Radio Mashaal's coverage of the vicious Taliban attack on Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai
was recognized as RFE/RL's best news and current affairs story during September and October 2012.
As noted by the award jury, the attack on Yousafzai, who had gained prominence as a campaigner for girls' education in Pakistan's Pashtun-dominated northwestern territories, was a story that very quickly got the attention of the world media. But Radio Mashaal was one of the first to provide both engaging and comprehensive coverage of the story, offering a range of voices, photographs, and videos, including incredible and very disturbing footage of Yousafzai in her first hours in the hospital. Radio Mashaal correspondents also dug into their archives to locate old profiles of Malala and other interviews they had done that added depth to its reporting about this remarkable young woman. In addition, Radio Mashaal was very quick and generous in sharing its material with the Central Newsroom and ensuring it was avaialble to all RFE/RL language services.
Both the Kyrgyz Service and Georgian Service were also commended for their in-depth reporting on, respectively, the arrest of Maksim Bakiev
, the son of deposed Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, and of the prison-abuse scandal
that resonated in the wfinal days of the Georgian parliamentary election campauign. In both case, RFE/RL services demonstrated the incredible access they have achieved to the newsmakers in their target countries, whether reporting by phone or on the ground.