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Best Of RFE/RL: September

Each month RFE/RL’s Editorial Board celebrates the greatest journalistic achievements in breaking news coverage, reporting, features, videos and photography within its 25 Language Services. Below are the Winners for September, 2017.

News & current affairs

Russian Court Sentences Crimean Tatar Leader to Eight Years

RFE/RL’s Crimea Desk of the Ukrainian Service’s complex coverage of the verdicts handed down to Crimean Tatar leaders Akhtem Chiygoz, Ilmi Umerovand, and its own contributor Mykola Semena, exposed these cases to the wider public, as Crimean state media largely ignored these stories.

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Feature long

Stuck

RFE/RL’s Russian Service’s documentary on Vorkuta, a once a thriving Arctic coal town which is now achingly bleak, decaying and ignored by the powers in Moscow, was watched over 17,000 times via social platforms and received hundreds of comments from the public, mostly compassionate.

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Feature short

Extremist Ties Turn Brother Against Brother In Tajikistan

RFE/RL’s Tajik Service’s coverage of the story of a man who turned his brother over to the Tajik special services to prevent him from fighting for the Islamic State was watched over 70,000 times on Facebook and YouTube. Most viewers praised his action with comments like “You saved your brother’s life and prevented him from killing others.”

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Feature short

A Miracle Girl

RFE/RL’s Balkan Service covered the story of an 8-year-old Bosnian girl, Ramela, who was born without hands and with defects in her legs. The story was shared by many media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, and was watched over 300 times on Facebook. The school also received calls from people offering to support Ramela financially.

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Feature short

Pakistan's Forgotten Terrorism Victims

RFE/RL’s Pakistani Service’s coverage of the story of two widows who lost their husbands and sons in a suicide attack on January 1, 2010, has been viewed over 350,000 times.

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Social

Uzbek Official Caught Beating School Principals

RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service’s story of a secretly filmed district head in Uzbekistan beating school principals for not bringing enough teachers to the celebration of Independence Day has been viewed over 2 million times across social networks, gathering thousands of reactions.

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Special project

Across The River: Life In A Small Town Split Between Belarus And Latvia

A story about two towns - one in Belarus, another in Latvia - that once were not divided by borders was the most visited item on RFE/RL’s Belarus Service's website for several weeks, and was reported by numerous media. It received over 20,000 views on social media and was shared by dozens of Belarusian groups and audiences in Vkontakte.

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