RFE/RL’s Romanian Service: Radio Europa Liberă România
RFE/RL’s Romanian Service, known locally as Europa Liberă, has relaunched after closing over a decade ago to help strengthen public trust in the media and address the spread of disinformation.
- RFE/RL’s Romanian Service, known locally as Europa Liberă, was relaunched in January 2019 to provide accurate and balanced coverage of the most important local, regional, and national news and events. It is an entirely digital operation, operating out of a bureau in Bucharest, available through its website and on social networks.
- The Service has a distinguished reputation, built over decades and culminating in its coverage of the 1989 revolution. A powerful voice in support of freedom and democracy then, it is dedicated now to providing unflinching coverage of corruption and the abuse of authority by state officials.
- The Service has pursued its renewed mandate with numerous interviews, political profiles, and journalistic investigations. Its “explainer” series is a popular video product that helps audiences navigate political, cultural, social, historical, and religious topics. “News Fast Forward” is a weekly feature for audiences on Facebook. A continuous fact-checking project helps keep disinformation in check.
- Already, the Service has established a standard for high-impact reporting, and come to play an influential role in setting the country’s political agenda. Its interviews are often a top news event, and its news reports routinely receive numerous daily citations.
- The Service has placed a priority on reaching young, urban, educated Romanians who are the most avid consumers of online information and the most willing to mobilize for positive change.
- Responding to Russian disinformation is among the Service’s primary challenges. A Romanian-language version of the pro-Kremlin Sputnik platform gets approximately 250,000 monthly visits. Russia Today reaches audiences in English and Russian via satellite.
- Reporters Without Borders ranked Romania 47 out of 180 in its 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Citing corruption, politicization of media ownership, censorship, and disinformation, it said that Romania’s media was “under greater threat than ever.”
January – December, 2019
- Website: 5.5 million visits, 6.9 million page views, 3.8 million unique visitors
- Facebook: 12.5 million video views, 47,000 followers, 4.3 million engaged users
- YouTube: 93,000 views, 775 subscribers
Updated: March 2020
Facts & Stats about Romania
- Population: 19.36 million (World Bank estimate, 2019)
- Most Common Languages: Romanian
- Global Freedom Index (Freedom House): Free, ranked 83 out of 100 (2020)
- Press Freedom Index (RSF): 48 out of 180 (2021)
- Corruption Index (Transparency Int.): 69 out of 180 (2020)
- Global Peace Index (IES): 22 out of 163 (2020)
- Amnesty International: Romania Report (2021)