Maria Laura Franciosi
Maria Laura Franciosi is an Italian and international journalist, author, academic and civil rights activist. She has lived in Italy, Britain and Belgium and worked for the Italian News Agency ANSA from 1977 to 2000. In Brussels she was head of service of the Ansa office until 2000. She has subsequently been freelancing for several Italian media including “Avvenire”, “Il Sole 24 ore”, “Media 2000”, “Diario”, “L’Indro”. Before joining Ansa, she had worked as an academic lecturing at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Dept of Language and Politics. Subsequently she taught at the University of Rome, Dept. of Language Studies always in the field of language and politics and worked as a free-lance for economic media in Rome. She was also a professional interpreter (including RAI, the state Italian TV and radio). In Brussels she trained journalists on several EU issues with the EJC (European Journalism Centre) and helped launch “Journalists at Your service” at Residence Palace, a network to support newly arrived journalists in Brussels from all over the world. In 2010 she supported the creation of the Press Club Brussels Europe as its Founding Chair. She has written several books including “…per un sacco di carbone…” about the experience of several hundred thousands Italians who came to work in the coal mines in Belgium. She has also written about the plight of young drug addicts in UK prisons in the 1980-1990s, many of them Italians. She has worked as media advisor on civil society project such as the European Citizens’ Consultations organised by the “Fondation Roi Baudouin” and supports human rights organisations such as Ossigeno per l’Informazione (fighting for press freedom and the safety of journalists) and New Europeans (fighting for the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU).