Freedom House has described Russia as an “innovator of modern state propaganda.” Indeed, Kremlin-backed media tightly controls the news that domestic audiences access, and it has engaged in massive misinformation campaigns targeting audiences along its periphery. Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty provide audiences in this area with credible, factual, and locally relevant journalism as alternatives to these lies and half-truths, and by reporting the truth, they support freedom and democracy.
In recent years, Russia has taken information warfare to a new level. Its weaponized propaganda is working to fan anti-US and anti-Western sentiment within Russia and globally. Russian state-controlled media, particularly television channels as the dominant source of news, publish false and misleading information in an effort to discredit the U.S. and West, undercut consensus on Russia, and build sympathy for Russian positions. Putin’s regime also continues to actively undermine universal values of democratic societies, such as freedoms of media, association, and belief.
Goals and Priorities
Since the fall of the Yanukovych government in Ukraine in February 2014 and ensuing Russian aggression in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, BBG language services at Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) have added or expanded more than 35 new programs on multiple media platforms in Russian, Ukrainian, and other languages to reach new audiences in Ukraine, Russia, elsewhere in the former Soviet space, and around the world.
The new and expanded BBG programs represent five broad lines of effort:
- Focusing programming to impact strategic audiences
- Expanding partnerships to reach audiences in local markets and inform the news agenda
- Moving resources to digital platforms to directly engage audiences
- Increasing research on the ground to better understand audiences and impact
- Utilizing BBG capabilities and expertise to meet unfilled strategic needs and opportunities
Special Programming and Initiatives
Current Time, or Nastoyashchee Vremya in Russian, is a joint production of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Voice of America undertaken in partnership with public and private broadcasters and Internet portals in Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, and Ukraine. Drawing on a network of reporters in the region, European capitals, RFE/RL’s headquarters in Prague, and VOA in Washington, D.C., it presents a daily, 30-minute mix of live news coverage, interviews, original features, and political satire. It offers content that is not otherwise available on state-controlled Russian media to provide a “reality check” on local events.
Polygraph.info is a fact-checking website produced jointly by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America (VOA). The website, which is expected to go live in November, will serve as a resource for verifying the increasing volume of Russian disinformation being disseminated on a global scale.
Teams of journalists from RFE/RL and VOA will fact-check quotes and reports distributed by Russian officials, Russian government-sponsored media and other high profile individuals — as well as statements about Russia by prominent people elsewhere. VOA and RFE/RL will research, analyze and investigate these statements separating fact from fiction, adding context, and debunking lies.
Journalists from both organizations are currently in pre-launch mode – gathering stories and data to populate the website. They expect to start loading content into the Pangea system late next week, then do preliminary testing and evaluation of the site before going public.
This joint project is unique in that VOA and RFE/RL will be sharing full editorial control of the website. The reporting teams will provide daily updates to the website from their respective offices in Washington, D.C. and Prague.
In September 2015 RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, in partnership with the First Radio Channel of the National Radio Company of Ukraine, launched Radio Crimea Realities, a daily Russian-language radio program that is broadcast by medium wave transmitters in Ukraine to Crimea and portions of southern Russia. In January 2016, RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service launched new radio programming for the occupied Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine. The broadcast, called Radio Donbas Realii, airs for one hour daily from 5-6pm local time.
Primetime with Myroslava Gongadze
Prime Time with Myroslava Gongadze In September 2015, VOA and its partner, First National TV in Ukraine launched “Prime Time with Myroslava Gongadze,” a 26-minute weekly TV program featuring hard-hitting interviews with Ukrainian and American newsmakers. The program is designed to provide an increased understanding of U.S. foreign policy, particularly regarding Ukraine and Russia, and of Western perspectives on events and developments related to democratic reforms in Ukraine. The opening show featuring a wideranging interview with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and topped national TV ratings in Ukraine, while generating significant media buzz and driving the news agenda in both Ukrainian and Russian-language media markets.
RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service’s investigative TV program, Schemes, spotlights corruption and holds officials accountable. Some of the most prominent Schemes investigations have dealt with the palatial residences of Yanukovych-era oligarchs, questionable land deals involving current President Petro Poroshenko, murky insurance contracts held by the state railway, and an investigation of the head of Ukraine’s traffic police that led to his resignation. Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau is reviewing materials gathered by the Schemes investigative team on some 15 cases to determine whether it should take action.
- Russia (83)
- Ukraine (53)
- Belarus (91)
- Kazakhstan (70)
News from our Networks
Confirm External Link
Are you sure you want to navigate to this external domain?