RFE/RL's impact over seven decades in more than 20 countries is the result of the work of thousands of journalists whose dedication is reflected in the lives of countless individuals and entire countries. There have been moments of sheer glory, and encounters with terror and loss. The milestones celebrated on this page are a small sample of the company's collective achievements over time, but together they tell an enduring story of truth, courage, and hope.
Over seven decades, RFE/RL has relied on the best media talent, the bravest journalists, and expert staff to connect with audiences and deliver essential news. It has also served as a unique source of cultural programming, airing banned music and literary works and screening independent films to broaden the outlook and buoy the spirit of people denied not only political, but also cultural freedoms. Some of the most storied RFE/RL personalities are profiled here.
RFE/RL is the sum of its individual language services, which serve as a lifeline, in local languages, to audiences that otherwise lack access to a free and reliable press. This section showcases some of the services’ most prized accomplishments, on the ground and too often on the frontlines, and memorializes some of the great personalities behind their reporting.
In 1995, at the invitation of playwright, former dissident, and Czech President Vaclav Havel, RFE/RL moved its operations from Munich, Germany, where it had been based since 1951, to Prague. Havel offered RFE/RL the former Czechoslovak Federal Assembly building, right in the city center at the top of Wenceslas Square. In welcoming RFE/RL to the country, Havel declared the company’s new relevance and renewed mission in supporting democracy in the newly independent post-Soviet states.