RFA President Responds to Press Freedom Findings
Washington D.C. — Today, on World Press Freedom Day, Radio Free Asia (RFA) President Libby Liu responded to Freedom House’s 2012 Freedom of the Press survey that classified all six of RFA’s broadcast countries as “Not Free” with North Korea as the worst-rated country on the list.
“Sadly, on World Press Freedom Day, there is little to celebrate in the countries into which Radio Free Asia broadcasts,” Liu said. “For our listeners, as Freedom House’s survey finds, free speech, free expression, and free press are far from being guaranteed rights.
“Audiences turn to Radio Free Asia not only as a source of trusted news, but as a way to get closer to the truth and to each other, as well as having their voices heard.”
Freedom House’s survey found that despite the overall conditions for press freedoms improving elsewhere in Asia, RFA target countries’ media environments remain stuck in a pattern of heavy restrictions and censorship. China was cited by the report for having the “most sophisticated system of media repression” and for stepping up “its drive to control both old and new sources of news and information through arrest and censorship.”
RFA’s mission is to provide accurate and timely news and information to Asian countries whose governments prohibit access to a free press. Guided by the core principles of freedom of expression and opinion, RFA serves its listeners by providing information critical for informed decision-making. Radio Free Asia has nine language services delivering content online and via the airwaves and satellite television into six countries: China, North Korea, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
Radio Free Asia is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting and publishing online news, information, and commentary in nine East Asian languages to listeners who do not have access to full and free news media. RFA’s broadcasts seek to promote the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, including the freedom to “seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” RFA is funded by an annual grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors.