Radio Free Asia (RFA) online affiliate 歪脑 | WHYNOT was named a winner by the Online News Association (ONA) for its impactful feature on the “lost” decade of the modern Chinese feminist movement, starting with the 2015 arrest of the group of five women who protested sexual harassment on public transportation. 歪脑 | WHYNOT’s Preserving the Erased Decade of the Chinese Feminist Movement, showcasing the unheard voices and telling their stories, won a 2021 Online Journalism Award in the feature category for a small newsroom.
“I am so proud of the 歪脑 | WHYNOT team for winning yet another award this year for its groundbreaking coverage that offers young Mandarin-speakers a new perspective on the world around them,” RFA President Bay Fang said. “This recognition also reflects the central mission driving RFA for 25 years, which is to document and to empower through uncensored, independent journalism.”
“Since launching last year, the 歪脑 | WHYNOT team continues to develop projects that fight misinformation and misperception in the Chinese-language world,” said Alex Zhang, Director of 歪脑 | WHYNOT. “For this feature, the overwhelming audience response included people saying how they felt like memories lost a decade ago were suddenly returned to them. For us, that kind of impact is its own reward. But this award, for which we thank the ONA, also encourages us.”
歪脑 | WHYNOT’s feature, which premiered in March 2021, unites the forgotten stories of Chinese activists from around the world, constructing a vital historical narrative to empower future agents of change as China’s authoritarian regime has tightened its grip on every aspect of society and silenced the most active and outspoken voices. For the first time, 歪脑 | WHYNOT connected Chinese feminists, women, and others around the world, weaving the broken threads of the movement together despite censorship and years of separation. This involved hosting online interactive events with several members of the Feminist Five, including a Clubhouse chatroom in which almost 300 people — including mainland Chinese citizens — asked questions and discussed the movement in a rare opportunity for open dialogue about the movement and its legacy.
This is 歪脑 | WHYNOT’s second major award this year, having earned a Hong Kong Human Rights Award in May for its essay The Truth Isn’t Dead, You Just Don’t Believe It Anymore – a testament to 歪脑 | WHYNOT continuing to fill a vital role providing incisive journalism to audiences living under authoritarian regimes. Other winners at this year’s competition include ProPublica, Grist, The New York Times, VICE Media, and The Wall Street Journal.
Washington — Radio Free Asia is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting and publishing online news, information, and commentary in 9 East Asian languages to listeners who do not have access to full and free news media. RFA’s broadcasts seek to promote the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, including the freedom to “seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” RFA is funded by an annual grant from USAGM.
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