Associated Press what is wrong with you?


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Image via CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

(by pio dal cin) In the Eighties when I was an “assault” photojournalistgoing from war to war dodging bullets and avoiding landmines to establish myself in the media world as a freelance, I was elated when the +The Associated Press  offered me to “string” for them in the North Eastern part of Italy.

They would call me at anytime of the day sending me on a particular assignment. I was working exclusively with film and I would develop my own in my small but efficient dark room. The photos were sent via a slow modem. It took about twenty minutes to send a picture into the mainRome office.

I was happy. I felt to be a part of a great photo agency and it was very rewarding for me.

Many years have gone by and the era of digital has hit the photojournalism like a tornado. Suddenly everyone could be a reporter, given a camera (or a smartphone) and being at the right place at the right time it’s all that takes, no previous photojournalistic background required.

With this situation I would have expected that great agencies like +The Associated Press , +Reuters   would clean up their guns and get one step ahead right? Wrong.

On the Boston Marathon‘s bombing that I have followed step by step on myTwitter account I realized that most of the news were updated immediately by citizen’s journalism effort, faster that any other newspaper or news agency (with the sole exception of the Boston Globe who was right on top of the news).

Tonight I red about a Guardian’s Article about a tweet from AP that managed to send the Dow plunging.

What is wrong with you +The Associated Press ? Have you so radically changed that the news are given out without first making sure of the source? (rule number one for great journalism). You need a remodeling job probably. You should be one step ahead, not one step behind citizens trying to cover a news.

If you are short on staff I am available. 

A life revealed (The Afghan Girl with those great eyes grew up…)


Her eyes have captivated the world since she appeared on our cover in 1985. Now we can tell her story.

By Cathy Newman
Photograph by Steve McCurry
She remembers the moment. The photographer took her picture. She remembers her anger. The man was a stranger. She had never been photographed before. Until they met again 17 years later, she had not been photographed since.
The photographer remembers the moment too. The light was soft. The refugee camp in Pakistan was a sea of tents. Inside the school tent he noticed her first. Sensing her shyness, he approached her last. She told him he could take her picture. “I didn’t think the photograph of the girl would be different from anything else I shot that day,” he recalls of that morning in 1984 spent documenting the ordeal of Afghanistan’s refugees.
The portrait by Steve McCurry turned out to be one of those images that sears the heart, and in June 1985 it ran on the cover of this magazine. Her eyes are sea green. They are haunted and haunting, and in them you can read the tragedy of a land drained by war. She became known around National Geographic as the “Afghan girl,” and for 17 years no one knew her name.
In January a team from National Geographic Television & Film’s EXPLORER brought McCurry to Pakistan to search for the girl with green eyes. They showed her picture around Nasir Bagh, the still standing refugee camp near Peshawar where the photograph had been made. A teacher from the school claimed to know her name. A young woman named Alam Bibi was located in a village nearby, but McCurry decided it wasn’t her.
No, said a man who got wind of the search. He knew the girl in the picture. They had lived at the camp together as children. She had returned to Afghanistan years ago, he said, and now lived in the mountains near Tora Bora. He would go get her.
It took three days for her to arrive. Her village is a six-hour drive and three-hour hike across a border that swallows lives. When McCurry saw her walk into the room, he thought to himself: This is her.
Names have power, so let us speak of hers. Her name is Sharbat Gula, and she is Pashtun, that most warlike of Afghan tribes. It is said of the Pashtun that they are only at peace when they are at war, and her eyes—then and now—burn with ferocity. She is 28, perhaps 29, or even 30. No one, not even she, knows for sure. Stories shift like sand in a place where no records exist.

Online Newspaper opens to everyone


So your dream was  to be a journalist? Dream no more, here is your chance. This Facebook group is a “virtual newspaper ” where everyone is made administrator upon entering his/her subscription, thus making the member a “virtual editor” of this first online newspaper for GOOD NEWS ONLY.

The number one requirement is to write only POSITIVE NEWS .

The other rules are:




Anyone who will not obey the rules will be sent a personal e-mail  and if content is not removed he will be asked to leave the group.

The idea of this “newspaper” came to me from the urge of having a  virtual place where one can rest his/her mind reading positive news and links. Also to have a content that is friendly to the younger readers without worrying for adult content ( as a parent I value this as something really important) so that even the young members of Facebook can interact with the “journal” without having to worry about bad content.

The languages used is English, Italian and Italian’s dialect, for the group was founded here by me in Italy.

Welcome to all. Join today. It’s absolutely FREE!/group.php?gid=110274095650810&ref=nf

The bike accident (from my book my adventurous,wonderful life)


I finally decided to write my book today because it’s Frebruary the 29th…I thought that if i died today they’ll celebrate my anniversary once every four years.
                              CHAPTER ONE
Hey Dude, can you pick me up at the Memorial Hospital?

What happened..are you ok?

I’m ok…how long?

about twenty minutes…you mean the one on Hollywood Boulevard?

C’mon Dude…do you know of any other Memorial Hospital in Hollywood?


Dude…. wake up and smell the coffee…are you a cab driver or not?

Oh…sorry dude…I’ll get there in a flash..

I have a hard time remembering the Dude’s name. We all called him Dude because he used to put that word on his sentences as if it was a comma…so to everyone he was the “Dude”.

