United States Agency for Global Media

RFE/RL Kyrgyz journalist named 2016 “Journalist of the Year”

RFE/RL Kyrgyz Service correspondent Kubanychbek Joldoshev was named 2016 Journalist of the Year by the Committee for Protection of Press Freedom in Kyrgyzstan. Joldoshev was recognized for his complex investigative reporting throughout the year. The commemorative diploma and “balbal” statuette were presented to Joldoshev by politician Elmira Ibraimova at a public reception held on December 23, 2016. The 36-year-old graduate of Osh State University has worked for the local newspaper Osh Shamy (The Torch of Osh) in addition to being a correspondent for RFE/RL’s Radio Azattyk since 2009. Joldoshev was severely beaten by three unknown assailants on November 2, 2009, in an attack which he said was politically motivated and likely connected with his professional journalism activities. He suffered head injuries and broken bones in the attack.

RFE/RL Belarus Service reporter named “Journalist of the Year”

RFE/RL journalist Halina Abakunchyk was recognized by the Belarusian Association NGOs of Belarus as the “Journalist of the Year” for her coverage of Belarus’ civil society in 2016. The recognition is one of the annual Civil Society Champions awards. Abakunchyk is a journalist for RFE/RL’s Belarus Service, Radio Svaboda, and was credited with “the most thorough and versatile lighting of relevant activities in the non-governmental sector.” At the award ceremony, Chairman of the Assembly’s Working Group Siarhiej Mackievic noted: “We hope that Civil Society Champions award will give impetus to new initiatives that expand the space of democracy in Belarus and contribute to national revival”.

RFE/RL reporter named one of Ukraine’s “30 Under 30”

The Kyiv Post named RFE/RL Ukrainian Service correspondent Natalie Sedletska, the host of the Service’s popular anti-corruption show “Schemes,” one of the “30 Under 30” to watch. The award is given to “young Ukrainian leaders who have won fame, success, and acclaim at an early age.” The Kyiv Post describes Sedletska as one of Ukraine’s most prominent investigative journalists. Sedletska joined Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague on a Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowship. At the end of her fellowship, she received an offer from the RFE/RL’s Ukrainian service to create her own show. She now leads a team of some 15 journalists, producers and editors working on the program which covers corruption and other topics.