THE ARRIVAL OF RADIO FARDA
Volume 7, No. 1 – March 2003
The Arrival of Radio Farda: International Broadcasting to Iran at a Crossroads
On December 19, 2002, Radio Farda, the new U.S. external service in Persian, officially started regular broadcasts on shortwave, mediumwave and satellite. With the reformatting of existing services into a 24-hour news and entertainment channel, external broadcasting to Iran has recently received more attention. Iran, however, has always been the target area of various international broadcasting services.(1)
In its first worldwide press-freedom index published on October 23, 2002, Reporters Without Borders ranked Iran 122nd among 139 countries surveyed.(2) So, the need for independent reporting seems obvious, while some question the need for embedding news and information in a music and entertainment format. This article examines the question in the broader context of international broadcasting to Iran, including clandestine and even religious stations.
Classic external broadcasting
Having been a major political factor both under Shah Reza Pahlavi and under Mullah rule, Iran has been a traditional target area for official external services both from neighboring countries like Iraq, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, as well as the world├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs superpowers. In the framework of centralized USSR external broadcasting, Radio Baku of the Soviet Republic Azerbaijan only had a minor role as an external broadcaster, which did however include services in Azeri and Persian to Iran. Although the external services underwent some changes after independence, these broadcasts were kept. Currently the station broadcasts some 165 minutes in Azeri (Guney Azerbaijan) and 60 minutes in Farsi, transmitted regionally on two medium- and shortwave frequencies.
The Voice of America (VoA) broadcast to Iran during Second World War (1942-1945) and in the 1950s and 1960s (1949-1960, 1964-1966). Soon after Ayatollah Khomeini ousted the Shah, the Farsi Service of the VoA resumed operation. The service almost exclusively drew on native speakers some of whom had broadcasting experience in Iranian radio and television before 1979. In the 1980s, long before the arrival of e-mail, the Farsi service received several hundred letters per week in response to the broadcasts.(3) On October 17, 1996, Voice of America and Worldnet launched a weekly, call-in radio and TV simulcast in Farsi, the first regularly recurring program to be produced in full at the VoA headquarters. VoA television today broadcasts two satellite shows to Iran: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻNext Chapter,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż a weekly, hour-long, youth-oriented show launched in 2002, and ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻRoundtable with You,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż a weekly 90-minute news and public affairs program.
Persian is one of the few regional languages of the world with broadcasts from the external services of all states holding a permanent seat at the UN Security Council. In 1991, Radio France Internationale (RFI) en Persan (4) joined the existing services of BBC London,(5) Radio Beijing (today China Radio International),(6) Radio Moscow (today Voice of Russia),(7) and Voice of America.(8) After years of neglect, French external broadcasting caught up with the major international services, but followed its own strategies. It introduced a 24-hour news-oriented format into their Service Mondiale long before the U.S. reformatting of VoA English into VoA Newsnow. It concentrated on placing RFI programmed FM stations in the capitals of the world to reach the decision-makers, with the only foreign language service aiming at a mass appeal being the Arabic service.(9) Although RFI has had an Arabic service since 1988, it acquired the daytime commercial channel RMC Moyen Orient in 1996, which has a regular audience of 12 to 15 million listeners in the Middle East. While RMC Moyen Orient continues as a full-time service, its Paris based staff is now also responsible for Arabic shortwave broadcasts. It should be noted that Persian has also been on the schedule of ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻDeutsche Welle, the Voice of Germany├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(10) since 1962 and NHK Radio Japan (11) since 1991.
While broadcasters are reluctant to publish results of audience research in detail, it is reported that BBC London, Voice of America and Kol Yisrael (Voice of Israel) have the strongest following among the international broadcasters. During the Gulf war between Iraq and Iran (1980-1988), Iranian authorities jammed Western broadcasts. Later, it was only on special occasions (for example, when elections were approaching) that jamming against Western stations was increased (January-February 2000, June 2001). Clandestine stations, however, have always been jammed intensively.
No survey of international broadcasting to Iran would be complete without mentioning the large number of clandestine broadcasts targeting both minority groups and certain segments of Persian society since the late 1950s.(12) Some of the stations were affiliated with Marxist groups, others with Kurdish movements, and after the Revolution of 1979 with opponents of the Islamic regime. While names and on air slogans are changing, these general points of view are still present in underground broadcasting. Most stations choose not to reveal their transmitter sites but it is evident that most broadcasters use facilities outside Iran, mainly in Iraq and successor states of the former Soviet Union.
Clandestine broadcasting to Iran began in spring 1959, when a Communist ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻNational Voice of Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż started from Soviet Azerbaijan. In mid-1986 the programs were integrated into half-hour Farsi and Azeri services of ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻRadio Station Peace and Progress├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż (1964-1991), which claimed to be ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża voice of Soviet public opinion├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż (on air slogan) and was dissolved shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Even today there are several Communist or Socialist stations on the air, and European listeners find it quite intriguing listening to the ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻInternationale├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż still sung wholeheartedly after the demise of the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe.
Radio Nejat-e Iran signed on the air in 1982, supporting a movement headed by Dr. Ali Amini (1905-1992), a former Prime Minister of Iran during the early 1960s.(13) In 1986, the name was changed to Flag of Freedom Radio. Produced by a staff of 20 to 25 in London, Flag of Freedom broadcast over 21,000 hours of programming in support of establishing a constitutional democracy in Iran. In 1994, the station suddenly left the airwaves. Although sites were never disclosed, judging from the frequencies, Flag of Freedom must for a period have used an Egyptian mediumwave transmitter.
Another station dating to the 1980s is still present. In 1981, the Mujahidin-e Khalq (National Liberation Army of Iran, who have a mixed history of Islamism, Marxism, Secularism, armed struggle and terrorism since the 1960s) started broadcasting to Iran. Broadcasting two separate channels on approximately ten frequencies, its transmitters are reported to be in a border area of Iraq. The station is particularly known for its frequency hopping by some kilohertz to escape massive Iranian jamming.
Until the 1990s, clandestine stations used unknown sites to broadcast their messages. After the end of the Cold War many external services reduced their schedules. With more and more time becoming available on privatized transmitters, opposition groups now also use 100-, 250- or even 500 kW-transmitters formerly occupied by regular external services. In 2000, Radio Sedaye Iran (14) joined leftist Radio Internationale (Worker-communist Party) (15) in using a high-power shortwave station in Moldova. The program is affiliated with a satellite radio station broadcasting to Iranians in North American exile. It claims not to be connected to any party. The program is also worth mentioning because it was the first customer buying airtime on French transmitters in 2001. It broadcast up to four hours daily from high-power transmitters at Issoudun formerly used by RFI.
Given the millions of Azeri speaking people in Iran, it is interesting to note the (re-) appearance of the Voice of Southern Azerbaijan in January 2003. A station of the same name was active in 1996-1998, probably from a transmitter in Israel. However, the station has only minimal presence, as the new programs are only twice weekly.
Christian religious broadcasting to Iran
Although the arrival of Islam extinguished most traces of the Medieval Nestorian Church, with only a small Christian minority remaining, Iran has been a traditional target of international Christian broadcasting.
From 1964 until 1977, the Near Eastern Christian Council supported Persian broadcasts on the Radio Voice of the Gospel from Ethiopia.(16) The Lutheran shortwave station (1963-1977) was the first international missionary station almost exclusively broadcasting programs produced by churches and church councils (not individual missionaries or independent missions) based in the target areas. So, in 1962 a studio was built at a Presbyterian literature center in Tehran. Production started in 1963 and broadcasting of half-hour programs started in 1964. Transmission time was doubled in 1968 and remained at one hour daily until Radio Voice of the Gospel facilities were nationalized by the Marxist government of Mengistu Haile Mariam. With a mix of 70 percent non-religious information and 30 percent religious content, the program philosophy of Radio Voice of the Gospel is very dissimilar to most international Christian programming aside from the Roman Catholic stations Radio Vatican and Radio Veritas Asia.
Today, Christian broadcasting in Persian and other languages spoken in Iran is completely organized by the evangelical branch of Protestant Christianity. In 1971, a Radio Voice of Christ began broadcasting on Protestant shortwave station FEBA-Radio Seychelles. Using several shortwave sites, Trans World Radio (TWR) and Adventist World Radio followed in 1982 and 1996 respectively. Adventist programs in Persian had already been produced in Beirut from 1953 to 1956 for broadcast via Radio Ceylon, but these broadcasts became unavailable when the station stopped selling airtime to religious broadcasters. In 1996, the Persian service was re-established using owned and leased facilities. When in 2001 Adventist World Radio started using a high-power shortwave center in the United Arab Emirates, it chose not to broadcast in Arabic and Persian from there, thus avoiding intensifying inter-religious friction.(17)
While these broadcasters focused their attention on Iran, TWR├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs German partner started medium- and shortwave broadcasts to the Persian-speaking exile community in Europe. According to official German statistics, there are some 105,000 residents with Iranian passports, making up some 1.5 percent of Germany├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs immigrant population and matching the number of U.S. citizens on German soil.(18) A growing number of Iranians are now acquiring German citizenship.
In 1985, several Protestant broadcasters formed a strategic alliance that lead both to more co-operation in expanding programs in existing languages and in developing new broadcast languages. This included languages spoken in Iran like Azeri, Baluchi, Hazaragi, Kurdish dialects, Luri, Mazanderani and Qashqa├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi. Beside funding, a major problem is finding native speakers willing to produce Christian programs.
Payam-e Doost – Voice of the Baha’i Faith
The Baha├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi Faith was founded by Bah├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żu├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żllah (1817-1892) in Iran, but was immediately rejected and persecuted by its Muslim contemporaries. Nevertheless, it has spread to the West since the first years of the 20th century. There are eight Baha├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi-owned community radio stations worldwide and several Baha├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi based radio programs.
In May 2001, Radio Payam-e Doost (Radio Message from a Friend) which had been broadcasting on a Washington mediumwave station since 1994 and on the internet since 1999, was first heard on shortwave. According to the website, the program ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żhas only one aim: to educate its listeners and dissipate misinformation about the Baha├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi faith which has permeated the Iranian community for the past sesquicentury, depriving Muslims and Baha├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żis alike of a chance to live, work and worship freely and in total harmony in the cradle of one of the most ancient civilizations in the world.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(22) Having started with a 30-minute broadcast from Moldova, there are now two 45-minute broadcasts daily from transmitters in Moldova and Norway. In addition, there is a 24-hour satellite stream to North America.
Even before President George W. Bush labeled Iran as being part of an axis of evil, U.S. politicians lobbied for special broadcasts to Iran modeled after the example of Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty (RFE-RL). This station has had its political role both on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and in the capitals of the target countries.(19) Finally, in the spring of 1998, some $900,000 were allocated for a Farsi service of RFE-RL, which went on the air October 30, 1998, broadcasting to audiences in the Middle East as well as Europe. This must also be seen as a lobbying success for the surrogate broadcaster looking for new tasks after fulfilling the mission to combat Communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR. Although international broadcasters, including RFE-RL, were instrumental in breaking news monopolies, one must take into account that today├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs reform states in Central Europe and the Baltics did have some democratic traditions before the Second World War. On the other hand, in most successor states to the USSR the end of Communism did not mean the end of authoritarian rule; democracy and free speech are yet to be achieved. Instead of closing down, the station legitimately maintained CIS target areas and even acquired new target areas by broadcasting a Radio Free Iraq (1998) in Arabic, Radio Azadi in Farsi (1998-2002), and Radio Free Afghanistan in Dari and Pushtu (1985-1993, 2002-). However, it could be said that this duplicated existing VoA and Radio Free Asia services to China, Korea and other Asian countries, which have broadcasted since 1994, and that these might have been more logical umbrella organizations for an expansion to these target areas.
On November 18, 2002, director Tom Dine announced the replacement of Radio Azadi by Radio Farda, a new program co-produced by RFE-RL and Voice of America staff. Dine told RFE-RL staff, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻRadio Farda’s news and information offerings will project the same seriousness of purpose and adherence to RFE/RL’s surrogate mission of promoting democracy, covering local and relevant international news, and living up to our professional code, embodying the highest journalistic standards of accuracy and objectivity, as have the programs of our Persian Service.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(20) In preparation for the new service, RFE-RL’s Radio Azadi ended its programming on December 1, 2002. At the time of closing, the Farsi service had been on the air eleven hours daily (on shortwave). The frequencies were now used for 30-minute newscasts and 2 1/2 hours of music daily.
On December 1, the Kayhan newspaper website, which is affiliated with the Iranian leadership, commented on the establishment of the Radio Farda service, depicting it as the CIA putting ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żthe finishing touch on its psychological warfare against the Islamic Republic of Iran.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(21) The CIA reference might be easily dismissed as Iranian counter-propaganda, but it also recalls the historical burden the concept of surrogate broadcasting has borne since the inception of Radio Liberation (later Liberty) and Radio Free Europe. Both stations started as veiled CIA operations in the 1950s and relations were only broken in the mid-1970s.
Both Persian services of the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty claimed a strong following in Iran, but on November 22, 2002, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) officially announced the creation of a new Persian-language radio station with current news, entertainment features and popular Persian and Western music expected to appeal to a younger audience.(23) This nine-member, presidentially-appointed body devises strategies for all U.S. government-funded non-military international broadcasting and supervises their implementation. Radio Farda was expected to cost about $8 million annually from internal reallocations by the board.
Like VoA-Europe (in English 1985-1997) and Radio Sawa (in Arabic 2002-), Radio Farda is aimed at listeners under 30 years of age, who according to BBG statements make up about 70 percent of the Iranian population.(24) This number is corroborated by the official data of the 1375 (1996-1997) census, which is still the source of the latest figures published by the Statistical Center of Iran.(25) The new program format was modeled after the 24-hour news and entertainment service Radio Sawa, which had replaced the Arabic programs of the Voice of America earlier in the year. Still, while the current ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻBBG strategic plan 2002-2007├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(26) lists the new formats in Arabic and Farsi as part of an anti-terrorism effort, it must be emphasized that the original concept was prepared before the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Designed to follow American commercial formats by Norman Pattiz, founder of the successful U.S. network Westwood One, it was introduced to Congress on February 28, 2001, giving politicians plenty of time to voice concerns.
Although actual programs of Radio Farda were supposed to start in mid-December, the station name was already used in broadcasts in the time slots left by Radio Azadi on December 1, 2002. With the soft launch of the station, any judgement on the program content can only be a first assessment. Most broadcast hours combine a ten-minute news and weather report on the hour, and a five-minute newscast on the half-hour, with a music only rotation of Iranian and international songs and occasional station promotions. The mostly English language international songs are very much mainstream pop (boy-/girlgroups, moderate rap, but also hit oldies) including some explicit, but not obscene references to sex. Certainly, mini-features will be included in the rotation in the near future. When fully implemented the amount of time devoted to news and current affairs was promised to be more than five hours a day.
In the Wall Street Journal of December 16, 2002, veteran Senator Jesse Helms (Republican senator for North Carolina) severely criticized the change from Radio Azadi to Radio Farda:
It’s difficult to believe that the Bush administration has agreed to support this shift from a proven program of serious policy discussion to a teeny-bopper music-based format. It likely will insult the cultural sensitivities of Iranians, as well as their intelligence. Meanwhile, the brave professor sits in jail cell awaiting execution, students plot protests, and the regime struggles to hold the line against the will of the people. And the U.S. will be spinning Britney Spears discs?(27)
On the same day, Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl argued a similar point.(28) In an official response to ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻJackson Diehl├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs seriously inaccurate column,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż the Broadcasting Board of Governors corrected much of the information given in the commentaries by both critics.(29) But, when Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson wrote ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żthe single quoted source also happens to be an unhappy employee,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż he certainly downplays the fact that broadcasters–especially at the VoA–feel their competence is being left out of BBG management decisions.(30)
President George W. Bush showed his support for Radio Farda by appearing on the program. In a message broadcast on December 21, he pledged continued support for the Iranians├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żquest for freedom, prosperity, honest and effective government, judicial due process and the rule of law.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(31) In response to complaints over their government├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs censorship and restrictions of information, the United States would now be ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żairing news and music and cultural programs nearly 24 hours a day├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż while continuing Voice of America radio and TV services to Iran. And although some congressmen remain critical of the new approach, Republican Representative Bob Ney, who had lived in Iran prior to 1979, gave an interview in Farsi and called Radio Farda ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żan invaluable tool to spread a message of peace, freedom, and democracy throughout Iran.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(32)
Using transmitters in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia, the service is available on medium and shortwave, but also can be heard on the internet at and via satellite. In a possibly related move, law-enforcement personnel in Tehran have resumed confiscating satellite dishes and issuing summonses to their owners. Earlier in November 2002, the legislature had begun considering a bill to lift the ban on satellite dishes and receivers. With the confiscation of satellite dishes and the comparatively moderate use of shortwave frequencies,(33) the mediumwave transmitters from Abu Dhabi on 1539 kHz and Kuwait on 1593 kHz will be the main outlets for the service. Beside jamming, Iranian authorities may also choose an alternative: introducing competitive FM services which will also attract listeners because of the superior audio quality.
