Be sure to read Anne Applebaum’s Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post. The article reminds us of Radio Free Europe and that its mission is as important today as ever. Operating in 21 countries and 28 languages RFE provides an important, and often the only, source of independent journalism in countries around the world.
Independent sources of information are crucial to the establishment of democracy and the protection of rights. People cannot voice their opinions, stand up for their rights, and advocate for their interests if they are denied access to information about their society. RFE provides journalists their only opportunity to broadcast news in their countries. RFE journalists are primarily locals, many of whom are living and working in their native country. These journalists are often risking their lives to cover stories that would otherwise go unreported.
CIPE shares RFE mission of ensuring that people around the world have access to independent, reliable information. Several CIPE staff have participated in RFE radio programs. In addition, CIPE has conducted training programs for economic journalists in more than 25 countries. These programs increase the knowledge and skills of local journalists to more effectively report on local economic and business issues. CIPE believes strongly that democracy cannot succeed if the people are denied independent access to information.
I hope a lot of people ready Applebaum’s story and find ways to support Radio Free Europe. Programs like RFE cost very little, yet have an incredible impact on the people of the countries in which it broadcasts. It would be a shame if this program continues to lose funding.