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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty opens major Rīga bureau

Take note – story published 1 year and 4 months ago

Thursday, January 12, sees a brand new Rīga office opening belonging to the well-known broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

The bureau sees RFE/RL become the latest media organization to relocate from Moscow to Rīga as a result of the Russian government't longtime antipathy to free and uncontrolled content.  With the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February, a decision was made to move the main office to Rīga, with another in Vilnius concentrating mainly on information about Belarus.

President of (RFE/RL) Jamie Fly told Latvian Television's "Morning Panorama" show that his organization wants to reach people in countries where there is no access to objective information, to show that people are not forgotten.

The newly opened RFE/RL office will have about 40 employees, and will be equipped with modern equipment to ensure newsflow for "Current Time" – a Russian-language news platform that operates 24 hours a day. "Current Time" regularly ranks among the most watched shows on the Russian YouTube website.

In addition to meeting the demand for independent news in Russia, RFE/RL's Rīga office will produce Russian-language content for audiences in the Baltics, Europe and other parts of the world. A new Baltic-wide daily news program is also planned, providing a countermeasure to disinformation about this region.

RFE/RL, Inc. is a private, nonprofit corporation, funded by the U.S. Congress through the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent federal government agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international media. Each member of the RFE/RL Board is required by federal law to have "requisite expertise in journalism, technology, broadcasting, or diplomacy, or appropriate language or cultural understanding" relevant to RFE/RL's mission. Employees of U.S. government agencies are prohibited by law from serving on the RFE/RL Board.​

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