Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a 'broadcaster' funded by the U.S. Congress that provides 'news, information, and analysis' to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East "where the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed". RFE/RL is supervised by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a bi-partisan federal agency overseeing all U.S. international broadcasting services.
Founded as a propaganda news source in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe, RFE/RL received funds from the Central Intelligence Agency until 1972. During the earliest years of Radio Free Europe's existence, the CIA and the U.S. Department of State issued broad policy directives, and a system evolved where broadcast policy was determined through negotiation between the CIA, the U.S. State Department, and RFE staff.
RFE/RL was headquartered at Englischer Garten in Munich, Germany, from 1949 to 1995. In 1995, the headquarters were moved to Prague in the Czech Republic. European operations have been significantly reduced since the end of the Cold War. In addition to the headquarters, the service maintains 20 local bureaus in countries throughout their broadcast region, as well as a corporate office in Washington, D.C. RFE/RL broadcasts in 28 languages to 21 countries including Armenia, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.