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Best Of RFE/RL: October

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 October, 2018.

News And Current Affairs

Afghans Vote In Parliamentary Elections

Radio Azadi journalists gave 80 reports and conducted about 50 interviews during its live coverage of the Afghan parliamentary elections on October 20, which drew in participation from hundreds of listeners. In Kabul, Radio Azadi journalists were among the first to report about the high turnout of voters who faced mismanagement from the Afghan election commission, and focused in particularly on women who turned out to vote.

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News And Current Affairs

Evidence On Skripal Poisoning Suspect

RFE/RL’s Russian Service’s cycle of analytical reports, along with research by open-source investigative website Bellingcat, helped uncover the identity of the Russian military intelligence officer who was allegedly involved in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England this past March. The investigation was widely quoted by the international press.

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Feature Long

The Leader’s Soldiers

Radio Farda’s documentary drew on high-quality footage, compelling UGC video, and strong journalistic content to take viewers deep inside the rallies which help sustain Iran's cult of personality of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The multiple scenes of flattering songs and self-flagellation are put into context with sharp analysis from independent commentators.

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Social Video

Forest Reclaiming Abhaz Ghost Town

Current Time’s visually stunning story showing a formerly prosperous Soviet mining town abandoned after the 1993 civil war in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia was picked up by the BBC, ITV News and Ireland's RTE. On the day of its publication, it was the top video on the BBC's website. The cinematic footage shows buildings and public areas taken over by the forest.

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In Russia’s Chechnya, Lesbians Tell Of A Horrid Experience

The Russian Service’s report contains confession-interviews with three young Chechen lesbians, who fled their homeland to escape homophobic, and sometimes almost medieval, social traditions. Delivered with profoundness and passion, this piece brought over 200 thousand hits to the website alone.

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Special Project

The Impact Of Violent Extremism In The Pashtun-Dominated Areas Of Pakistan

Radio Mashaal’s series of four 25 to 29 minute-long documentaries, in which families in northwest Pakistan tell about the impact violent extremism has had on them, were widely used both in and outside of RFE/RL. The videos attracted high engagement on social networks, receiving about 700 thousand views.

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