Lucy Kafanov is an independent multimedia reporter, news anchor and foreign correspondent with a decade of experience in journalism. Based in Istanbul, Kafanov works as a roving freelance journalist, focusing predominantly on the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russia. She regularly contributes words and photographs from Turkey, the Middle East and Europe for outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, VICE News, Al Jazeera, Vocativ and USA Today. Currently, Kafanov is wrapping up an in-depth investigative reporting project in Myanmar -- focusing on human rights abuses faced by Burma's minority religious communities -- which was made possible thanks to a fellowship grant from the International Reporting Project.
From Kabul to Caracas, Beirut to Kuwait, Baghdad to Karachi, Burma to Berlin, Kafanov strives to serve as the audience's eyes and ears on the ground. Much of her work focuses on the impact of violence and conflict on civilian communities. Prior to Most recently, she has documented the refugee crisis, reporting on the plight of migrants in Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Germany. In recent years, Kafanov has been focused on covering politics in Turkey and the resurgent conflict between Turkish forces and the Kurds. Kafanov has also investigated the deaths of Russian soldiers in Ukraine, traveling thousands of miles across Russia to track down families affected by the Kremlin's undeclared war. Among other stories, she has covered the ISIS sweep across Iraq, the war in Afghanistan and the country's political transition, the rise of Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Yemen, the impact of drone strikes affect civilian communities in Pakistan and Yemen, the struggle of Syrian refugees in Jordan, and the Syrian conflict’s spillover into Lebanon.
Kafanov's on-the-ground coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement in the United States for RT earned the network an Emmy Award nomination, while her international reporting landed her on Foreign Policy's list of the most influential women on Twitter. Her report on Pakistani civilian victims of drone strikes in the tribal areas was highly commended by the Association for International Broadcasting global media excellence awards. In 2015, Kafanov was the recipient of a grant from the IWMF’s Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. The International Reporting Project (IRP) in 2016 awarded Kafanov with a fellowship in religion reporting, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, that funded investigative work in Myanmar.
Kafanov spent the past four years reporting and producing stories from some of the world's most dangerous hotspots. Previously, she spent six years covering Washington politics as a print reporter on Capitol Hill, and later, as a television producer for the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Kafanov graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the George Washington University.
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