Radio France Internationale

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Infobox radio tower icon
Radio France international
Station logo
Radio transmitter (publicly owned company, " service public ")
reception analog terrestrial , satellite , DAB , internet
Reception area worldwide
Start of transmission January 1, 1975, self-employed since 1987
owner Audiovisuel extérieur de la France / France Médias Monde (FMM).
Intendant Marie-Christine Saragosse
List of radio stations

Radio France Internationale (RFI) is the foreign service of public radio broadcasting in France . RFI is funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs .


French international broadcaster until 1974

The French international radio began broadcasting the Poste colonial from a studio at the International Colonial Exhibition ( Exposition coloniale Internationale ) held in Paris in 1931. Due to the seizure of power by the Nazis and the increasing German propaganda, the French international broadcasts were intensified in the coming years. Until 1938 it was broadcast under the name Paris Ondes Courtes ("Pariser Kurzwellen"), later under the name Paris Mondial ("Paris worldwide") in thirty languages. During the Second World War , the guerre des ondes (the "wave war") took place on shortwave: During the Vichy regime under the names la Voix de la France ("the voice of France"), la France fidèle ("faithful France ") And finally as la France musulmane (" Eastern France ") broadcast, the French resistance used the BBC European Service and the underground radio station Radio Brazzaville .

In the following period, the international broadcasts became part of the French state radio, first of the Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française ( RTF Radio Paris ), then since 1964 under the umbrella of the public broadcasting company Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française ( ORTF Radio Paris ). The beginning of the Cold War led to a strengthening especially of the American foreign broadcasters, while the French broadcasts could not keep up. The international mail ( Emissions vers l'étranger, EVE ) was put to the test because of the high costs involved. However, an extensive survey in the 1960s showed that the audience was definitely there, with over 45,000 responses being received. That is why international broadcasting under the umbrella of the ORTF has been expanded again since then. The French international broadcaster later operated under the name Direction des Affaires Extérieures et de la Coopération (DAEC) from 1969 until the ORTF was dissolved . The department was also responsible for sending immigrants to France; they were funded by the Ministry of Labor, while overseas shipments were paid for by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

RFI: Since 1975

RFI was founded after the dissolution of the ORTF at the beginning of 1975, originally as the international “fifth program” of Radio France , which was aimed particularly at listeners in French-speaking Africa. The broadcast was in French from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the exception of one hour in English for English-speaking Africa. France Inter also took over some programs for this service . These takeovers were expanded from February 1976, when the so-called "West Program" ( chaîne ouest ) began, in which France Inter was completely taken over for listeners on the American east coast and in Central America on shortwave. A corresponding “Eastern Program” was introduced in September of the following year.

After François Mitterrand was elected President of France, broadcasting in France was reorganized again. A "world service" ( service mondial ) in French was set up, and international broadcasts were expanded. When Martial Law was introduced in Poland in 1981, RFI began broadcasting in Polish in just three days. Programs in Russian, Romanian, Creole and Serbo-Croatian followed from 1983 to 1986. Broadcasts in Spanish and Portuguese to South America were expanded. On July 29, 1982, RFI became a subsidiary of Radio France by law. At the beginning of 1987, the station was transferred to an independent company. The first director of RFI was Henry Tézenas du Montcel. Under his direction, the language services in Arabic and Farsi will be set up.

In the years up to 1995, under the next director André Larquié, the development of the language services in Chinese and Vietnamese and the expansion of the Persian service followed. In addition, the cooperation with foreign radio stations, which take over the program from RFI to VHF, has been strengthened. Since the first Gulf War in 1991, the RFI program has gradually increased the news content. Since 1993 it has been broadcast in Laotian, Khmer and Turkish. RFI has also been represented on the Internet since 1994. But it was not until the new director, Jean-Paul Cluzel, that decided in 1995 that RFI would become a pure news program.

In the following period there were further restrictions on the offer. On March 23, 2006, the broadcasts were set to shortwave for Europe. In January 2009, Radio France Internationale announced that it would implement massive job cuts as a result of a rigorous savings plan and give up the German and five other foreign language editorial offices (Albanian, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Turkish and Lao). This was justified by the fact that these languages ​​were no longer relevant to France in terms of foreign policy. Since December 19, 2009, programs in German have not been broadcast anymore, and since January 29, 2010 the German-language website has not been updated. The German program was produced since 1946. The program can be received in French on the Berlin FM frequency until the end of June 2012. The German program was last broadcast in Berlin on ultra-short wave 106.00 MHz since July 1, 2012 on VHF 96.7 MHz, in Saarland on medium wave 1179 kHz as well as via satellite and the Internet. The VHF transmitters in Leipzig , Chemnitz , Pirna and Dresden have been discontinued since November 1st, 2008.

The focus of the program is on supplying the African continent. While other services were discontinued, there was an expansion in the direction of Africa.

RFI and the international television network France 24 were merged in February 2012 under the umbrella of Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France (AEF) (now France Médias Monde FMM). The company also has a 49 percent stake in TV5 Monde . The extensive protests of the employees and the audience against the merger were unsuccessful.


