More than 1,000 people, most of them inside Iran, have emailed Radio Farda (www.radiofarda.com) in its first week of broadcasting, expressing thanks and support for the new Persian-language station.
“You are famous among Iranians – every body is whispering of Farda,” wrote one listener. “God Bless America,” wrote
“I have to say that Radio Farda is very professional and it is about time to show the world that we can produce a serious radio
that is like their radios,” said one email. “I think also that this is the more effective way to reach Iranian youth and people. I am
very proud of you and wish you the best.”
Added a college professor inside Iran: “We love your radio. You have saved us from being bored. We listen to your radio
whenever we can. I am a college professor. The most drivers who drive between two towns … they all listen to your radio.
We all love you.”
On December 20, 2002, the day after Radio Farda was launched, President Bush made a statement on the radio expressing
support for freedom and democracy in Iran.
“We’re thrilled by the initial reaction of our listeners in Iran,” said Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board
of Governors (BBG), which oversees all U.S. international, nonmilitary broadcasting. “We’re committed to helping Iranians –
particularly young Iranians – get the kind of news, information and entertainment that will help as they seek to bring freedom
and democracy to their country.”
“This is by far the strongest email reaction we have had for any of our Iranian radio services,” said Norman J. Pattiz, chairman
of the BBG’s Middle East Committee. “It’s the first indication of the impact of Radio Farda, our first Persian language service
that uses contemporary music to attract the largest possible audience for serious news and informational programming.”
A collection of email excerpts can be found at www.bbg.gov.
Operated from Washington and Prague, Czech Republic, Radio Farda is a 24-hour-a-day, 7 day a week station that
broadcasts fresh news twice an hour, with longer news programming in the morning and the evening. The station also plays
Persian and Western music, which is mostly banned in Iran. Radio Farda is broadcast on medium-wave, shortwave, digital
audio satellite and Internet. Radio Farda, which represents an increase in news and information provided by U.S. international
broadcasting, complements the Voice of America’s (VOA) radio and television programs.
The BBG is an independent federal agency which supervises all U.S. government-supported non-military international
broadcasting, including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL); Radio Free Asia (RFA);
Radio and TV Mart