Best Of RFE/RL: April
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 April, 2018.
News And 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.
American 'Islands' For Ukraine
Valeria Yegoshyna, a journalist for RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service’s investigative program Schemes, investigated a possible link between the delay of the US ‘Islands’ and commercial plans of President Petro Poroshenko's shipbuilding company, the only one in the country. Following the investigation, President Poroshenko referred to journalists as "betrayal backers" and for the first time publicly confirmed that Ukraine would still get the ships.
Serbian Teens Play War Games At Russian Paramilitary Camp
The Balkan Service’s story on the sending of teenagers from Serbia to Russia for training at the International Military Patriotic Youth Camp near to Moscow touches a topic that is largely neglected by official Serbian media. The camp is run by an ultranationalist group called E.N.O.T. Corp, whose military trainers teach kids how to find their way in the woods, handle weapons, and prepare for the possibility of war.
Kazakh Man Recounts 'Re-Education' In Chinese Camp
Having spent a year reporting on the ethnic Kazakhs arrested in China since April 2017, Kazakh Service’s Nurtay Lakhanuly interviewed an escapee, who shared his story as one of thousands of Muslims suffering human rights abuses in Chinese prisons. Kairat Samarkan described in detail the terrible conditions in the prison, including humiliation, hunger, and moral pressure. The story was the most read on the Kazakh site in April, and provides proof that will help change the attitude of the Chinese authorities.
Apparent Vote Fraud In Azerbaijan’s Presidential Vote
The Azerbaijani Service has yet again proven that even without a bureau they can cover major events creatively and effectively. The Service’s reporters captured possible evidence of voter fraud in Azerbaijan's April 11 presidential election.
Who Was The Victim
The Afghan Service’s new initiative devoted to the victims of the attacks by Islamic extremist groups in Afghanistan so far features 24 videos that have brought significant engagement on social media networks with over one million views and thousands of shares and comments. The powerful video profiles of victims based on interviews with their relatives aim to show that they were not just numbers but real people whose deaths have shattered their families’ lives.