LVIV, Ukraine -- Levko Stek, a freelance journalist for Radio Svoboda, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, was presented the Oleksandr Kryvenko Award for "Progress in Journalism" during the Lviv Media Forum on May 29. The award is accompanied by a €1,000 cash prize.
Stek has worked for the Ukrainian Service since November of 2013, covering the Euromaidan protests that began in Independence Square in Kyiv that same month. Since then, Stek has continued to report on the several crises that have engulfed Ukraine, covering the fall of embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, as well as the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Stek has been harassed and detained as a result of his journalistic work, but has consistently produced compelling news reports, feature stories and video packages as both a civilian and as a journalist embedded with Ukrainian army units on the front lines.
The Oleksandr Kryvenko Award for Progress in Journalism is given annually to a journalist that most embodies the ideals of its namesake. Before his untimely death in 2003, Kryvenko led the burgeoning Ukrainian independent media and news industry following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Kryvenko, who was both a prominent editor and an essayist, established Postup, the first popular newspaper to ascribe to an independent, Western style of reporting, and infused the publication with his biting wit, satire, and irony. At the time of his death in 2003, Kryvenko was the founding director of the newly established Ukrainian Public Radio.
-- Scott Looney