Radio France Internationale

Radio France Internationale
Type International public broadcaster
Country France
Founded 1975
Owner Government of France through France Médias Monde
Channel 971
  • Channel 551
  • Channel 552 (RFI Musique)
Official website
Logo of Radio France Internationale from 1996 till June 2013.

Radio France Internationale generally referred to by its acronym RFI, is a French public radio service that broadcasts in Paris and all over the world. With 35.6 million listeners in 2008, it is one of the most listened to international radio stations in the world, along with BBC World Service, Voice of America and Deutsche Welle.

RFI broadcasts 24 hours per day across the world in French and in 12 other languages in FM, shortwave, medium wave, cable, on Worldspace and on It is a channel of the state company, France Médias Monde (RFI – France24 – MCD).[1]

RFI was created in 1975 as part of Radio France by the Government of France, and replaced the Poste Colonial (created in 1931), Paris Mondial (1938), Radio Paris (1939), a private station which was commandeered by the Germans during the occupation of France, and the Voice of France which was operated by the Vichy regime from 1941 to 1944, RTF Radio Paris (1945) and ORTF Radio Paris (1965). In 1986 the French Parliament changed the law to allow RFI to operate independently of Radio France.

RFI operates under the auspices and primary budget of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs. It broadcasts primarily in French, but also in English, Swahili, Hausa, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Persian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian and as of 2015, Manding. It also owns Monte Carlo Doualiya (formerly Radio Monte Carlo Middle East), which produces Arabic programmes in Paris, and airs them from a transmitter in Cyprus to audiences across the Middle East and North Africa.

One of the largest foreign language services is the English Service, aimed mainly at Africa, but can also be heard in Jamaica. RFI broadcasts for four hours every morning. All of RFI's English broadcasts are available online and for download on the English service website.


On September 17, 2002, Togolese President Gnassingbé Eyadéma tried to stop the broadcasting of an interview with one of his opponents, Agbéyomé Kodjo, by phoning directly to the Elysée Palace. The interview was not censored by Jean-Paul Cluzel, RFI's CEO at the time, due to the coordinated intervention of the journalists' trade-unions. However, a report raising questions regarding the French secret services responsibilities in the 1995 death of judge Bernard Borrel in Djibouti, which was broadcast on May 17, 2005, was later removed from RFI's website for undisclosed reasons, possibly due to the intervention of Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh.[2]

On 21 October 2003, Jean Hélène was reporting for RFI during the civil war in Ivory Coast when he was killed in Abidjan by police Sergeant Théodore Séry Dago.

On 2 November 2013, RFI reporting team Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were murdered while covering the Mali elections. The United Nations set their death date to commemorate the International Day of Impunity each year.[3]


RFI offers a daily podcast in simple French, accessible via iTunes, named 'Journal en français facile'. There are also several other podcasts including the weekly Afrique Presse[4] which is hosted by Assane Diop and discusses the most important news in Africa that week.

Transmission network

RFI uses 2 domestic shortwave relay stations in France, and one shortwave relay station in French Guyana. All the stations are owned and operated by the French telecom entity TDF.

ALLISS is a rotatable antenna system for high power shortwave radio broadcasting.

See also


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