Is there a 'Radio Free' America?

Well first of all I am not completely sure what ‘radio free’ exactly means. I mean I can surmise that it means a zone that has no radio reception??? Is this correct? Or is it more like NPR type situation. Can someone shed some light on this…?

Well, there is a government-funded station called “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty” (supervised by the CIA or the State Department, I think). It broadcasts news and propaganda to nations that would otherwise not have the chance to receive stuff like this (it is currently running programs for Afghans, e.g.).

This is the only instance in which I have ever heard the word combination “radio free”; it could well be I’m completely wrong about it and did entirely miss the thing you meant.

Well, if you’re talking about “Radio Free Europe”, it’s a government program that operates radio stations broadcasting to various European countries. Its main purpose, when it was set up, was to broadcast across the Iron Curtain, hence its name. It was the voice of Free Europe, not Communist Europe.

There are a couple of other contexts he could be speaking of, usages undoubtedly derived from the old “Radio Free Europe” broadcasts.

WRT to “pirate” broadcasters (no, not Bob Prince):

At least one pirate broadcaster has called himself “Radio Free America”. There are probably more:

It also appears to be the name of a pop group:

And at least one radio program:

And an “internet radio station”:

Oh, and you needn’t point out that the statement about “Americas first pirate broadcaster” from that one article is grossly in error. Pirate broadcasters existed in one form or another from the day they started regulating radio transmitters.

I have clear memories from the 60’s about government fundraising for this thing called “Radio Free America” which broadcast The Truth to people in parts of the world – i.e., behind the Iron Curtain – where the government forbade people to know what was really going on in the world.

To understand the name, realize that it should not be understood as “Radio Free” America (ie., parts of America which don’t have radio) but as Radio “Free America” (the radio station of our free country).

Looks like they’ve closed up shop though. Searching the websites for that phrase turns up some independent little radio station broadcasting free-form music or something.

From the OP & thread title, I was wondering if you were asking if there was a foreign country/group that broadcast their propaganda to us-- and if that’s your question, the answer is (or at least was) yes. Back in the '80s, for a school project, I taped shortwave broadcasts of the “North American Service of Radio Moscow,” which contained news & cultural pieces (obviously, with a pro-communist slant!) One item I recall concerned the tenth anniversary of the fall of Saigon, which they referred to as “the complete liberation of southern Vietnam from the forces of imperialism,” or something like that. :rolleyes:

OK I understand I think. Basically ‘radio free’ actually, currently is a form of radio based in Europe who is currently broadcasting ‘something’ towards the afghan people. And this is controlled by our ‘US’ state department? or which gov’t controlls it? This broadcasting is proven effective? In pitching our plight to refugees? and others who tune in?

And then there’s the Philip K. Dick SF novel Radio Free Albemuth.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (I think that’s the official name, shortened to RFE/RL) is funded by the US government and its job is to broadcast US propaganda/the truth (depending on what side you are on) to countries the US government would like to infiltrate/inform about what’s going on (again depending on your POV). It’s homepage is , and this site also tells us it used to be supervised by the CIA until 1971 and has since been under control of one Board for International Broadcasting whose members are appointed by the US prez.

Whether it’s effective or not is a question on its qown. Maybe it’s ineffectice on the short term, but on the long term it actually can carry US values and ideals to people in crisis areas.

There is also something called “Voice of America” (I think I heard a report on this on NPR or something recently) which is run by the government and that is currently broadcasting at Afghanistan in Pashtun, Arabic, etc.

Read about the Voice of America here: