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Radio Farda Adds Thematic News Programming


(Washington, DC -- December 20, 2006) Radio Farda has introduced several new thematic programs during the last several weeks that provide listeners in Iran new depth and breadth in program content about human rights and democracy issues in their own country as well as in Iran's relationship with the United States.

This past Monday, December 18 marked the debut of "Human Rights Magazine," a twelve-minute program that airs Monday through Thursday at 10:00PM Tehran time (1:30PM Washington time; Monday's inaugural broadcast may be heard on the Internet at rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/12/18/20061218-183000-FRD-program.rm). The program, produced in Washington, focuses on covering breaking news and tracking developments concerning the human rights situation in Iran and around the world. Reporting on the fates of political prisoners and student activists, "Human Rights Magazine" also provides Radio Farda listeners information on the major international human rights reports about the situation in Iran as well as exclusive interviews with the families of political prisoners, human rights experts and activists and victims of human rights abuses who have escaped Iran.

A second new program, "Democracy Magazine", will debut on December 24 at 10:00PM Tehran time (1:30PM Washington time). This 25-minute weekly program will be devoted to democracy -- what it is, what it represents in Western societies and what it means to young people abroad. Radio Farda Washington staff will interview experts, officials, and prominent opinion leaders who have promoted democracy around the world.

Radio Farda's Washington-based broadcasters also produce, in addition to two 30-minute daily news magazines, a weekly ten-minute "US-Iran Magazine" and a weekly 10-minute "Washington Magazine". The "US-Iran Magazine", launched in September 2006, is a weekly review of U.S. government actions and statements concerning Iran that features sound actualities from State Department press conferences, White House briefings, hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the many conferences in Washington that address U.S.-Iran relations. "U.S.-Iran Magazine" also features original, exclusive interviews with U.S. officials, policymakers and academics, including U.S. State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack (November 11; rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/11/11/20061111-173000-FRD-program.rm) and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Erica J. Barks-Ruggles (December 16; rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/12/16/20061216-173000-FRD-program.rm).

The "Washington Magazine", which debuted on December 11 (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/12/11/20061211-183000-FRD-program.rm), offers Radio Farda listeners a fast-paced look at a wide range of topics linked to Washington, DC. While covering political topics as well, the program also addresses events in Washington's vibrant arts, entertainment and cultural scene.

In less than four years, Radio Farda has become the most popular international broadaster in Iran with a 13.5 percent weekly listenership rate as measured by Intermedia Survey Institute during its most recent survey in May 2006. Audience research indicates that listeners welcome Farda's format of news and information plus entertainment programming.

Radio Farda, a joint project of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America (VOA), is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service. Produced in Washington, D.C. and Prague, Czech Republic and transmitted to listeners via AM, shortwave and satellite, Radio Farda features fresh news and information at least twice an hour, with longer news programming in the morning and the evening. Radio Farda also broadcasts popular Persian and Western music. Radio Farda programming is available via the Internet, at the service's website www.radiofarda.com and at www.rferl.org; English-language news about events in Iran can be found on the RFE/RL website. To learn more about Radio Farda and its coverage of events in Iran, read and subscribe to "Focus on Farda".
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