Bio & Info (english version)
Tashakor is a Persian word meaning “thank you”. It is the word I heard the most in the harsh and risky environment of Afghanistan. To me it means that even in the deadliest place on the planet, or in the middle of a war, a reporter must look at the people and show love to them – as the great photographer Robert Capa would say.
My name is Nico Piro. Presently, I am a special correspondent at Rai, the Public Italian Broadcasting System, working on Foreign Affairs topics. I was born in 1971 in Salerno, a city on the Southern tip of the Amalfi Coast. I’ve been working as a journalist since 1989, when I started right after the end of the high school. I stil can’t get enough of it.
In the last two decade I have focused my attention on international crisis and war zones. I try to give voice to the voiceless. My goal is to offer a perspective on these natural and man-made tragedies from the point of view of the victims, above all civilians.
I was awarded the: – the Luchetta Foundation Special Award 2021 for being a journalist focused on the wreatched of the Earth – “Maria Grazia Cutuli Award” (2020) named after an Italian reporter killed in 2001 trying to reach Kabul – “Premiolino” (2017), the most important and oldest Italian journalism award, for my coverage of 2016 US election and for being the Italian pioneer of mobile journalism – “Alberto Jacoviello” (2016) named after one of the most important Italian foreign correspondent – “Giancarlo Siani” (2011) for the coverage of the story of anti-mafia mayor in South Italy (in cooperation with 3d News staff). This award is named after a young Italian reporter killed by mafia in the 80s. – “Premio Guido Carletti” Silver medal of President of Italian Republic (2010) for my reportage “The Trap” about the Afghan refugees in Patra, Greece. – “Premio Paolo Frajese” (2009) for my coverage of 17/09/09 attack in Kabul against Italian troops. This award is named after one of the most famous Italian tv reporter. – Premio Marco Luchetta (2009) for my reportage about child malnutrition in Sierra Leone. This award is named after a young Italian reporter killed in Mostar during the war in Jugoslavia. – Premio Ilaria Alpi (2008) for a report about a Battle between Talibans and US Troops in Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. This award is named after a young female Italian reporter from RAI killed in Somalia during the period of “Restore Hope” operation. – Special mention for “Premio Anello Debole” (2007) for my reportage about the situation in Kabul.
I have also been nominated (shortlisted) at Premio Alpi 2011, Premio Luchetta 2016, Premio Luchetta 2018.
In 2015 independently I wrote, produced, directed, shot and edited “Killa Dizez – Life and death in the time of Ebola”, it is a 1-hour-long documentary about the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone It has been screened in festivals and events all over the world. For this work, I was awarded as “Best Emerging Filmaker” at TAFF 2016 – The African Film Festival – Dallas, Texas, Usa.
In 2018 I begun working on the documentary “A Hospital in War” which was screened for the first time in October 2020 in Italy. It is about the neverending war in Afghanistan seen from the wards of an hospital in Kabul, it is focused on the civilian casualties.
Both documentaries have been self-produced as my short documentary “Today I will live” (a short reminder about forgotten victims of a forgotten war) which has been awarded the Mojo Award (2020), the Dublin Smartophone Film Festival award (2021) and it has been selected for Cinephone 2021 and MINA 2021.
In so far, I have written five books (none of them are available in English):
– “Come si produce un Cd-Rom” (1997, Castelvecchi)
“How to produce a Cd-Rom” is a about tech and methods to produce a multimedia project
– “Cyberterrorismo” (1998, Castelvecchi) “Cyberterrorism” is about the story of a multinational art crew based in Switzerland which hijacked the internet, a way to show the power of search engine in organising and directing our knowledge and information
– “Afghanistan: Missione Incompiuta 2001-2015” (2015 Lantana, 2021 Poets&Sailors) “Afghanistan Mission Unaccomplished 2001-2015” it is about the longest war of all, the conflict in Afghanistan with a special focus on the Western “chapter” of it, the years of the Nato involvment.
– “Mojo – Mobile Journalism” (Centro di Documentazione Giornalistica 9/2018) a hand-book and field guide about mobile journalism.
– “Corrispondenze Afghane” (2019 Poets&Sailors) “Afghan dispatches” it can be considered as the second part of “Mission Unaccomplished”, covering the Afghan war from 2016 to 2019. It is about people and stories in a forgotten war.
Since the 90s I have worked on new tools for journalism and storytelling, from Cd-Roms to web based solutions. The latest leg of this journey is about the use of smartphone for journalism and storytelling. I am the Italian pioneer of mobile journalism which I took to Italy in 2015, since then I have been teaching it among fellow reporters and videomakers.
In 2018 I founded MOJO ITALIA, whom I am the director. I am the first Italian Festival about Mobile Journalism in Italy which took place in 2018, 2019 and 2021, looking forward to next editions.
This blog is mainly devoted to stories and news from areas where crisis take places (economical one, conflicts and health emergency). In most of the cases, crisis take over the news for a limited amount of time. Unfortunately when the media attention fades, the crisis is usually still on going and destined to last often for years neglected by the rest of the world. This is why we use the term “forgotten crisis”. This blog is a little contribution to shred a light on them. I try also to write also about mobile journalism, #mojo, new tools for story-telling in a flexible and budget-savy way.