Best Of RFE/RL: July & August
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 July and August, 2018.
The Invasion of Czechoslovakia Through Women’s Eyes
RFE/RL’s Central Newsroom’s interactive page telling the stories of four women who were eye witnesses to the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 stood out in a crowded field of content on the fiftieth anniversary. Archive footage and creative video is interweaved in to the women’s firsthand narratives of their bravery.
News And Current Affairs
Four Foreign Cyclists Killed In Southern Tajikistan
RFE/RL’s Tajik Service was the first media outlet to report on the attack claimed by the Islamic State against a group of foreign cyclists on a highway in southern Tajikistan on July 29 that left four people dead and several injured. The Service’s comprehensive reporting and unique multimedia materials were used by numerous international media, including the Washington Post, CNN, Euronews, Fox News, and the New York Times.
The Crushing Of The Prague Spring
RFE/RL’s Central Newsroom’s photo slider gallery showing locations of Prague during the soviet led invasion of 1968 compared to the present scenes today stood out among stories by many organizations to mark the 50th anniversary this year. The piece is liked by over seven thousand people on Facebook.
Kazakh Court Rejects China Deportation
RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service was one of the first media outlets to interview ethnic Kazakh Chinese citizen Sairagul Sauytbay, following her release after being convicted of an illegal border crossing and threatened with deportation to China where she feared she would face execution. The Service’s live coverage and reports were cited in international media, including the Wall Street Journal and the Diplomat.
Uzbek National Security Service And Drug Trafficking
The Uzbek Service’s detailed investigation into the notorious National Security Service’s involvement in transnational drug trafficking featured an in-depth interview with a former drug smuggler, who testified that an NSS top commander, using blackmail and extortion, coerced him to smuggle narcotics from Afghanistan. Input by the Afghan Service that looked into the possible sources of the drugs taken to Uzbekistan made the investigation even stronger.
One Wall, Two Sides
RFE/RL’s Azerbaijan Service’s video showing the poverty-stricken areas of Baku, that were hidden from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s official visit in August 2018 by the government’s construction of two walls, went viral. It resonated with the Azerbaijani audience and generated more views than coverage on social media of Merkel’s visit.
VAT Increases: A Tax On The Poor?
Current Time’s video explaining Russia’s signing into law a measure that increases the country’s value-added tax (VAT) from 18 to 20 percent, in addition to a proposal to raise the pension age, was viewed more than 1 million times.
Don’t Spoil Your Uniform With Blood
RFE/RL’s Dmitry Volchek of the Russian Service continues to dig into the tragic events that saw millions of innocent citizens become victims of the Soviet repressive killing machine some eighty years ago. In this piece, he obtained unique information from the archives of the Soviet Secret Services (NKVD).