Best Of RFE/RL: November & December
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 November and December, 2017.
News & current affairs
Saakashvili On the Run
The Ukrainian Service gave comprehensive and impactful coverage of former Georgian president turned Ukrainian opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili’s detention and subsequent escape from police custody. Drone footage of his escape went viral on social networks – its live stream on YouTube was #1 trending in Ukraine (#2 as recorded stream), and was viewed on Facebook nearly 1 million times.
The Hague Tribunal After The Curtains Fall
In Serbia, where the state media openly promotes persons convicted by the UN war crimes tribunal as acceptable role models and national heroes, RFE/RL's Balkan Service shed light on the convicts’ culpability and questioned their rise to prominence. The film featured convicted war criminal Nikola Sainovic, who currently is a top figure in the Serbian Socialist Party.
Transgender In Tehran: Arsham's Story
What is it like to be transgender in Iran, where people can legally change their gender, but homosexuality remains a punishable crime? Arsham, a young transgender woman in Tehran, shared selfie videos of her daily life with Radio Farda. The result is a short-form documentary forming part of an ongoing series featuring people who are treated as “different” in the country.
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.
Rap Wrap-Up 2017
Journalist Ales Pilecki put a twist in to the Belarussian Service’s 2017-year ender, by highlighting the year’s major Belarusian news events in a rap. The rap wrap-up 2017 attracted thousands of viewers, who shared, commented and re-posted the song on Facebook, Instagram and VKontakte networks.
Two Centenarians And The Century That Shaped Their Lives
These personality-driven narratives, provided by the Belarussian Service, painted intricate pictures of two lives shaped by the harsh realities of the former Soviet Union. Both provided a profoundly human way to put the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution into its historical context.