Thursday, July 30, 2015

RFE/RL's Radio Farda

RFE/RL's Radio Farda breaks through government censorship to deliver accurate news, informed discussion and cultural programming to audiences in Iran.


Fast Facts

  • Language: Persian
  • Established: December 2002
  • Distribution: Radio 24 hours daily (AM, SW, satellite), Internet (website, mobile, social media), TV (satellite)
  • Staff: 62 (Prague), 2 (Washington), 9 correspondents and numerous freelancers worldwide


Media Environment

  • Iran's print and broadcast media and news websites are controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards. The Internet is tightly restricted. Mobile users of the website receive text warnings that they are accessing an unauthorized site .
  • Family members of Radio Farda staff were interrogated, coerced and threatened by secret police in more than 20 incidents since 2012. Iran has set up phony websites to discredit Farda reporting, and has targeted Farda journalists in over 15 cases of on-line harassment.


  • Nearly 13 million pages were viewed on Radio Farda’s website every month in 2014, and an average of 17.7 million pages were viewed during the last six months of 2014. Despite an official Iranian government ban, the need for a proxy, and deliberately slow internet speeds to deter users, almost half of all traffic originates from within the country, having used proxies we provided.
  • Radio Farda's three Facebook pages have a combined fan base of more than 1.6 million, and a Facebook link to its live audio stream has been "suggested" by users over 3,600,000 times.
  • “Pas Farda,” Radio Farda’s award-winning satire show, has more than 200,000 Facebook fans and devoted listeners who record and distribute the program four nights a week. Host Farshid Manafi won a Gold Award of Excellence, and "Pas Farda" a Silver Award of Distinction in the 2014 Communicator Awards, overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. Radio Farda has recently added a new TV satire program, “Poletik,” hosted by Kambiz Hosseini.
  • Radio Farda has captured new audiences with its documentary series: "Victims of 88," an account of victims of 2009 post-election protests; the multi-segment "Visit" that profiles Iran's political prisoners and "Born in Prison," the story of a young man born in prison to parents who were later executed, who then remained in prison himself.  A former political prisoner told Radio Farda that inmates secretly listen to and discuss these reports in their cells, often to obtain information about their own cases.
  • Radio Farda correspondent Vahid Pourostad received a Silver Award at the 2013 New York Festivals International Radio Programs and Promos Awards for his radio documentary series “Solitary Confinement,” which examined the plight of political prisoners in Iran.
  • In December 2012 Radio Farda launched a televised simulcast of its popular morning show, Breakfast with News, which airs on VOA Persian (PNN) satellite channels.

Updated: 9 June 2015

Facts & Stats

77.45 million (World Bank estimate, 2013)

Most Common Languages:
Persian, Turkic dialects, Kurdish, Luri, Balochi, Arabic

Press Freedom Index (Freedom House):
Not Free, ranked 190 out of 199 (2015)​
"Worst of the Worst" (2015)

Press Freedom Index (RSF):
173 out of 180 (2015)
"Enemy of the Internet" (2012)

Corruption Index (Transparency Int.):
136 out of 175 (2014)

Global Peace Index (IES):
131 out of 162 (2014)

Human Rights Watch:
Report on Iran (2015)

Amnesty International:
Iran Report (2014/2015)

Service Snapshot: Farshid Manafi

Pas Farda's Farshid Manafi at the helm.

Service Snapshot: Farshid Manafi

Radio Farda's Farshid Manafi talks about his popular satirical talk show "Radio Pas Farda." More