American international broadcasting organization
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is a United States government-funded organization that broadcasts and reports news, information and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus and the Middle East where it says that "the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed". RFE/RL is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation supervised by the U.S. Agency for Global Media, an independent government agency overseeing all U.S. federal government international broadcasting services.RFE/RL broadcasts in 27 languages to 23 countries. The organization has been headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic since 1995. The organisation has 21 local bureaus with over 500 core staff and 1300 stringers and freelancers in countries throughout their broadcast region, as well as 700 employees at its headquarters and corporate office in Washington, D.C.
During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe (RFE) was broadcast to Soviet satellite countries (including the Baltic states) and Radio Liberty (RL) targeted the Soviet Union. RFE was founded as an anti-communist propaganda source in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe. RL was founded two years later and the two organizations merged in 1976. Communist governments frequently sent agents to infiltrate RFE's headquarters, and the KGB regularly jammed its signals. RFE/RL received funds covertly from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) until 1972. During RFE's earliest years of existence, the CIA and U.S. Department of State issued broad policy directives, and a system evolved where broadcast policy was determined through negotiation between them and RFE staff.RFE/RL was headquartered at Englischer Garten in Munich, West Germany, from 1949 to 1995. European operations have been significantly reduced since the end of the Cold War.
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