Global Recognition of “C for Community” Project

Natalia Baranova, Anastasia Kovalenko

“C for Community” project about the community of people living with hepatitis C condition has become a winner of the global contest of the International journalism center.

On September 18 in New York, the team of Cross-Border journalism program participants was awarded for covering health care problems at Global Health Reporting Contest 2017. Multimedia material “C for Community” is the first project within the framework of Perspektivy that was highly praised by the experts outside Russia and its neighbouring countries.

“C for Community” project was developed by the 4th season of Cross-Border journalism program  Tsira Gvasalia from Tbilisi, Natalia Baranova from St.Petersburg, and Alisa Kustikova from Moscow. More than 15 people including journalists, photographers, an illustrator, a designer, a videographer and a photo editor contributed to the creation of the project. 

By joint efforts the team managed to create an extended cross-border narrative describing what the citizens of Russia and Georgia have to sacrifice in order to cure from hepatitis C. Perspektivy program senior mentor Nabi Abdullayev pointed out that it was the first project in the Russian language of such scale, depth, and detail on the problem of hepatitis C.

The efforts of the Cross-Border journalism team resulted in a special project published in Novaya Gazeta. From the day of the project publication, the newspaper and Russian NGOs collected 7 thousand signatures for the initiative to approve a national program on fighting hepatitis C. The petition is already being reviewed in the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

Alisa Kustikova, project co-author, junior mentor of Perspektivy program:

“I assumed that our work will resonate with the Russian authorities, but it has not happened yet. I hope that international recognition and attention to the problem will change the situation. Or at least will affect it.”

Her colleague Natalia Baranova has not expected that “C for Community” project will receive such a prestigious award and the whole world will learn about it. She confirms that their work has been noticed in Russia, too. Dmitry Muratov, the editor of Novaya Gazeta, and journalists of other media highly appraised it.

The project went viral in the network through hundreds of shares. Media education resource got interested in how the material was created. The resource specialists are working on a case analysis of “C for Community” project at the moment. Soon the experience of Perspektivy cross-border project development will become a training manual.

Natalia Baranova, project co-author:

“The most valuable thing about the project was the experience of team-work. I have worked in small editorial houses before, where maximum 3 or 4 people - a journalist, a photographer, and an editor - could work on the material. Here more than 20 specialists were involved and we managed to run this work process very smoothly. The project also helped us understand that the day of publication is not the end of the work. Then, we worked hard on promotion, so that people from different regions learned about the problem. Working with an NGO community has been the most important experience for me. We, the journalists, have not been working on our own. We have united with the activists and set one common goal to be achieved.”

Alisa Kustikova admits: she was amazed that the work on the cross-border project went so smoothly with no conflicts or misunderstanding. “Probably it is due to the topic. The protagonists inspired us with their courage and everyone wanted to keep up with them,” she says.


International contest Global Health Reporting Contest covering health care issues has taken place for the fourth time. In 2017, out of over 130 applications the jury selected 6 winners from different countries. Together with the coverage on the spreading of and fighting hepatitis C in Russia and Georgia, other winners included the materials on the shortage of medical service perinatal centers in Ghana and India, cruel treatment of expectant mothers in Brazil, abrupt increase in the cancer patients among children in China, and the shortage of hospitals and medical stations in Benin.

Read on how the project was developed here 

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