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Radio Free Europe: Radio Farda Wins Gold, Silver At New York Festivals

24.6.2015. WASHINGTON – RFE/RL’s Persian language service was lauded in New York this week as Radio Farda journalist Roya Karimi Majd’s special report “Tradition of the Blade” won a gold award, and Kambiz Hosseini’s weekly show ” Five in the Afternoon” took home a silver award at the 2015 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.

“Tradition of the Blade” (excerpt here), a program about female genital mutilation in Iran that Karimi Majd called “one of the hardest and most painful reports that I have produced in more than 20 years of working on women’s issues,” was recognized in the Information/Documentary Magazine Format category. Hosseini’s program, which is a joint production with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and airs on Radio Farda’s satellite stream, was entered in the Entertainment/Best Regularly Scheduled Comedy Program category.

Although broadcast on Radio Farda, these stories are officially banned in Iran.

RFE/RL Editor-in-Chief Nenad Pejic congratulated Karimi Majd and Hosseini on their award.

“They have produced excellent content that has earned the admiration of their audiences in Iran and their peers in the radio community,” said Pejic. “Roya’s report sensitively and powerfully exposes a taboo subject, while Kambiz’s work uses satire to help Iranians make sense of their often senseless circumstances.”

Radio Farda journalism has been recognized at previous New York Festivals, which honor excellence in radio programming and promotions from stations, networks, and producers around the globe. Last year, Radio Farda journalist Mahtab Vahidi Rad was a finalist in the category Best Special Report, while in 2013 journalist Vahid Pourostad won a silver award for his radio documentary, Solitary Confinement, and satirist Farshid Manafi, who won two awards at the New York Festivals in 2011, was a finalist in 2013 for his signature satire program, Pas Farda.

The 2015 New York Festivals radio awards program recognized programming from 32 countries. The honors were presented at a gala dinner in the city on June 22.

RFE/RL’s Radio Farda, produced in and broadcast from Prague, is a leading source of uncensored information in Iran. In May 2015, Radio Farda’s website was visited more than 20 million times, nearly 40 million pages were viewed, and its streaming audio feed was used more than 20 million times. Despite the government’s ban on listening, the need for a proxy, and deliberately slow Internet speeds to deter users, half of all traffic originates from within Iran.