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VOA Reveals Winners of Sixth Story Pitch Contest

Since 2020, Voice of America’s story pitch contest provides VOA journalists with an opportunity to select and delve into topics in a long-form reporting format, honing their storytelling and production skills and sharing otherwise untold narratives. The 2024 contest produced three winning documentaries from the VOA Indonesian and Russian language services and the VOA News Center.

These documentaries feature stories of individuals from different countries and draw attention to a range of global issues. Brief descriptions of the three winning films are below:

Exposing Exes' Secrets (Rivan Dwiastono, VOA Indonesian): The Story exposes the Telegram channel’s Rahasia Mantan for sharing non-consensual intimate images and possible deepfake pornography. Mantan’s viral thread on X (formerly Twitter) drew attention from victims, internet users, and the Indonesian cybercrime unit.

You and I, and AI (Iana Pashaeva, VOA Russian): The story explores the impact of AI relationships on individuals' lives, pursued in the wake of painful past relationships, in an effort to find companionship and understanding from digital entities.

Tiger Widows (Heather Murdock, VOA News Center): The Indian Sundarbans is home to millions of people and the region’s endangered Bengal Tigers. In recent years, rising sea levels and deadly storms have forced farmers to travel deep into the tigers’ forests to make a living. Hundreds of men have been killed, leaving widows impoverished and shunned.

All three contest winners will be featured in VOA’s 52 Documentary series and on the network’s digital platforms, including VOA+, beginning July 11 for a three-week period.