Liberty sign outside of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty building in Prague. Learning about Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty was an incredible experience, and one that will not be forgotten. (Photo by Erica Torre)

Liberty sign outside of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty building in Prague. Learning about Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty was an incredible experience, and one that will not be forgotten. (Photo by Erica Torre)

During my trip abroad I planned to focus my time on my research, which is focused on Hillary Clinton’s role in American politics. What I did not know is that Hillary Clinton played such a significant role in the transition of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to its new headquarters located in Prague.

During my trip to Prague I understood that one day would be spent at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. After a morning full of meetings I was on my way to lunch, and I noticed a picture of Hillary Clinton hanging in the hallway. Curious, I asked my host what Hillary Clinton did on her visit to the new headquarters. She enlightened me that Clinton gave the inaugural speech which dedicated the new headquarters to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty during her trip to Prague in April 2009.

According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty website, “the organization’s mission…is to promote democratic values and institutions by reporting the news in countries, where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. Our journalists provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate”.

During her speech, Clinton focused her attention on the employees and journalist at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. According to the website Clinton called RFE/RL “smart power”, also noting that “smart power takes smart people, people who are dedicated, who understand the mission of communication and free expression, and reaching out to the rest of the world”.

Spending the day at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty was extremely interesting! Not only did I learn about a great organization, but the visit also added to my research. A building full of pictures in every hallway, and I look what I stumbled upon. Talk about luck!

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