Best of RFE/RL: February
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 February, 2018.
News & Current Affairs
Russian Mercenaries Lost In Syria
The list of Russian fighters who are thought to have died in massive U.S. air strikes in Syria's Deir ez-Zor Province on February 7 quickly grew from official Kremlin accounts of a handful to dozens and possibly hundreds. The incident remains hushed up in Russia, but solid reporting on the ground from the fighters' hometown by RFE/RL's Russian Service helped reveal what appears to be the deadliest confrontation between U.S. forces and Russian fighters since the Cold War.
Uzbek Suspect Had Contacts With IS During Stockholm Truck Attack
RFE/RL Uzbek Service’s investigation was the first and only one to expose the link between the Stockholm terror suspect and high-ranking Islamic State militants in Syria. The investigative documentary included a 3D reconstruction of the events that left five dead after a man plowed into a crowd on a pedestrian street with a hijacked truck. It was produced in four languages and referred to by over 100 media sources, including 20 mainstream media outlets.
A Nursing Home Near Ukraine's Front Lines
This video tells the story of some of the eastern Ukraine’s most vulnerable – the elderly residents displaced by the separatist conflict in the region, who have nowhere else to turn but this small, volunteer-run nursing home in the Donetsk region. In intimate close-ups of the residents, we see the breadth and depth of the human tragedy of the separatist war in eastern Ukraine. The video resonated widely with the Ukrainian Service’s audiences on social networks.
Vera’s Fairy Tale
RFE/RL’s Current Time’s story, about an 88-year-old woman selling self-published fairy tales on a wintry street, was viewed more than 26.5 million times across Facebook, VK, Odnoklassniki, YouTube, and Twitter, and sparked an outpour of support from all over the world for Vera Sibireva, who was also invited to Moscow to participate in a popular TV talk show. Vera used her retirement money to publish the books based on her childhood in Udmurtia in hopes of raising money for the publication of new books.
Riots In Pakistan Over Rape And Murder of 7-Year-Old Girl
RFE/RL’s Pakistani Service Radio Mashaal closely followed the story of the rape and killing of seven-year-old Zainab Ansari in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and produced a series of mission-oriented materials. Sexual violence against children is a serious problem in Pakistan, requiring a strong public and governmental response. Such media coverage helps create awareness of the scale of the problem and encourages the government to take crucial steps to stop this practice.
RFE/RL’s Balkan Service’s microsite telling the virtually unknown story of Diana Budisavljevic, a woman who saved more than 7 thousand children from Croatian Ustasha concentration camps during the Second World War, is a tribute to human heroism. After the war, Diana’s name was erased from the official record of the operation to rescue the children that she had masterminded and coordinated. Through this project, the Service is now searching for those children, survivors of the Holocaust who are now in their 70's or older.