Like all French radio stations, Radio France Internationale operates in the legal form of a public limited company under private law. RFI has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Société de l'audiovisuel extérieur de la France (AEF), now France Médias Monde (FMM), since February 2012 .

The directors of RFI have so far been in chronological order:

  • 1986–1989 Henri Tezenas du Montcel
  • 1989–1995 André Larquié
  • 1995-2004 Jean-Paul Cluzel
  • 2004–2008 Antoine Schwarz
  • 2008–2012 Alain de Pouzilhac
  • 2012– 0000Marie-Christine Saragosse


Radio France Internationale can be received all over the world via cable , satellite , ultra-short wave , medium wave , short wave and the Internet . In addition, a relay station is used on the island of Cyprus , while the relays in Gabon and French Guiana used before 2015 and the cooperation with Radio China International have been abandoned.

RFI broadcasts in 14 languages: French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Hausa, Farsi, Swahili and Khmer.

In addition to a 24-hour news program in French and a foreign language channel, a music program is also broadcast. There is also a service for Africa and the Arab Monte Carlo Doualiya (MCD) program .

Parts of the station's French program are broadcast on the 1179 kHz medium wave via Antenne Saar . The broadcast on shortwave had already been discontinued and thus the possibility of receiving this program in Germany was severely restricted.

Radio France Internationale has been a member of the European radio network Euranet since July 25, 2007 and can also be heard through it. Membership ended in 2015.


  • Frédéric Brunnquell: Fréquence monde: du poste colonial à RFI . Hachette, Paris 1991, ISBN 2-01-018953-1 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Radio France International . In: Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World: Media, Industry and Society. 2003. Retrieved May 9, 2012 from Credo Reference.
  2. 1931/1939: Naissance du Poste colonial . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  3. 1939/1944: La guerre des ondes . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  4. 1945/1947: "Radio Brazzaville" . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  5. 1939/1944: La guerre des ondes . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  6. De 1948 à 1956 . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  7. 1956 to 1963: un manque d'ambition politique . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  8. De 1948 à 1956 . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  9. 1963 to 1968: Opération "Rose des vents" . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  10. 1969 to 1974: Naissance de la DAEC mais les émissions en langues sont laminées par l'éclatement de l'ORTF . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  11. 1975: Radio France Internationale, la cinquième chaîne de Radio France . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  12. a b 1976/1981: RFI lance une Chaîne Ouest puis une Chaîne Est . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  13. ↑ 1982/1986 : De l'autonomie à l'indépendance . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  14. 1986–1989: RFI devenue société indépendante . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  15. 1990/1993: vers une chaîne spécialisée dans l'actualité . In: January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  16. 1993/1996: une radio d'information en continu . In: January 28, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  17. 2004/2008 . In: January 28, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  18. ^ Günter Liehr: German editors fall victim to savings plan . In: January 16, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  19. ^ Siegfried Forster: Statement of the artistic director . In: January 19, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  20. End of broadcasts in German . January 11, 2010: “Since December 19, RFI no longer broadcasts its programs in German. On January 29th, the website of the German editorial team will also be closed. RFI retains its FM frequency in Berlin (UKW 106) on which the French program is broadcast. The management of RFI initiated a social plan in January of this year. It provides for the reduction of 201 jobs and the closure of six foreign language editorial offices. When it became known that the German editorial office should also be closed, over a thousand listeners, personalities from culture, science, business and politics, campaigned for the German broadcasts to be preserved. Unfortunately this mobilization was of no use. At the beginning of next year, the editorial team would have been 65 years old. We would like to thank you, dear listeners, very much for your interest in France and our programs, for your loyalty, some of which have been for decades, and for the dedication of our employees and partners. We dedicate our last program to them, which was broadcast on December 18, 2009. “- The last program of the editorial team can be heard there. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  21. Radio Paradiso receives the frequency 106.0 MHz in Berlin . In: radio scene. February 3, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  22. ^ Kai Ludwig: Radio France Internationale as an Africa broadcaster. In: RBB Radio Eins media magazine, Radio News. October 30, 2017, archived from the original on July 4, 2018 ; accessed on November 8, 2017 .
  23. ^ A b Robert Briel: France 24 and RFI finally merge . In: Broadband TV News. February 14, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  24. Andy Sennitt: Radio France International hit by new strike. In: Media Network. Blog at Radio Nederland Wereldomroep . January 16, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2012. Offline July 11, 2016.
  25. Petition. Non à la fusion-destruction de RFI . In: RFI riposte. The blog des salariés de RFI. January 27, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  26. In this respect, one speaks of “state program companies” ( sociétés nationales de program ): Anna Keller: The new legal framework for public broadcasting in France . (= Writings on international and public law. Volume 93). Publishing house Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 2011, ISBN 978-3-631-60001-6 , p. 122. (Zugl .: Berlin, Freie Univ., Diss. 2009)
  27. Saar antenna . Sending scheme. Retrieved July 11, 2016.