International observers have always wondered about the multiplicity of U.S. external services beside the official Voice of America. With Radio Free Europe (on air since 1951), Radio Liberty (1953), Radio / TV Martí to Cuba (1983) and Radio Free Asia (1994) partly duplicating VoA services in the respective languages, the 2002 arrival of additional 24-hour services in Arabic and Farsi could not come as a surprise. But while the increasingly fragmented structure of U.S. international broadcasting apparently makes sense to lobbyists and policymakers in Washington, it remains to be seen whether the 24-hour news and entertainment format will indeed succeed. In an editorial, Andy Sennitt, a former editor of the World Radio TV Handbook and currently with Radio Netherlands, sharply criticized ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża patronizing attitude to the target audiences. It seems to be assumed that the only way to gain the attention of young people in the Middle East–and indeed elsewhere–is by playing popular music…. I don’t doubt the sincerity of those who formulate and carry out the policies. I just think that the model is outdated and flawed.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(34)
It is worth mentioning that Voice of America indeed abandoned a 24-hour music and entertainment project to Europe after 12 years. VoA-Europe had been designed as a U.S. network style satellite and terrestrial service to counter what decision-makers perceived as ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻAnti-Americanism├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Western Europe. When it went on the air in 1985, it was the first VoA service in English to Europe after a pause of 30 years. Although the channel was an excellent mix of contemporary music and entertainment, current news, information programs, as well as political call-in shows and commentaries ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żreflecting the views of the U.S. government├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż (on air phrase), it had only a small impact because Europe-wide FM coverage was sketchy and local partners mainly rebroadcast the music shows. On the other hand, one might see the re-establishment of music based formats as a reverse trend to the last decade when many international broadcasters claimed to reach out to ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żdecision-makers├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż and ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żopinion leaders├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż by providing ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żup to date news and current affairs programs.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Even then, U.S. congressmen cannot expect alleged decision-makers and opinion leaders to decide and effectively lead in line with U.S. policies when they are out of tune with the majority of the population. While newsradio formats do not provide pleasant company for easy listening at home or at work, music based formats do, and it can be expected that news and weather on top of the hour as well as concise current affairs programs at peak listening times will not let listeners change the station even if they differ in some opinions.
BBG communiqués mainly base their arguments on the success of Radio Sawa. According to Norman J. Pattiz, chairman of the BBG`s Middle East Committee who also oversaw creation of Radio Sawa, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻBecause of Radio Sawa├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs overwhelming success in attracting audiences and new listeners, the BBG believes a similarly formatted service in Persian directed at Iran is a high priority.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(35) Even before the arrival of this new U.S. external service in Arabic, the daytime news and entertainment channel Radio Monte Carlo Moyen Orient has established a loyal following of millions of listeners because they like the style of presentation and value the informational content to balance local reports. The station broadcasting from a mediumwave transmitter on Cyprus since 1971 is now part of the RFI-group of France├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs external broadcaster. According to audience research in the 1990s listeners in Jordan also listened to Kol Yisrael because they liked the program format although they did not share the views of the station.(36)
Obviously Radio Farda is looking for a winning mix of welcome entertainment and maybe not so welcome news and commentary from an American perspective. With all kinds of opinion aired in Persian and even many different religious views already broadcast on short and mediumwave to Iran, Radio Farda will certainly differ from all other broadcasts and provide a full-time alternative to Iranian domestic broadcasting. What still remains to be proven is that expected high audience figures for Radio Farda indeed relate with an expected high impact on Iranian public opinion.
