Journalists for RFE/RL's Kyrgyz and Tajik services were recently lauded by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for their reporting on ecological issues on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.
Masumi Muhammadrajab, reporting for the Tajik Service, was recognized for two reports on the peaceful collaboration of Tajik and Kyrgyz citizens. One story featured the joint effort between Tajik and Kyrgyz villagers to construct a bridge for smooth passage from one country to the other.
A second story documented the aid provided by Kyrgyz citizens to Tajik residents affected by a devastating avalanche over the border.
"The OSCE appreciated those stories because they are not stories of dividing people, but instead, bringing them together in a conflict zone," said Sojida Djakhfarova, director of the Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi.
The Kyrgyz Service's Jenish Aidarov was awarded for his report on the impact of insufficient water resources on the lives of those living in Kyrgyzstan's Batken region.
"Jenish [Aidarov] lives and works in the most unstable and dangerous area in Kyrgyzstan," said Venera Djumataeva, director of the Service, which is known locally as Radio Azattyk.
"He grew up in this region, and always makes a meaningful connection to the people who live in the areas he covers."
Aidarov was named "Best Radio Correspondent" by Kyrgyzstan’s Public Association of Journalists last December.
Each of the winning reports exemplified the focus of this year's OSCE conference, "raising awareness about the good practices of disaster risk management in the border areas of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan."
The awards were presented on October 16 in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh.
RFE/RL's Tajik Service is a trailblazer in its bold coverage of political, economic, social, and cultural issues, and its defense of freedom of speech in Tajikistan. Its website and YouTube page each attract more than one million users per month.
RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service is a leading source of independent news and information for its audiences. A November 2014 Gallup survey found that the Service reaches more than 36 percent of the population every week via TV, radio, and digital platforms. An independent poll in February 2015 found that it is considered the most reliable information source on radio in Kyrgyzstan.
- Ruth Douglas