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Janine di Giovanni

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Janine di Giovanni
Caldwell, New Jersey, United States
NationalityAmerican, French, British
Alma materUniversity of Maine
OccupationJournalist, war reporter, author
Notable credit(s)
The New York Times
Vanity Fair
Council on Foreign Relations
TitleSenior Fellow, Yale University Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
Spouse(s)Marc Schlossman (divorced 1995);[1]
Bruno Girodon (separated, 2008)[2]
ChildrenLuca Costantino Girodon
Parent(s)Vincent and Catherine Buccino di Giovanni

Janine di Giovanni[3] is an author, journalist and war correspondent. She is a Senior Fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs,[4] a non-resident Fellow at The New America Foundation and the Geneva Center for Security Policy in International Security, a member of the British government's Stabilization Unit for Fragile States[citation needed] and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[5] She was named a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow,[6] and in 2020, the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded her the Blake-Dodd nonfiction prize for her lifetime body of work.[7][8] She has contributed to The Times,[9] Vanity Fair,[10] Granta, The New York Times, and The Guardian.[11]

Early life

Di Giovanni is the seventh child of an Italian-born father and a mother from an Italian-American family.[1][2] She was raised in New Jersey. Originally she wanted to become a humanitarian doctor in Africa, but initially embarked on an academic career.[12] Di Giovanni attended the University of Maine, where she majored in English.[13]


Di Giovanni began reporting by covering the First Palestinian Intifada and Nicaragua in 1987 for the London Times and The Spectator and has reported on other conflicts since then.[12] Di Giovanni has described herself as a “human rights reporter”[14] with a focus on war crimes and crimes against humanity.

She has reported on the genocides in Bosnia, Rwanda and currently Syria. She continued to write about Bosnia, and in 2000 she was one of the few foreign reporters to witness the fall of Grozny, Chechnya. She received awards for her depictions of the terror after the fall of the city, including the Amnesty International Prize and Britain's Foreign Correspondent of the Year.[15]

During the war in Kosovo, di Giovanni traveled with the Kosovo Liberation Army into occupied Kosovo and sustained a bombing raid on her unit which left many soldiers dead. Her article on that incident, and many of her other experiences during the Balkan Wars, "Madness Visible" for Vanity Fair (2000), won the National Magazine Award for reporting.[16] She later expanded her article into a book for Knopf/Bloomsbury.[17]

In 1999, she became a contributing editor to Vanity Fair[15] and continued to report for both The Times and Vanity Fair in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as Africa. Later, she reported on the Arab Spring. Many of her early essays were compiled in a book published by Bloomsbury, The Place at the End of the World.[18]

In 2010, di Giovanni was the President of the Jury of the Bayeux-Calvados Awards for war correspondents.[19]

In 2013, di Giovanni joined Newsweek as Middle East Editor and began working primarily in the Syria, Egypt, Kurdistan, Lebanon and Iraq regions. She also continued to work in North Africa and in South Sudan.[20] That year, di Giovanni was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world of armed violence by the organization Action on Armed Violence.[21]

In 2014, she was a consultant on Syria for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and a Senior Policy Manager/Advisor at the Centre for Conflict, Resolution and Recovery for the School of Public Policy at Central European University. She has worked with researchers from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.[22]

In a Newsweek article titled "The Fall of France" in 2014, di Giovanni extensively criticised the French social and taxation systems. Following publication, a number of points she cited to support her argument were deemed inaccurate. "Les décodeurs", the fact-checking blog of the French newspaper Le Monde, reported nine mistakes.[23] These mistakes included "The top tax rate is 75 percent, and a great many pay in excess of 70 percent" when in actuality it is "companies not individuals who must pay this tax, which only applies to salaries over a million euros".[24] Additionally her claim of milk costing €3 a half liter in Paris and nappies being free to new mothers were inaccurate as, "the price of milk, which they pointed out, costs around €1.30 a litre, while neither creches nor nappies are free".[25] The article was also severely criticised by Pierre Moscovici, the French Minister of Economy.[26]

