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Steve Korn On Changes To RFE/RL's Radio Svoboda

Dear Svoboda listeners and readers!

We want to assure you that despite what you may have heard or read, we are not giving up on our commitment to provide you with Svoboda's unique perspective on news and events in Russia. But big changes are indeed under way.

Before we say anything else, we want to say thank you to the people who have worked at Radio Svoboda over the years. We are proud that at times, Radio Svoboda has served as an information lifeline not only in politics, but also in culture, social issues and religious coverage – all thanks to the brave and talented people who have worked with us. Though we have said good-bye to some of our journalists and other colleagues, we are thankful to have had the benefit of their creativity and dedication over the years and hope they will continue to contribute their voices and ideas to the public forum.

As you may have heard or read, Radio Svoboda will cease broadcasting on MW 1044 as of November 10, 2012 to be in compliance with Russian law. Although we will still be available on short waves and via satellite, our attention will now be focused on providing you with content across all digital platforms. In fact, we’re investing in the digital future so that we can better reach you on the web, on mobile devices and on apps with multimedia and interactive content. That means video, audio and text – on demand, via podcasts and, of course, live.

This change in our delivery and focus makes it imperative that we take certain steps to change how we will work. We are, however, committed to three things: acting with fairness toward those of our staff who are leaving; giving those journalists who stay and those who join us new opportunities and tools to deliver the news; and providing those who are part of our audience now – and those whom we hope will join us soon – with a new and more dynamic Svoboda that keeps the tradition of excellence and brings it to a new level. We have made every effort to ensure that this is so.

On October 1, Radio Svoboda’s new Director, Masha Gessen, will officially join us. Throughout the next several months, she will be working with the Svoboda team to bring a new energy and focus to our content while staying true to the Svoboda tradition of providing a media alternative where it is most needed. We will be introducing new programs and new ways of delivering content to you – and we will be looking for your feedback.

Again, we thank those who have made Radio Svoboda possible in the past. Please join us on our journey into the future.

Steve Korn
RFE/RL President

Russian version