RFE/RL President Jeff Gedmin recently sat down with independent Tajik TV station SMT to discuss RFE/RL's evolving mission and presence in Central Asia as a surrogate broadcaster.
Boasting some of the most popular radio stations in the region, Gedmin told the station that RFE/RL's role is as vital as it was during the Cold War. "We're doing the same kind of work that we did before," says Gedmin. In the absence of independent or well established media, "we provide a free flow of information, debate, and responsible discussion."
"Radio stations do not have the ability to change governments," He says. "In Tajikistan for example, we can provide a source of accurate reliable information, but if we do our job well, we can provide a model of professional journalistic standards for other media outlets as well."
Watch highlights from the Interview here:
Rather than provide opportunity for pro-American politics, this goal supports the underlying assumption that, "when free people are free to choose, they will choose decent accountable government over dictatorship virtually every time."
- Elizabeth Ganshert and Taylor Smoot