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Orlan Damba-Khuurak received the main prize in contest of journalists in Tuva

One of the most popular programs of Tuvan television “Bolchag Shagy” (Star Hour) which was first aired on May 17, 1989, received the main prize of the 8th contest of journalist excellence “Agalmatolit Pen”. The Grand-Prix in the form of a pen made of chonar-dash, the soft stone which has became a visiting card of Tuva, was presented to the permanent author of the program, Orlan Damba-Khuurak. In the 20 years of the existence of the show, more than 300 guests were on the show. The very first one was the First Lady of Tuvan theatre, Kara-Kys Munzuk.

Orlan Damba-Khuurak, then an actor who excelled in several starring roles on the scene of the Theatre of Music and Drama, came up with the idea in 1989 and presented it to the editor-in-chief of the thematic broadcasting of Tuvan state television and radio company, Alexei Charash-ool, and got an “OK”.

“I very much wanted to preserve the stories of our emeriti of the theatre for posterity. Their memoirs are unique, - says Orlan Damba-Khuurak. - With time, the program has changed, the scope widened. Now, it is not just actors who come to the studio, but also teachers, arats, lamas, athletes, shamans. But the basic idea remained unchanged – to show to our contemporaries, by the example of those who became successful, how to reach your life goals with the help of talent, hard work and perseverance.”

The first few years, the program was set up by an “outsider” and was aired on ordinary time, when cartoons, repeats, and broadcasts received outside scheduling were aired. Since 1993, “Bolchag Shagy” is shown on direct air. It has an army of devoted fans who do not miss a single show, and then they share their impressions with Orlan Damba-Khuurak.

The program is noted in the contest “Agalmatolit Pen” as “The best television program”.

The organizing committee of the contest expect to receive additional submissions of entries in the categories “Best investigative reporting”, “Best newspaper design”, “Best camera work”, and “Best analytic material” towards the deadline of May 1. There will be also a newly established category of the best book. The final will also take place in May.

“We adjourned the decisions about these four categories to May, because we believe that the competition should be large, and there simply were not enough works submitted, - says one of the jury members, Mariya Khadakhane. – And in those categories where we did have enough entries, to say it openly, we argued until we were hoarse.”

These are the recognized laureates of “Agalmatolit Pen”:

- in the category “Best TV reporter” – Rolanda Kazachkova (TV company “Novyi vek”;

- in the category “Best radio reporter” – Sayana Salchak (GTRK “Tyva”);

- in the category “Journalist of the year of Tuvan press publications” – Svetlana Balchyr (newspaper “Shin”);

- in the category “Best social project on TV” – “”A Streamer of Wishes” (TV Co. “Novyi Vek”);

- in the category “Best social project in press SMI” – “The Sacred Debt” (newspaper “Plyus Inform”);

- in the category “Debut of the Year” – radio station “Golos Azii”.

- Diplomas in special categories were awarded to:

- “For high qualifications of the head of TV station” – Dina Lopsan-ool (TV Co. “Novyi Vek”);

- “For operative interpretation of relevant themes” – Sayana Namai (GTRK “Tyva”);

- “Early bird” – Olga Markova (GTRK “Tyva”);

- “For compassion and humanitarianism” – Olesya Bauman (newspaper “Plyus Inform”);

- “For variety of interests and involvement” – Natalia Salchak (TV Co. “Novyi Vek”);

- “Welcome to our Tuvan country” (addition to our ranks) – Ivan Afanasyev (radio station “Golos Azii”) graduate of Tiraspol university, who chose our country as assignment.

- This year, the prize for “Contribution to development of Tuvan journalism” was awarded posthumously to Alexei Irgitovich Charash-ool. When presenting the prize, the Vice-Premier Anatoliy Damba-Khuurak asked the representatives of the young and the old generations of journalists for help; it was a responsible task. The hall delegated, to help the Vice-Premier, the veteran Kara-Kuske Choodu and the young reporter Viktoria Tas-ool. The award was received by the widow of the talented TV reporter, Mariya Ivanovna Charash-ool. “I am very touched that Alexei Irgitovich is not forgotten, - she said from the stage. – Television was his life. Thank you for remembering.”

- Special awards were presented to the journalists also by the Government of the republic, MVD, Ministry of education, science and youth politics, service of Phyto-Medicine supervision, and other organizations.

This year, the awards ceremony for the best journalist pens, in contrast to previous years, was not held in the House of the Press but at a new venue – the small scene of the theatre.

“The current format of the ceremony is like a friendly gathering, the presentation of awards, food, disco; it reflects the freedom-loving nature of the journalist profession. Great thanks to Kheimer-ool. Finally, we got away from the long formal meetings at the House of the Press, - says one of the most famous TV directors, Svetlana Munzuk. – even the actual presentationof the awards to the winners is organized in a new way, not in a standard fashion, on the remarkable new stage of the theatre, with the participation of the veterans, those who have done so much in journalism. The young ones mostly do not even know them anymore. But the continuity of the generations should not be torn up.”

Words of gratitude were addressed by the veterans and the young generation to the chairman of the Journalists’ Union of Tuva, Kheimer-ool Oorzhak. He not only could secure the continuity between the generations, but he also could bring many different structures into this celebration.

Remember that the contest “Agalmatolit Pen” took place the first time 10 years ago.

It was originated at the initiative of the editor-in-chief of the “Center of Asia” newspaper, Nadezhda Antufyeva.


  1. Orlan Damba-Khuurak, winner in the category “Best TV program”, Dina Oyun and Kheimer-ool Oorzhak.
  2. Photo-correspondent Ai-Kys Maspyk-ool, receiving the honorable letter of Chairman of the Government of the republic;
  3. Jury member, literature scholar, journalist Mariya Andreyevna Khadakhane;
  4. Deputy of the Legislative House of the Great Khural of Tuva, Galina Munzuk presenting the award for the best debut to the editor of the radio station “Golos Azii”, Tatyana Ramazanova;
  5. Legendary Tuvan TV announcer Dady Davaayevna Sotpa and the chairman of the Union of Journalists of Tuva, Kheimer-ool Oorzhak;
  6. Member of the jury, national writer of Tuva, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Darzhai ( you should have introduced me as “the first and last minister of the press of Republic Tuva,- he remarked);
  7. Vice-Premier Anatoliy Damba-Khuurak and the veteran of journalism, Kara-Kuske Choodu are presenting the award for contribution to development of journalism to the widow of Alexei Charash-ool, Mariya Ivanovna Charash-ool;
  8. Dina Lopsan-ool receiving the award for professionalism from the hands of the legendary Tuvan TV announcer, Olga Nikolayevna Malanova;
  9. Viktoria Lachugina awarded by the ministry of Education, science and youth politics for her series of articles about young people in the journal “Center of Asia”.

Dina Oyun, translated by Heda Jindrak
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