Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is "a private, international communications service to Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia, funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. In countries stretching from Belarus to Bosnia and from the Arctic Sea to the Persian Gulf, listeners rely on RFE/RL's daily news, analysis, and current affairs programming to provide a coherent, objective account of events in their region and the world."
- Free Europe, Inc., was established in 1949 as nonprofit, private corporation to broadcast news and current affairs programs to Eastern European countries behind the Iron Curtain. The Radio Liberty Committee, Inc., was created two years later along the same lines to broadcast to the nations inside the Soviet Union.
- Both were funded principally by the U.S. Congress, through the Central Intelligence Agency, but received supplemental private donations as well. The two corporations were merged into a single RFE/RL, Inc. in 1975.
- In 1971 CIA involvement ended and all funding and oversight responsibilities were transferred to a presidentially appointed Board for International Broadcasting (BIB). The BIB's sole responsibility was oversight and funding of RFE/RL, Inc., and after 1982, BIB members also served as members of the board of directors of RFE/RL, Inc. In 1994, its duties were transferred to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which today oversees all nonmilitary U.S. international broadcasting, including Voice of America, Radio Marti, Radio Free Asia, and World Net TV.
- Since the early 1970s, the U.S. Congress has appropriated funds for RFE/RL as part of its regular yearly deliberations on the budgets of the federal government. RFE/RL today receives its funds in the form of a grant from the BBG.
Strategy / Operations
- "Concentrating on events within this complex region, RFE/RL provides balanced, reliable information to bolster democratic development and market economies in countries where peaceful evolution to civil societies is of vital national interest to the United States.
- "RFE/RL operates one of the most comprehensive news operations in the region, with 23 bureaus throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union and almost 2,000 freelancers and stringers reporting local news and current affairs."
- "RFE/RL broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of programming a week from its operations center, located in the former Czechoslovak federal parliament building on Wenceslas Square in Prague, Czech Republic. RFE/RL's corporate headquarters are located in Washington, DC.
- "RFE/RL programs can be heard on shortwave frequencies by listeners across the entire broadcast region. Since 1996, RFE/RL has also built a network of nearly 300 affiliate partner organizations and 526 transmission sites that relay programs on the AM and FM bands in 13 time zones. Political circumstances do not currently permit local rebroadcasting in Belarus, Iraq, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. More than 58 percent of all listeners to international radio in RFE/RL's 18-country broadcast region are regular listeners to RFE/RL.
- "RFE/RL is also gaining a large new audience through the Internet. Its multilingual website www.rferl.org features both live and on-demand audio and text. In 2002, the RFE/RL website registered an average of over 37.6 million hits and 7 million page views per month.
- "The daily report, 'RFE/RL Newsline(c),' provides expert analysis on major political events and trends in Central Europe, the former USSR, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia. Sixteen weekly reports on the region plus Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan are available free-of-cost to subscribers via fax or e-mail as well as on the RFE/RL website. Another eight country-specific reports are available at both www.rferl.org and www.regionalanalysis.org"
Directors and personnel
- Jeffrey Gedmin, President, former director of the Aspen Institute Berlin, former member of American Enterprise Institute, former director of the New Atlantic Initiative
- James K. Glassman, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors
- D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors
- Don Jensen, Director of Communications
NB: These organizations often co-host events, there is personnel overlap, and at some point have shared offices.
IN WASHINGTON, D.C.:
- Main Switchboard: (+1 202) 457-6900
- Don Jensen – Director of Communications
- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
- 1201 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036
- Telephone: (+1 202) 457-6947
- Fax: (+1 202) 457-6992
- E-mail: jensend AT rferl.org
IN PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC:
- Main Switchboard: (+420) 2 2112-1111
- Ondrej Lukas [ Outreach Coordinator ]
- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
- Vinohradska 1, 110 00 Prague 1, Czech Republic
- Telephone: (+420) 221 122 407
- Cell Phone: (+420) 724 019 828
- E-mail: lukaso AT rferl.org
- Peter Finn, "Russia's Signal to Stations Is Clear: Cut U.S. Radio", Washington Post, July 7, 2006; A01.