Best Of RFE/RL: Annual Awards 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 2018.
Award of Excellence
RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service’s Schemes program is an outstanding example of hard-hitting, detailed and well-analyzed investigative journalism with a massive impact that continues to ripple through Ukraine, with implications for the fight against corruption and the protection of journalists. Working under constant pressure and sometimes in hostile environment, Schemes’ reporters manage to deliver the top class journalism that has made this program must-watch TV for anyone concerned about corruption in Ukraine.
News & Current Affairs
Coverage Of Opposition Protests In Armenia
The Armenian Service’s relentless coverage of the dramatic events in Yerevan recorded 35 million views on YouTube and 110 million on Facebook in April, with most of the growth attributable to its live streams. Coverage was picked up by all Armenian TV channels and featured on major TV and online news websites like BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, France 24, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Armenian Service Director Harry Tamrazian was interviewed by CNN.
Kyrgyzstan’s ‘Graveyard Mafia’
Investigation into bribery allegations in cemeteries, conducted by RFE/RL’s late colleague Ulanbek Egizbaev of the Kyrgyz Service, revealed a huge corruption scheme in Bishkek's prestigious cemetery. The report was broadcast on prime time by Kyrgyzstan's most popular public TV channel KTRK and gained enormous engagement across social networks.
The Afghan Boy Who Supports Nine People
The Afghan Service’s powerful story about 13-year-old Mansur has touched the hearts and minds of many people. While the original video gained over 700,000 views, the English version gained almost 5 million views on Facebook, and the Russian version over 1 million views on Current Time. Once back in school, it was reported that Mansur received a lot of support.
Caught Up In A Revolution
RFE/RL’s photo journalist Amos Chapple used the gripping images he captured in Armenia to tell the story of how he stumbled into a revolution whilst on an unrelated assignment. The project was on the shortlist for the 2018 Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) awards, where RFE/RL's Central Newsroom was "highly commended" for the piece.
We’ve Got 12 Coffins In One Day
RFE/RL’s Russian Service’s stories on two Russian mercenaries who were captured by ISIS forces and allegedly killed received over 160,000 reads and were cited in all independent mainstream Russian media as well as some foreign media. A woman who personally knew the second prisoner phoned RFE/RL with more valuable information on his story and the topic.
Life Inside The ‘Meat Grinder'
With over 300 thousand views, the Russian Service’s report on the deaths of Russian mercenaries fighting in Syria on February 7 during massive U.S. air strikes was the Service’s most popular article of the month. The report included firsthand accounts of veteran fighters who came home alive and an anonymous interview with a private company organizing groups of mercenaries to fight in Syria and eastern Ukraine.
VAT Increases: A Tax On The Poor?
Current Time’s video explaining Russia’s signing into law a measure that increases the country’s value-added tax (VAT) from 18 to 20 percent, in addition to a proposal to raise the pension age, was viewed more than 1 million times.
‘No Other Choice'
RFE/RL’s Turkmenistan Service’s video on a 70-year-old man offering payment to marry a 16-year-old ethnic Turkmen girl in Afghanistan shows an appalling situation for the families of girls in the Turkmen community of Afghanistan. It has attracted hundreds of thousands of views on RFE/RL’s Turkmen and Current Time channels.