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Best Of RFE/RL: November-December 2018

Each year 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 November to December, 2018.

News & Current Affairs

Ukraine Declares Martial Law Along Borders With Russia

The Ukrainian Service provided hours of special coverage following Russia’s capture of three Ukrainian navy ships and 24 sailors on the Black Sea, near the Kerch Strait on November 25. A special feature on the day was viewed 300,000 times. Along with analysis, exclusive photos of the captured ships, and an exclusive interview with the father of one of the captured soldiers, the Service provided an eight-hour live stream which generated more than 650,000 views on social media platforms.

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Feature Long


This 54-minute-long mission-oriented documentary tells a story about the rise and fall of Russia’s Tomsk TV-2, a regional channel known for its editorial independence. Directed by Melanie Bachina of the Russia Service, the documentary illustrates both the power of a free press and how it can be silenced. The film was broadcast by independent TV Rain (Dozhd) and Ekho Moskvy devoted a special radio program to discuss the film. It sparked a lively discussion, with thousands of comments being shared online.

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Feature Short

Camera Surveillance Systems In Russia

Current Time’s package about camera surveillance systems in Russia, which were inspired by the story on the so-called Chinese ‘re-education camps’, resonated well with audiences. The video received more than 500,000 views on social media and was shared over 600 times on Facebook alone.

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Case Of Oleg Kashin: The Dead End

Using a combination of well narrated text, video and interviews, the Russian Service investigated a brutal crime that took place eight years ago and remains unresolved. The report explored the driving principles and understandings of the Russian elite, where criminal ties are just as tangled and complicated as the investigation of the attack against journalist Oleg Kashin.

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Social Content

Georgia's Glam Grannies

The Georgian Service’s video featuring two fashion models, 91-year-old Angela and her 83-year-old friend Lamara, and the sheer joy of their edgy photo shoot, was immensely popular, attracting more than 600,000 views and high engagement on Facebook alone.

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Special Project

A Superhero Without A Cape

RFE/RL’s Balkan Service’s special project about an eight-year-old boy who, despite being born without arms and with a foot deformity, went on to win a gold medal at a regional swimming competition, is a moving composition of videos, photographs and text about his journey and accomplishments. RFE/RL photographer Midhat Poturovic won the 2018 BETA News Agency Photograph of the Year competition with his photo of Ismail Zulfic, titled The Champion.

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