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RFE/RL Announces New Romanian Service Chief

Elena Tanase, incoming RFE/RL Romanian Service Director
Elena Tanase, incoming RFE/RL Romanian Service Director

WASHINGTON - As Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) concludes the initial phase of its relaunch in Romania, it has announced that veteran journalist Elena Tănase will take the helm of its Romanian Service.

“Elena has the experience and journalistic expertise to help consolidate the Service as a trusted voice and powerful presence in Romania’s media landscape,” said RFE/RL spokesperson Joanna Levison, “and as a source of reliable, locally reported news for our growing audiences in Europe.”

Tănase will join Radio Europa Liberă, as the Service is known locally, in the Bucharest bureau effective September 1. She previously worked for eight years for Romania’s Digi24 TV as a TV anchor and producer of historical documentaries, among them 1989: The Year That Changed The World; Iron Crown; 100 Years of Communism; and, most recently, The Romanian Revolution: Why Bloodshed? She worked at Romania Libera newspaper and as a political editor for Realitatea TV after launching her journalistic career in the early 2000s with the Romanian Department of the BBC.

Tănase will confront a significant challenge on September 27 when Romania holds local elections, an event the Service will cover in full. The Service proved itself an indispensable resource to Romanian audiences this spring with urgent and practical reporting on the coronavirus pandemic that drove a five-fold increase in website visits, which reached over five million in March. Its coverage of corruption and minority issues has attracted large audiences and debate.

RFE/RL returned to Romania in 2019 as part of a response to declining media freedom and disinformation in several European Union and NATO member states. It resumed reporting in Bulgaria with a new bureau in Sofia the same year, and in early September will return to Hungary. Each of the services is entirely digital, an update from their storied broadcast days.

RFE/RL previously served all three countries during the Cold War, ending broadcasts to Hungary in 1993, Bulgaria in 2004, and Romania in 2008.