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Best Of RFE/RL: January

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 January, 2018.

News & Current Affairs

Russian "Voters' Strike" Protests

The Russian Service and Current Time took viewers into the middle of the chaos as banned opposition candidate in Russia Aleksei Navalny was taken into custody and 350 people were detained nationwide following a rally for a boycott of the March presidential election. Live broadcasts, a live blog and social media updates, along with video attracted an estimated audience of over 750 thousand on Facebook and YouTube.

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Feature Long

‘Petro Incognito’: Poroshenko’s Secret Holidays

An investigation by Schemes journalists Mykhailo Tkach and Natalie Sedletska of the Ukrainian Service sparked debates by revealing the details of President Petro Poroshenko’s luxury vacation on a private island, which he tried to conceal from the public eye. The story showed a lack of transparency of the Ukrainian authorities and resonated widely on social networks. It was a top story on Ukrainian YouTube for a few days.

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Feature Short

Kosovo’s New Traffic Rules

This video explainer by the Balkan Service’s Kosovo Unit helped its audience to understand the complex rules of a new traffic law implemented in Kosovo as of January 1, 2018. Because the video was produced with a target audience in mind it resonated widely on social networks and on the Service’s webpage. It received over 750 thousand views and was shared more than 5 thousand times on Facebook alone.

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Social Video

Against Occupation: 40 Years After Self-Immolation Of Oleksa Hirnyk

Four decades ago, RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service was the first and only media to tell the story of Oleksa Hirnyk, a Ukrainian Soviet dissident, an engineer by profession, who burned himself to death as an act of protest against Soviet suppression of the Ukrainian language, culture, and history in 1978. Today Radio Svoboda is one of few media outlets in the country to pay attention to the anniversary. This caption video produced in a fresh format by Natalia Patrikeieva and Hryhorii Yermyko received almost 200 thousand views on Facebook.

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Special Project

Inside The Village

Over the course of 10 months, the program by Arus Hakobyan and Ruzan Gishyan of the Armenian Service featuring rural communities and the life of villagers has had more than 1 million views on YouTube and over 3 million views on Facebook. The two journalists take part in the daily life of local villagers and let us live it, bringing the problems and dreams of the villagers to the attention of a broader public.

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Japanese Comic Artist ‘Struggling’ in Belarussian Prison

A story by Aliaksandra Dynko and Alena Litvinava of the Belarus Service about a young Japanese cartoon artist, who was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison in Belarus following his innocent purchase of some antique weapons in a Kyiv shop during a transit stop in Belarus Airport, widely resonated with the Service’s audiences on social networks. It contained lots of details of the artists struggle which also tells volumes about the court system in Belarus.

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