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An Organization of U.S. International Broadcasters

Bringing News and Information to People around the World in 61 Languages

On October 1, 1999, the Broadcasting Board Governors (BBG) became the independent, autonomous entity responsible for all U.S. government and government sponsored, non-military, international broadcasting. This was the result of the 1998 Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act (Public Law 105-277), the single most important legislation affecting U.S. international broadcasting since the early 1950s.

Every week, more than 100 million listeners, viewers, and internet users around the world turn-on, tune-in, and log-on to U.S. international broadcasting programs. While the "Broadcasting Board of Governors" is the legal name given to the Federal entity encompassing all U.S international broadcasting services, the day-to-day broadcasting activities are carried out by the individual BBG international broadcasters: the Voice of America (VOA), Alhurra, Radio Sawa, Radio Farda, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and Radio and TV Martí, with the assistance of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB).

The broadcasters and the IBB are described below. If you would like to find out more about the individual organizations and their broadcast activities, please visit their websites.

The Voice of America

The Voice of America broadcasts on radio and television in 44 languages to an estimated 96 million people each week. In addition, computer users logon to VOA’s Internet site ( for news and information. VOA radio provides around-the-clock, reliable news, balanced reporting, and informative features. VOA focuses on countries that lack a strong, independent media. The VOA Charter (Public Law 94-350) requires that broadcasts (1) be accurate, objective, and comprehensive; (2) represent all segments of American society and present a balanced and comprehensive view of significant American thought and institutions; and (3) clearly present the policies of the United States.

VOA-TV produces programs in more than 20 languages, including news reports, feature magazines, and live call-in shows. TV broadcasts include original and acquired programs that reflect American life along with discussions on United States foreign and domestic policies. VOA’s Internet provides continually updated news and information with photos, audio and video.


Alhurra (Arabic for "The Free One") is a commercial-free Arabic-language satellite television channel for the Middle East devoted primarily to news and information. In addition to reporting on regional and international events, the channel broadcasts discussion programs, current affairs magazines and features on a variety of subjects including health and personal fitness, entertainment, sports, fashion, and science and technology. Alhurra is dedicated to presenting accurate, balanced and comprehensive news.

Radio Sawa

Radio Sawa, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week Arabic-language network, is unique in the Middle East. It broadcasts an upbeat mix of Western and Arabic pop music along with up-to-the-minute news, news analysis, interviews, opinion pieces, sports, and features on a wide variety of political and social issues. Radio Sawa ( originates its programming from Washington and is broadcast across the region, using a combination of medium wave (AM) and FM transmitters, digital audio satellite, short wave and Internet. Radio Sawa will ultimately have six streams tailored to specific parts of the region.

Radio Farda

Radio Farda, which means "Radio Tomorrow" in Persian, is a joint effort of two BBG entities: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America (VOA). Operated from Washington, D.C. and Prague, Czech Republic, Radio Farda produces fresh news and information at least twice an hour, with longer news programming in the morning and the evening. Radio Farda also broadcasts a combination of popular Persian and Western music. The station operates 24 hours a day on medium wave (AM 1593 and AM 1539), digital audio satellite, and on the Internet as well as 21 hours a day on shortwave. Radio Farda complements the VOA's Persian-language radio and television broadcasts into Iran.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)

Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty is a private, nonprofit, U.S. government-funded radio broadcaster to Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe; the Caucasus; and Central and Southwestern Asia. RFE/ RL broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of programming in 29 languages every week. All RFE/ RL broadcasts are also streamed live and on-demand over the Internet; audio, video and text in English and the broadcast languages is available from its website,

Listeners in countries stretching from Belarus to Bosnia and from the Arctic Sea to the Persian Gulf rely on RFE/RL's daily news, analysis, and current affairs programming to provide a coherent, objective account of events in their region and the world.

Radio Free Asia

Radio Free Asia (RFA) is the principal U.S. surrogate, BBG grantee, broadcaster in Asia. Founded in 1996, RFA broadcasts in 9 languages to China, Tibet, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and North Korea. RFA broadcasts about 200 hours per week. RFA also audio streams broadcasts in all 9 languages over the Internet.

RFA broadcasts news, information, and commentary and provides a forum for a variety of opinions and voices from within Asian countries. RFA broadcasts in ten languages on shortwave. Its 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 medium regardless of frontiers.

The Office of Cuba Broadcasting
(Radio and TV

The Office of Cuba Broadcasting directs the operations of Radio and TV Martí, two broadcast services that provide Spanish-language news, features, and entertainment programs to Cuba. In accordance with the Broadcasting to Cuba Act of 1983 (Public Law 98-111), Radio Martí follows Voice of America journalistic standards and guidelines for presenting a variety of news and information in an accurate and objective manner.

The station broadcasts seven days a week, 24 hours a day on medium wave (AM) and shortwave.

TV Martí programming includes four-and-a-half hours of daily newscasts as well as programs about public affairs, culture, music, sports, and entertainment. The station broadcasts commentary and information about events in Cuba and elsewhere to promote the free flow of information and ideas in that country.


The International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB)

The International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) is composed of the Voice of America (VOA), the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), and 12 support offices, including the Office of Engineering and Technical Services and the Office of Marketing and Program Placement. The IBB is responsible for administrative and oversight functions for VOA and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and provides marketing and transmission support for RFA and RFE/RL.

Radio Sawa
Radio Farda