Radio Free Europe

rfe 1954

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is a broadcaster funded by the U.S. Congress that provides news, information, and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East where the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed. Founded as an anti-communist source of information during the Cold War, RFE/RL was headquartered at Englischer Garten in Munich from 1949 until 1995 when they were moved to Prague.

It maintains 20 local bureaus, but authoritarian governments often attempt to obstruct the radios’ activities through a range of tactics, including extensive jamming, shutting down local re-broadcasting affiliates, or finding legal excuses to close down offices. In many of these countries, RFE/RL is often the first and most reliable source of domestic news for citizens. The safety of RFE/RL’s journalists and freelancers, who often risk their lives to broadcast information to their listeners and readers, has been a major concern throughout its broadcast history.

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