Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty RFE/RL

Linked on our blogs with Kyrgyz Human Rights Veteran Turns To Uzbekistan.

  • RFE/RL’s mission is to promote democratic values and institutions by reporting the news in countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. Our journalists provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.
  • Based on the conviction that the first requirement of democracy is a well informed citizenry, and building on over a half-century of surrogate broadcasting: … (full text Mission Statement).

Homepage; Sitemap;
News; Features; Commentary; Blogs; Multimedia; Listen Now; Press; Events; Jobs;
Visit Us; Map; Addresses: RFE/RL, Vinohradska 159A, 100 00 Prague 10, Czech Republic;
or: RFE/RL, 1201 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA;

History, Archives: … Established at the beginning of the Cold War to transmit uncensored news and information to audiences behind the Iron Curtain, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) played a significant role in the collapse of communism and the rise of democracies in post-communist Europe.

Many East European and Russian leaders, including Vaclav Havel and Boris Yeltsin, have testified to the importance of RFE and RL broadcasts in helping end the Cold War. Former Estonian President Lennart Meri nominated RFE/RL for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Today, RFE/RL is one of the most comprehensive media organizations in the world, producing radio, Internet and television programs in countries where a free press is either banned by the government or not fully established. RFE/RL broadcasts in in 28 languages in 20 countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, and the Cental Asian Republics (click here for map).

Established After the Second World War:

Radio Free Europe (RFE) and Radio Liberty (RL), originally separate organizations, were conceived by George F. Kennan (United States Department of State) and Frank G. Wisner (Office of Policy Coordination, later the United States Central Intelligence Agency) to utilize the talents of post-World War II Soviet and East European émigrés in support of American foreign policy.

RFE was founded in 1950 and initially broadcast to Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Three years later, RL began broadcasting to the Soviet Union in Russian and 15 other national languages. RFE/RL began broadcasts to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in 1975 (click here for list of all the language services history).

Initially, both RFE and RL were funded principally by the U.S. Congress through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), but RFE also received supplemental private donations.

In 1971, all CIA involvement ended and thereafter RFE and RL were funded by Congressional appropriation through the Board for International Broadcasting (BIB) and after 1995 the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). The two corporations were merged into RFE/RL, Inc. in 1976 … (full long text).

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