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 (www.VOAnews.com) 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, 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 (www.radiosawa.com) 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
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, http://www.rferl.org.
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 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,
marketing and transmission support for RFA and RFE/RL.