam", 2004)
- Chador (2005)
- America anno zero ("America year zero", 2006)
- Figlie dell'Islam (2007)
- Streghe (2008)
- Ritorno a Berlino (2009)
- Lilli Gruber's Home Page
- Lilli Gruber's Yahoo Page
- European Parliament biography of Lilli Gruber (incl. Speeches, Questions and Motions)
- Declaration (PDF) of financial interests (Italian)
|Newscaster for TG1
|Host of Otto e mezzo
|Member of the European Parliament for Italy