And the Best Blogger Award for 2011 goes to…

We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Best Blogger Award: Gulasal Kamolova (gulasal.wordpress.com) and Tashpulat Rahmatulaev (rtoshpulat.blogspot.com). Both are bloggers working in Uzbekistan.

Best Blogger Award 2011

We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Best Blogger Award: Gulasal Kamolova (gulasal.wordpress.com) and Tashpulat Rahmatulaev (rtoshpulat.blogspot.com). Both are bloggers working in Uzbekistan. They are almost certainly known to many of our readers, Gulasal particularly for her videos of last year’s revolution in Kyrgyzstan and Tashpulat from his many articles with journalistic publications.

Their blogging about Uzbekistan is rock solid, and we thought it was high time for them to earn some recognition for their work. They will now be invited to attend a prestigious 10-day international reporting course in Prague this coming January to sharpen their already considerable skills; tuition and all travel expenses will be covered by the organizers.

Photograph by our honorary winner, Andrey Kudryashov.

Besides Gulasal and Tashpulat, we were distinctly impressed by the photographic skills of Andrey Kudryashov (chilanzarnews.livejournal.com), whose work had been previously unknown to us. Consequently, we have dubbed him our honorary winner, and we hope to be working with him in the future.

We also had several impressive runner-ups, several of whom we would like to work harder to promote in the future:

- Salimjon Aioubzod (aioubzod.wordpress.com)
- Bektour Iskender (www.bektour.com)
- Alina Jetigenova (www.jetigenova.com)
- Ilya Lukash (lukash.kloop.kg)
- Ilya Karimdzhanov (karimdjanov.kloop.kg)
- Bermet Mambetshaeva (dulce-marizza.com)
- Jomart Ormonbekov (www.ormonti.com)
- Anatoli Remnev (remnew.yvision.kz)
- Larissa Shilina (lara-www.blogspot.com, larisha.wordpress.com, polixro.livejournal.com)
- Rustem Takhirov (freecorr.wordpress.com)

Criteria

We took in consideration several factors, both measurable (how often is the blog updated, what’s the presence of the blogger on social media platforms) and qualitative (is the content original? does it demonstrate a combination of strong personality and solid reporting or commenting?).

We also wanted to give a chance to up-and-comers. Several of the bloggers who ended up as our runner-ups, especially those from Kyrgyzstan, are already very well-known, sometimes even in the international community. Additionally, sometimes a blogger could show a lot of promise but hadn’t yet “matured” in terms of their content; other times, they were already “too” matured in the sense that we could not imagine how they could really benefit from additional training.

We want to say to everyone: Thank you for competing! And thanks to our donor, Hivos, for enabling this!

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