Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is a radio and communications organization which is funded by the United States Congress. The organization exists in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It broadcasts more than 1,000 hours per week; in 28 languages, via shortwave, AM, FM and the internet. RFE/RL's mission statement is: "To promote democratic values and institutions by disseminating factual information and ideas."
The National Committee for a Free Europe was founded in June 1949 in New York. RFE was the broadcasting arm of this organization. The headquarters was established in Munich and it transmitted its first short-wave program on July 4, 1950, to Czechoslovakia.
The organization received its funds from the Congress of the United States and until 1971 they were passed to RFE through the CIA. The broadcasts were part of a general CIA psychological warfare campaign directed behind the Iron Curtain. The CIA created general guidelines and had daily input into the handling of news items.
The CIA funding of RFE was not publicly acknowledged until 1971 at which point the organization was rechartered in Delaware as a non-profit making corporation, oversight was moved to the International Broadcasting Bureau , and the budget was moved to open appropriations. In 1975, RFE was merged with a very similar Congress funded anti-communist organization called Radio Liberty (RL, founded in 1951 by the American Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia) and the group name was officially changed to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). The mission of the International Broadcasting Bureau was transferred to the Broadcasting Board of Governors in 1994.
From 1985 until 1993, during Soviet/Russian occupation, the organization also ran Radio Free Afghanistan .
The collapse of the Soviet Union reduced the budget for RFE/RL: its headquarters were moved to Prague in 1995, European operations were curtailed. However operations were expanded elsewhere, in 1994 Radio Free Iraq was started as well as Radio Farda , a Persian service, and in 1997 in Kosovo. New services are also intended for Afghanistan and further into northern Asia.
- RFERL.org (official)
- Hoover Institution Archives: Radio Liberty: 50 Years - Time Line
- Archive Detailed Records of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute
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