1. For general literature on international broadcasting, see Julian Hale, Radio Power: Propaganda and International Broadcasting (London: Elek, 1975); Willi Alfred Boelcke, Die Macht des Radios: Weltpolitik und Auslandsrundfunk 1924-1976 (Frankfurt, Main): Ullstein, 1977); Donald R. Browne, International Radio Broadcasting: The Limits of the Limitless Medium (New York: Praeger, 1982); Philo C. Washburn, Broadcasting Propaganda: International Radio Broadcasting and the Construction of Political Reality (Westport CT: Praeger Publishers, 1992); Hansjoerg Biener, Christliche Rundfunksender Weltweit (Stuttgart: Calwer Verlag, 1994); and James Wood, History of International Broadcasting, Volume 1 and 2 (London: Institution of Electrical Engineers, 1994 and 2002).
2. The index measured how much freedom journalists and the media have and what efforts the government makes to ensure press freedom. A RSF questionnaire to local and foreign journalists living in the country, researchers, legal experts, and regional specialists asked about murder, imprisonment, and assaults on journalists, censorship and pressure on the media, and the impunity of those responsible for such incidents. Reporters without borders dossier on Iran at (visited December 20, 2002).
3. Kevin Lynch, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻVoA: A Bridge to Iran,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Voice, No. 29 (October/November 1988), pp. 2-5.
6. , no Persian subpages.
9. In the case of the German service, this lead to the most peculiar situation: it is only heard on FM in Berlin and three other cities, while nation-wide terrestrial coverage was abandoned. Even the Strasbourg mediumwave transmitter, which still carries programs in Alsacien, does not carry German despite is great coverage area in Eastern France and South Western Germany and the fact that Strasbourg is one of the capital cities of the European Union.
12. A list of current programs is available at
(December 20, 2002).
13. Nick Grace C. and Martin Schoech, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIran: Flag of Freedom Continues the Fight,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż available at and (June 22, 2001).
15. , .
16. Manfred Lundgren, Proclaiming Christ to His World: The Experience of Radio Voice of the Gospel, 1957-1977 (Geneva: Lutheran World Federation, 1989).
17. Hansjoerg Biener, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻChristliche Missionssendungen von der arabischen Halbinsel [Christian missionary broadcasting from the Arab Peninsula],├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Materialdienst der EZW Vol. 65, No. 1 (Berlin: Evangelische Zentralstelle f├?┬»├?┬ó├?Ô?ór Weltantschauungsfragen,2002), pp.15 – 18.
18. ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻDaten und Fakten zur Ausl├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żndersituation├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż (Februar 2002), (Berlin: Beauftragte der Bundesregierung f├?┬»├?┬ó├?Ô?ór Ausl├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żnderfragen, 2002), p. 22.
19. Sig Mickelson, America├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs Other Voices: The Story of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (New York: Praeger, 1983); Michael Nelson, War of the Black Heavens: The Battles of Western Broadcasting in the Cold War. (London: Brassey’s, 1997. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1997); George R. Urban, Radio Free Europe and the Pursuit of Democracy: My War Within the Cold War. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998); Gene Sosin, Sparks of Liberty: An Insider’s Memoir of Radio Liberty. (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999); Arch Puddington, Broadcasting Freedom: The Cold War Triumph of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2000).
20. (visited December 15, 2002).
21. Kayhan website in Persian December 1, 2002, but see RFE-RL-Iran-Report December 9, 2002 (visited December 20, 2002).
22. (visited December 15, 2002).
23. New Persian-Language Radio Service Planned by Broadcasting Board of Governors (press release November 22, 2002) at
(visited December 15, 2002).
