BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Radio Free Europe said Thursday that it will resume news services in Romania and Bulgaria in a bid to debunk fake news and combat poor-quality journalism.
The U.S. Congress-funded station will return to the two southeastern European countries, both European Union and NATO members, starting in December.
Radio Free Europe president Thomas Kent said in a statement that he hoped the move would “help the growth of a free press, promote democratic values and institutions, and inform discussion in both countries of their place in NATO, the EU and other Western organizations.”
The statement also said that “government officials, civil society representatives and journalists… have expressed concern that disinformation, corruption, and social division are undermining their political systems.”
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RFE’s Bulgarian service ended in 2004 while the service to Romania stopped in 2008. The statement noted that the media situation had deteriorated since the two countries joined the EU in 2007.
RFE, which is editorially independent, has bureaus in Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, and a Romanian-language service in the former Soviet republic of Moldova.