On September 13, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) surpassed the 1 billion mark for combined views of its video content on Facebook and YouTube in 2017. By the end of November, that figure had risen to nearly 1.4 billion.
RFE/RL videos are watched by audiences in 20 countries and 23 languages, with users in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan accounting for the lion’s share of views. They reflect RFE/RL’s active embrace of innovation that has taken the company from its radio origins to the cutting edge of journalism, social engagement, and information exchange.
RFE/RL-produced videos and documentary products will be screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, and Moscow’s ArtDoc Film Festival in 2017 and 2018.
Below we list RFE/RL’s top performing content units on Facebook and YouTube, as well as a selection of the videos driving that traffic. Enjoy!
Top Services – Video Views (January-November, 2017)
- Current Time (currenttimetv): 190,335,089
- Armenian Service (azatutyun): 97,038,202
- Afghan Service (azadir/azadiradio): 85,754,444
- Ukrainian Service (radiosvoboda.org/krymrealii): 76,025,162
- Pakistan Service in Pashto (mashaalradio): 73,746,446
- Russian Service (radiosvoboda): 45,653,857
- Tajik Service (ozodivideo): 92,938,319
- Russian Service (svobodaradio): 73,815,158
- Kyrgyz Service (azattykunalgysy): 60,807,969
- Azerbaijani Service (azadliqradiosu): 58,943,093
- Uzbek Service (ozodlikradiosi): 57,062,353
- Current Time (currenttimetv): 54,093,146
A Bakers Dozen (plus three) of Favorite RFE/RL Videos
- 'Russian Banksy' Battles To Honor Victims Of Soviet Terror (January 12, 2017)
Vladimir Ovchinnikov isn't a typical street artist. His artwork dots the small town of Borovsk, Russia, depicting local residents, famous historical events, and honoring victims of Soviet repressions.
- Finding Elvis: Tracking Down A Bosnian Boy, 25 Years After The War (January 23, 2017)
There was an emotional reunion in Sarajevo when German photographer Bjorn Steinz decided to track down Elvis -- whom he last saw as a 6-year-old boy during the 1990s Bosnian war.
- Little Picasso Paints And Dreams In Serbian Refugee Camp (May 29, 2017)
He's been dubbed 'The Little Picasso' by Serbian media -- 10-year-old Afghan boy Farhad Nuri passes the time at a refugee center near Belgrade producing beautiful portraits, and dreams of studying art.
- Donors Fund New Home For Blind Russian Factory Worker (June 6, 2017)
Sergei Ivanov is one of dozens of blind workers at a factory in Rusinovo, south of Moscow. After Current Time TV reported on his situation, thousands of donors answered an NGO's crowdfunding campaign to help improve his life.
- Pashtun Girl Sells Popcorn To Support Parents (in Pashto; June 26, 2017)
A 12-year-old Pashtun girl living in Pakistan’s impoverished tribal areas sells popcorn in Islamabad to support her ailing parents and family members (Viewers of the video have contributed several hundred dollars to help support the family, and arrangements are being made for her to attend school).
- Syria’s Agony Set In Stone (June 30, 2017)
Syrian sculptor Nizar Ali Badr has been capturing the story of refugees from his country, using pebbles from his local beach. His art has become the inspiration for a unique film conceived by Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer, who asked Georgian animator Sandro Kancheli to bring the figures to life along with his music.
- MH-17: What Happened? (July 16, 2017)
What exactly do we know about the events of July 17, 2014, when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was blown out of the sky over Ukraine, killing 298 people?
- Pavel Sheremet: The Life And Death Of A Journalist (July 19, 2017)
Journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed by a car bomb in Kyiv on July 20, 2016. One year on, Ukrainian authorities still have not identified any suspects.
- Straw Stadium Mocks Russia’s Zenit Arena (July 27, 2017)
A farmer in Russia's north Caucasus has built a straw stadium to mock the delays, budget overruns, and corruption scandals surrounding the construction of the Zenit Arena in St. Petersburg -- a key venue in the 2018 World Cup.
- The Ukrainian Children Trained For War (August 16, 2017)
More than 10,000 people have been killed since the Ukraine war began, but people on both sides are already training the next generation to fight -- at special military summer camps for kids.
- Once A Japanese Kamikaze, Now A Retired Farmer In Russia (September 13, 2017)
A Japanese-born soldier assigned to a Kamikaze suicide squad in World War II is living out his years in Russia.
- Who Profited From The ‘Azerbaijani Laundromat’? (September 14, 2017)
An investigative report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project says that Azerbaijan's ruling elite used a secret $2.9 billion fund to pay politicians and others to promote the regime's interests. How did the "Azerbaijani Laundromat" work?
- Criticism Or Terrorism? Jailed For A Like (September 19, 2017)
Dozens of Russian citizens have been imprisoned in recent years for their social-media activities. This is the story of one of them, a blogger who was jailed for expressing his views on Russia's military involvement in Syria.
- Moscow Migrants School: Be Brave With The Police (November 14, 2017)
An Uzbek refugee who settled in Moscow is teaching new arrivals how to deal with the police, all within their legal rights.
- Putin’s Past Promises (December 7, 2017)
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would seek reelection in March 2018. He made several promises last time he ran. How has he done in keeping them?
- The Afghan Boy Who Supports Nine People (December 19, 2017)
Mansur is just 13 but supports a family of nine by working at a Kabul market with nothing more than a wheelbarrow and his wits.