In 2016, di Giovanni was awarded the Courage in Journalism prize from the IWMF.[27] She also won the Hay Medal for Prose from the Hay [28]

She has made two long format documentaries for the BBC. In 2000, she returned to Bosnia to make Lessons from History, a report on five years of peace after the Dayton Accords.[29] The following year she visited Jamaica to report on police assassinations of civilians, Dead Men Tell No Tales.[30]

Di Giovanni was the subject of a documentary about women war reporters, No Man's Land (1993) which followed her working in Sarajevo. She is one of the journalists featured in a documentary about women war reporters, Bearing Witness (2005), by Barbara Kopple and is also a subject in the documentary film 7 Days in Syria (2015),[31][32][33] directed by Robert Rippberger and produced by Scott Rosenfelt. The film had a screening at the House of Lords.[34]

In 2018, di Giovanni was appointed as the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations[35] and was also serving as Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.[36]

In 2019, di Giovanni was named a Guggenheim Fellow.[37] Di Giovanni is also a Senior Fellow at Yale University Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.[38]

Personal life

Di Giovanni has been married twice. Her first husband was photographer Marc Schlossman. The couple married in a New Jersey Roman Catholic church in 1986; they divorced in 1995.[1] While based in Sarajevo, di Giovanni met the French journalist, Bruno Girodon; the couple married in August 2003 in St.-Guillaume, France in a civil ceremony,[12][39] but separated in 2008.[2] She has one child, Luca Costantino Girodon-di Giovanni (born 2004).[40]


Publications by di Giovanni

  • Against the Stranger. Viking, 1993. ISBN 978-0670842803.
  • The Quick and the Dead: Under Siege in Sarajevo. Phoenix, 1995. ISBN 978-1857993332.
  • Madness Visible: A Memoir of War. Bloomsbury and Knopf, 2004. ISBN 0375724559.
  • The Place at the End of the World. London: Bloomsbury, 2006. ISBN 978-0-7475-8036-2.
  • Ghosts by Daylight. Bloomsbury and Knopf, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4088-2051-3.
  • Eve Arnold: Magnum Legacy. Prestel, 2015. ISBN 978-3791349633.
  • The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria. Liveright, 2016. ISBN 978-0871407139.[46]

The New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani said of her latest book, "Like the work of the Belarussian Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich, Ms. di Giovanni’s book gives voice to ordinary people living through a dark time in history; chronicles the intimate fallout that war has on women, children and families."[47] Kirkus Reviews described her, and her book; "[Di Giovanni] is a master of war reporting, especially its civilian side. Thanks to her bitter sacrifice, Western readers may begin to appreciate the chaos that Syrian refugees continue to flee. This brilliant, necessary book will hopefully do for Syria what Herr’s Dispatches (1977) did for Vietnam."[48]

Di Giovanni's book about Christians in the Middle East, The Vanishing, is scheduled to be published by Public Affairs in 2021.


Documentaries made by Di Giovanni

  • Lessons from History (2000, BBC)[29]
  • Dead Men Tell No Tales (2001, BBC)[27]

