United States Agency for Global Media

Romania wakes up to RFE/RL

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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) relaunched its Romanian Service on January 14 at 8:00 am local time in Bucharest, after closing its doors in the country a decade ago.

The service, known locally as Radio Europa Liberă, will for now operate exclusively on digital platforms, an update of its storied broadcast days.

According to independent monitors, including Reporters Without Borders, media freedom has steadily declined in Romania in recent years. With many outlets falling under the control of the government or local oligarchs, editorial independence and balanced information have become harder to access for many Romanians, and disinformation about western institutions and democratic practices has become widespread.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis welcomed Radio Europa Liberă’s return as “good news,” and declared in a statement that “A free Romania cannot be imagined in a free Europe without …the free press.”

Managed by award-winning journalist Sabina Fati, the service had already attracted upwards of 18,000 followers on social networks even before its website went live.

RFE/RL previously served countries across Eastern Europe prior to their joining the European Union and NATO. Broadcasting to Romania ended in 2008. A relaunch of its service to Bulgaria, which it closed in 2004, is planned for later this month.

About RFE/RL

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty is a private, independent international news organization whose programs — radio, Internet, television, and mobile — reach influential audiences in 23 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through the BBG.

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Contact Joanna Levison
Acting Director of Communications, Prague

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Deputy Director of Communications, Washington, DC