Accessibility links

Breaking News

Satire In Iran, Child Suicide In Russia, And Praising Two Mothers: RFE's Stories Of The Year (Part 3 of 3)

Farshid Manafi, moderator of "Pas Farda," Radio Farda's hit satirical program.
Of the thousands of stories produced this year by RFE journalists, 15 have been singled out by RFE's top editors as the "Best of the Best." Read about this year's other winners in parts one and two of this series.

Winner Best Video Feature
In their report, “Why Are Russia’s Children Killing Themselves?” Alexander Kulygin and Anastasia Kirilenko of RFE’s Russian Service look at the suicide of a 10 year-old boy and the growing problem of child suicide across Russia.

Winner Best Commentary
In April, Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi claimed that women who don't dress modestly lead men astray and even cause earthquakes. In her commentary, RFE’s Golnaz Esfandiari discusses her childhood in post-revolutionary Iran and the role of women in politics and society there.

Best innovative Program
In 2010, RFE’s Persian language service, Radio Farda launched a weekly satirical program called “Radio Pas Farda.” The show makes light of many of political and social issues in Iran -- including a recurring segment featuring a mullah who gives advice on such issues as how to avoid immodestly-dressed women and how to live a long, fulfilling life according to the dictates of the government.

Winner Best Blog Item
Mumin Ahmadi writes a moving tribute to his biological mother in Tajikistan and his “other mother,” the woman who hosted him while he lived in the United States. Ahmadi writes that his Tajik mother gave birth to 12 children, which qualified her for “hero mother” status in the Soviet Union -- entitling her to special state benefits.

Other winners in this year's Story of the Year competition included a report on Uzbeks having their passports destroyed by authorities in Kyrgyzstan; Moldovan Service reporting on the plight of accused spy Ernest Vardanean; Russian Service coverage of the Khimki Forest protests outside Moscow; Balkan Service reporting on the arrest of Ejup Ganic; and a Google Maps project, “100 Names of Freedom,” by RFE's Belarusian Service.

- Zach Peterson