Radio Farda is a U.S. government-funded radio station that broadcasts to Iran. It is the Iranian section of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), broadcasting 24 hours a day in the Persian language from its headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic. It was founded in late 2002, and by 2006 was receiving $7 million a year in federal funding. That amount may increase dramatically, as the U.S. becomes more involved in Iran and Iranian politics. 
Radio Farda has 10 news staff in Washington DC and 28 in Prague. However, most of its air time is devoted to music. The Washington Post explained why:
- "A little bit of entertainment" is how Bert Kleinman, a consultant to Radio Farda, describes the broadcast formula he helped design. "The core of the mission is news and information" -- in a typical hour, 16 1/2 minutes of programming is devoted to news -- but "we were tasked to reach out to the younger generation there. And quite frankly, you just can't do it with news."
Lately, however there are signs that the easy attitude toward programming might change. In a recent article, Warren P. Strobel and William Douglas of McClatchey newspapers report that a "...Pentagon unit has drafted a report charging that U.S. international broadcasts into Iran aren't tough enough on the Islamic regime." Strobel and Douglas go on to say the report "appears to be a gambit by some officials in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's office and elsewhere to gain sway over television and radio broadcasts into Iran, one of the few direct tools the United States has to reach the Iranian people." The author of the report is Ladan Archin, a Wolfowitz protege, currently working in the Pentagon's Iranian Directorate under Abram Shulsky.
Radio Farda under Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- David Finkel, "U.S. Station Seeks Ear of Iran's Youths: Radio Farda Goes Easy on the News, Heavy on Pop Music to Capture Vast Under-30 Audience," Washington Post, June 5, 2006.
- Warren P. Strobel and William Douglas, Pentagon study claims U.S. broadcasts to Iran aren't tough enough McClatchy Newspapers, Tue, Sep. 26, 2006.
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