24. New Persian-Language Radio Service Planned by Broadcasting Board of Governnors (press release November 22, 2002)
(visited December 15, 2002); Radio Farda, New Persian-Language Service To Iran, Launched (press release December 19, 2002) (visited January 1, 2003)
25. Table 2.2 Population by five-year age groups, taken from the Iran Statistical Yearbook 1379, published by the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI), available at (visited January 1, 2003). Using the numbers of the 10-24 age groups of five years ago, one would calculate some 35.7 percent of the Iranian population falling into the more likely 15-30 year target audience of Radio Farda.
26. The .pdf-file is available at .
27. Jesse Helms, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻWhat’s ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻPop├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Persian?,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż The Wall Street Journal (December 16, 2002). The article is not freely available at the Wall Street Journal site, but can also be found via Jesse Helms├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs Congressional home page at
(visited January 1, 2003).
28. Jackson Diehl, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻCasey Kasem or Freedom?,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Washington Post (December 16, 2002), Page A25, available at (visited January 1, 2003).
29. ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻRadio Farda: A Program of the Broadcasting Board of Governors,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż
; BBG Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson’s letter to the Washington Post at
(visited January 1, 2003).
30. Gary A. Marco (President American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1418 Voice of America), ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻAmerica’s Hushed Voice,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Washington Post (December 27, 2002); Page A24, available at in support of Jackson Diehl; David S. Jackson (Director Voice of America) VoA in Farsi: A-Okay, in Washington Post (December 31, 2002); Page A16, available at commenting on Marco├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs remarks. (visited January 1, 2003) Also readers├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż letters to Andy Sennitt├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs editorial ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻAnother day, another station├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż at (visited December 15, 2002) quote ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża journalist who has – for obvious reasons – asked to remain anonymous: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻAs a VoA News correspondent, I wanted to commend you for your insightful and impeccable analysis of what is going on here at VoA. You are dead on when you say that what our masters of the Broadcasting Board of Governors are doing is wreaking havoc with morale.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż
31. President Bush Speaks to the People of Iran. Radio Address by the President to the People of Iran on Radio Farda (Press Release December 20, 2002) at (visited January 1, 2002)
32. ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻNey takes to Iranian airwaves,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Times Leader (Martins Ferry OH) (December 26, 2002) at (visited January 1, 2003)
33. When Radio Azadi closed, it had some 34 shortwave transmitter hours for 11 program hours. On its first official day, December 19, 2002, Radio Farda had 60 shortwave hours and 48 mediumwave hours for its 24-hour service.
34. Andrew Sennitt, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻAnother day, another station├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż (editorial November 27, 2002) at (visited December 15, 2002).
35. New Persian-Language Radio Service Planned by Broadcasting Board of Governnors (press release November 22, 2002)
(visited December 15, 2002). According to a timely related item in ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻNews from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż at (visited December 15, 2002) a survey by Edison Media Research of Somerville N.J. (Amman November 7, 2002) showed that 41 percent of a sample representing 17-28 year old radio listeners most listened to Radio Sawa when looking for news as opposed to 21 percent for the Jordanian Government’s Amman FM; 16 percent for MBC-FM; 10 percent for BBC-FM and 6 percent for Radio Monte Carlo.
36. Graham Mytton and Mark Eggerman, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻInternational Radio as a Source of News,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Graham Mytton (Ed.), Global Audiences: Research for Worldwide Broadcasting (London: Libbey, 1993) pp. 179-200, p. 200 for Jordan.
Having studied theology, philosophy and sociology, Dr. Hansjoerg Biener, served in several positions at the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Bavaria (1987-2000) and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (2000-). Dr. Biener has published in several fields including international broadcasting since 1981. In 1991, he earned his doctorate writing on ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻInternational Christian Broadcasting.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Recent publications in English include ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻRadio Broadcasting and [former Soviet] Central Asia,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Central Asia Monitor, volume 10, number 1 (Institute for Democratic Development, Vermont: 2001) pp. 17 – 23, and ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻRadio for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Johannes Laehnemann (ed.), A Soul for Education, (Nuremberg: Athmann, 2002).