Documentary films featuring Di Giovanni



  1. ^ a b c Doreian, Robyn (February 23, 2017). "Janine di Giovanni: The first step to respect is teaching our sons not to be afraid of women". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Di Giovanni, Janine (January 11, 2020). "What I have learnt from my 100-year-old supermum". The Times. London. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  3. ^ Nach der Schlacht – SZ Magazin – Süddeutsche Zeitung; Print: Heft 49/2011, abgerufen am 13. (in German) August 2012
  4. ^ "Janine di Giovanni". Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.
  5. ^ "Jackson Yale".
  6. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation | Current".
  7. ^ "Senior Fellow Janine di Giovanni to receive Blake-Dodd Prize".
  8. ^ di Giovanni, Janine. "Blake-Dodd". Twitter.
  9. ^ "Janine di Giovanni". The Times. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  10. ^ "Janine di Giovanni". Vanity Fair. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  11. ^ "Janine Di Giovanni". The Guardian. London. May 19, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  12. ^ a b c "Janine di Giovanni: My Life in Media". The Independent. London. January 8, 2007. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  13. ^ Mahaleris, Nina (August 25, 2020). "War correspondent Janine Di Giovanni named recipient of University of Maine 2020 Humanitarian Award". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  14. ^ "7 Days in Syria". 7 Days In Syria Film.
  15. ^ a b "Janine di Giovanni". Vanity Fair.
  16. ^ a b "National Magazine Award Winners 1966-2015". American Society of Magazine Editors. 2000. Archived from the original on September 9, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2016. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  17. ^ di Giovanni, Janine. "Madness Visible". Bloomsbury Publishing.
  18. ^ Thorpe, Adam (January 14, 2006). "Review: The Place at the End of the World by Janine di Giovanni" – via
  19. ^ "Janine di Giovanni, president of the jury". Prix Bayeux-Calvados des correspondants de guerre. 2010.
  20. ^}
  21. ^ "Newsweek's Janine di Giovanni: "The Morning They Came for US" - Reporting Syria's humanitarian crisis". Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
  22. ^ "Bio". Janine di Giovanni.
  23. ^ Les décodeurs "The Fall of « Newsweek » – Les mille et une erreurs d’un article de « french-bashing »"
  24. ^ The Telegraph "Gallic uproar over 'Fall of France' Newsweek article"
  25. ^ The Irish Times "‘Newsweek’ broadside stirs Gallic pride as French ridicule journalist’s errors"
  26. ^ Moscovici sur l'article de « Newsweek » : « C'est le pompon »
  27. ^ a b "Crossing Continents: Dead men tell no tales". BBC News. September 14, 2001. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  28. ^ Festival of Literature & Arts.
  29. ^ a b "Correspondent: Lessons from history". BBC News. October 13, 2000. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  30. ^ "Dead men tell no tales". 14 September 2001.
  31. ^ Gorman, Michele. "Trailer for '7 Days in Syria,' a documentary about reporting on war". Newsweek.
  32. ^ Gandelman, Joe. ""7 Days in Syria" (A must view film given recent developments)". The Moderate Voice.
  33. ^ di Giovanni, Janine. "Reporter documents life in aleppo in '7 Days in Syria'". Newsweek. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  34. ^ "Screenings". 7 Days In Syria Film.
  35. ^ Wehrmann, Christina. "Janine di Giovanni". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  36. ^ SIPA Webmaster. "JANINE DI GIOVANNI". Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  37. ^ a b "John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation 2019 Fellows: United States and Canada" (PDF). New York Times.
  38. ^ "Janine di Giovanni". Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.
  39. ^ "Weddings/Celebrations; Janine di Giovanni, Bruno Girodon". The New York Times. August 10, 2003. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  40. ^ Freeman, Liam. "Janine Di Giovanni The Morning They Came For Us".
  41. ^ "Media Awards - Shortlist Announced". Amnesty International UK. May 26, 2000. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  42. ^ "Media Awards Shortlist Announced". Amnesty International UK. May 17, 2001. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  43. ^ TED profile. "Janine di Giovanni – American Journalist, Author and Award-winning Foreign Correspondent". Black Rabbit. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  44. ^ "IWMF Announces the 2016 Courage in Journalism Award Winners". International Women's Media Foundation. May 25, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  45. ^ Christopher Bone (June 1, 2016). "Janine di Giovanni awarded Hay Medal for Prose". FMcM Associates. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  46. ^ Michiko Kakutani (May 23, 2016). "Review: 'The Morning They Came for Us' Reports on the Hell of Syria". Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  47. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (May 23, 2016). "Review: 'The Morning They Came for Us' Reports on the Hell of Syria" – via
  48. ^ "THE MORNING THEY CAME FOR US | Kirkus Reviews" – via
  49. ^ "Janine di Giovanni – Fellow, International Security Program". Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  50. ^ "Ms Janine Di Giovanni – Associate Fellow". Retrieved July 17, 2016.

External links