Mariangela Pira, new Sky star: “The economy? It must be explained in a simple way”

Mariangela Pira, the face of the economy of SkyTg24, is experiencing a moment of great popularity. Whether it’s aired on pay-TV or in your daily column # 3factors, available on the Web, has the great merit of narrating a complex subject with a simple and captivating language, which makes it accessible to all. Born in Dorgali, in the province of Nuoro, on April 17, 1976, she trained professionally traveling the world: from courses at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge to her beginnings withAnsa from New York, passing through a long experience in China and the role of correspondent from Kabul. Without forgetting the two prestigious awards won in 2019: the Spacecraft andAmerigo. Yet, its current notoriety is also linked to the impossibility of traveling, which for a year now affects us all. His company made the lockdown a little less oppressive for many Italians, but despite media exposure, Mariangela kept her feet firmly on the ground: “I’m working a lot and so I’m a little tired, but I’m also happy: these days it’s lucky not to have lost my job!”

We have noticed that for some time you have been on the air with the brace on your arm: what happened to you?

(ride) I could tell you I had an accident in Afghanistan or skiing … Instead, no: I fell! I slipped on a wet grate from the rain and made a displaced and fragmented fracture

Apart from this inconvenience, it seems to me a really good time for you: you are very present on Sky and it seems to me that the feedback from the public is very positive. I myself follow you with pleasure, because I find your way of explaining the economy in terms accessible to all very interesting …

Thanks so much. I started from geopolitics, but Sky needed a journalist dedicated to the economy and so I took advantage of the experience I had had at Class CNBC. Last year, with the lockdown, even the people who are usually busy with work early in the morning had the opportunity to follow me more and therefore to get to know me better. It is not that I have changed my way of doing things, but certainly there has been more recognition by the public. Probably also affects the fact that I do not use social media in a controversial way

But you use them a lot and well: do you have a particular recipe?

You are very kind, but in reality I only dedicate a quarter of an hour to social media every morning: I record my video and post it on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. I rarely respond to various comments. I don’t want to become a slave to it and I don’t even have any particular recipes: I try to be myself and use language as simple as possible. You can only be clear if you yourself truly understand the topic you are talking about. This is why I always try to understand first and then tell, hoping that this recipe always works

You too have experienced a common misfortune for many women who frequent the Net, that is, being the victim of sexist comments. What kind of experience was it?

Yes, there have been sexist comments regarding certain parts of my body. I reported them immediately, because it is a kind of thing that does not belong to me: I certainly do not go on the Net to look for these comments. My post caused a sensation, probably because I said it very forcefully. This must have amazed

Not for those who know you well, since the female issue is something you have always followed throughout your career. So I guess this episode touched you particularly. Am I wrong?

It is so. When a man and a woman touch on certain topics, perhaps even in the same way, the woman always receives a stronger and sexually connoted response. Mine is not victimhood: I am a girl who made herself out of nothing, I come from a small town in Sardinia and I know where I am. Objectively, however, women are approached in a different way and this also happens to me, who also put myself in a certain way

That is how?

I am not the type of person who uses strong language or who thinks he is always right: on the contrary, I always question myself, because I think that this is the only way to evolve. So I expect the same kind of education from whoever comes to my wall. Even when certain things bother me particularly, I force myself to avoid epithets and insults, maintaining a certain education. Just as some things you can’t say in a bar, you shouldn’t be able to say them on someone else’s page either. I am convinced that we need to improve the language on social networks and, I’ll tell you, I don’t know what would happen if I in turn used a strong style like that of some colleagues. We are also the language we use: I don’t get so many insults because I put myself in a certain way. Yet even the most beloved popularizer, when he starts talking about politics, suffers insults. It is impossible to talk about it serenely

You have traveled the world a lot: do you think this is a specifically Italian problem?

Certainly not: it is widespread. See what happened in the United States with the assault on the Capitol! This has to do with the anger that mounts on social media and the frustration of people, on which you can pour gasoline. This is why I say that our attitude is important. I am nobody, but I am very attentive to the language I use on social networks: I realize that there are people who pour their malaise on other people who, like us, have a public profile and are therefore easily accessible and attackable. We have a responsibility and cannot adopt the same language as those who use the Internet as a tool of hate. If we do not put a patch on it, we will fall into a chasm that concerns Italy, but also the rest of the world

Speaking of personal dignity and international scenarios: are you still active in international cooperation with the non-profit organization “Terre des Hommes”?

Yes and I am very proud of it. I am preparing a post on the tenth anniversary of the civil war in Syria, to make people understand what is being done there from this point of view. The situation is not at all simple and when you visit countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Iran or Iraq you realize how lucky you are. We can go to study without fundamentalist men attacking us by throwing acid on us. I interviewed completely burnt women, who even have the spaces between their teeth blackened by the fire. Living in a country where there is freedom of speech and expression is a great fortune, but, as Angela Merkel says, “freedom of expression ends when you use a language of hatred”. The limit must be that the freedom of the other cannot be usurped. Instead, with social media this is being lost: everyone thinks they can talk and in fact I happen to receive comments, even ungrammatical ones, from those who think they know everything about everything. This is a serious mistake: doubt must always be cultivated

You have lived for a long time in China, another place where the concept of “freedom” is much discussed: how is the situation?

Here there is a strong prejudice on China, which we often look at with suspicion, while towards the USA there is a much more available attitude, for example on the issue of 5G. I personally believe that Europe should make its voice heard, without being dependent on one or the other. The same intellectual honesty should be used both towards the United States, with their infamous foreign policy, and towards the Chinese, where an unprecedented opening towards some sectors of capitalism is being detected, probably also due to Covid-19. So far there has been a lack of reciprocity, but it is also our fault

What do you mean?

When they come to acquire stakes in our companies, they know very well what they are doing. Instead we, due to the urgency of selling and collecting cash, do not do it due diligence and therefore we have no idea who we are taking to Christmas dinner. And then there is the issue of human rights, completely neglected: there is a problem there, especially in the Muslim area, but it is not easy to raise one’s head on these issues, given the difficult times and the fact that China is the second largest. world economy. We don’t even talk about Hong Kong, which was previously a free place: maybe Biden will do it during the next mission to China, since he has already mentioned the topic. However, from direct experience, I know that the lack of certain rights is not a very important issue on the part of the Chinese


They don’t give a damn about the fact that they can’t use Facebook and WhatsApp or even read The New York Times. We Westerners realize it, that in order not to change habits we must always have a VPN, otherwise almost nothing is accessed. They have other things, like WeChat, they see a growth prospect and they are happy with it. I think it is important to stay in a country and get to know it well, before expressing a judgment, even a critical one

You feel your love for China, even if you come from what is probably the most beautiful place in the world: Sardinia …

Above all, it is the place we all want to go to today! I’ll go back as soon as I can, but since I respect the Covid-19 prevention rules, it’s not possible at this time. It’s definitely a place you miss if you love it. And, for me who was born there, not seeing Cala Gonone for too long is really a pain.


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