All the cab drivers in Broward County knew who he was, and kept away from him. He was a boat’s capitain, an helicopter’s pilot, a champion surfer… a perfect compulsive liar.
He just couldn’ help lying on anything…it was so obvious and imbarassing, but he wasn’t a bad person he had a hart and that was very hard to find in 1997 driving a taxi in Fort Lauderdale.
I “picked him up” from Hollywood Beach one day, almost wasted from the various joints he had smoked even if it was before lunch.. he was going to get busted soon or later by selling bags of pot on the beach so i told him he could drive a cab and make an honest living.

He accepted and I spoke to Mike, our supervisor. He got a cab a week later and I had a “Dude” living with me.

The good part was that I was never at home. I was living at 1536 Fletcher street at that time and the year was 1997. The neighbour was friendly and safe back then and  the rent was only 280 a month.

I was single, happily single in a region that had more girls willing to give it away than palms,so i wasn’t even thinking about getting married,start a family and such.
Before the Dude moved in with me I was living only with the “Girl” a 12 year old black Labrador that I adopted from my landlady when she decided to get her 12 year old son a “new dog because that one was blind”. I’ll talk about the “Girl” later though.
What happened Dude?
I fell from my bike and broke my arm
Near Pier 21 in Port Everglades… I went over the railroad tracks and the front wheel got stuck in the rail..flipping me airborne..when  I landed on top of my hand I felt the pain, someone took me to the hospital an here I am.
Holy Shit..that must have hurt.
Still does..can you take me home now?
Sure…but   how are you going todrive a cab now?
Good question Dude  good question…I’ll think about that tomorrow  now i just want to get some sleep.

I let my thoughts wandering about as we were driving South on US1 as i was unusually seated in the passenger’s seat of a taxi.
Ten years…i thought…ten years I have been driving a cab…how many people..
It was like going to the movies for me, getting behind the wheel early in the morning,trying to catch longer rides to MIA the airport in Miami. I was eager to see what kind of “Humanity” would have show in my back seat.
Most of my passengers talked about their problems to me as if I was some kind of priest listening to their confessions. They knew chances to see me again were slim, so they opened up and talked, asked, cried, laughed,offered grass, cocaine or sex in exchange for a ride..

The “Dude” (From my book my adventurous, wonderful life)

Chapter One


I wasn’t considering myself a new Mother Theresa or a Ghandi but if my word could make a passenger feel better..i never backed off.

I rolled the window down all the way.

South Florida evenings…i thought. that warm wind blowing inside, sucking the air conditioning out of the Dude’s cab like a straw.. I enjoyed the temperature in the late evening as I did at night, driving with my windows down.
The Dude was addicted to the air conditioning.

What are you doing man?
You know that i don’t like the ac Dude…it makes me sick…it makes you sick too..
can’t we just enjoy tthe breeze for awhile?
Ok man sice you broke your arm i’ll forgive you.
Dude, look at the finger of my broken arm…can you read between the lines?

We reached Fletcher Street and turned left from US1 just before the Hollywood Dog Track.
Our apt was just two block east and was quiet as usual.
Irwin parked the Chevy on the grass and we went inside greeted by the Girl who was laying in the front door as usual waiting for my return as a good friend.

Just before i fell from the bike, I was meditating on my life as a cabdriver and the outcome wasn’t that good.
I was still single at the age of 41, I only had about 5 thousand dollars saved up for the rainy days  and i didn’t know where my life was taking me , as if it was a small sail-boat adrifted in a tropical storm.
No. I wasn’t happy. I needed a change.
As this thought entered my mind I found myself flying and falling abruptly on the concrete smashing my arm and hand under my 180 pounds.
The pain was terrible.

Now, when i think back of that day I see it as if the destiny had set up a date for my ass.
I complained about my status and my conditions and I fell from my bike as if a Giant’s Hand had decided to take control over my ragged life and give it a twist.
Not only one twist though but three…in the same day.

As i reached home, the Landlady rang my bell

Hi pio

Hi Marylin what’s new?

Hey…!! What happened to your arm? (i told her the whole story)

Oh I’m so sorry. I have one bad news for you.

Hit me!

You going to have to leave the apartment in a month…i sold the house.

Oh great…no problem..i’ll manage…
The third blow came over the phone.

This is the yellow cab Pio in?


We found out what was wrong with the cab you brought in today…


You Blew the engine…so either you come up with 2500$ or you are out?

2500$? I blew the engine? what are you talking about? Let me speak to Mike the supervisor.



Is this some kind of a joke?

No Pio it’s all true and there is nothing I can do about…either you pay or you’re out…


Goodbye I got to go.

I hung up and crashed on the bed.
That was my really lucky day  I thought… the bike accident.Lost the apt.Lost my job.
All in the same day.
I looked at the ceiling fan rotating over my head,trying to see a clear solution out of this mess while the Dude was nervously going back and forth from the chitcken to the bedroom smoking a joint and complaining loudly about the fact that we had to look for a new place.
I hit the “pause” button on him. So he was talking and talking but I wasn’t really listening at all, trying to see clear trough that mess I wasn’t helped either by his talking,neither from the pain biting my arm now that the painkiller they gave me at the hospital was losing its effect.

I saw the Dude coming towards me talking but it was like on the TV when you press the “mute” I wasn’t hearing a word he was saying but I saw the hand with the joint coming my way  Dude.You know I don’t smoke when I have to drive you know…

Well you ain’t driving Pio are you?

You are right Dude.

So I took a couple of hits from the sweet grass and fell back on my back. Ten  minutes later, after i took the second paikiller for the day I fell asleep like a baby.