“I listen to NPR…on my shortwave radio”

npr_logoLast year, National Public Radio (NPR) asked listeners when and how they listen to NPR. Their goal was to put together clips into a short spot for the network’s spring fund drive. After telling them that I’ve been known to listen to NPR on shortwave, they asked for me to record a short clip stating this fact. I amiably complied.

Last week, I rediscovered the clip. The spot would have been aired on local member stations in the first half of 2013:

Have you listened to NPR on shortwave? Both the American Forces Network and Radio Australia broadcast NPR news content.

10 thoughts on ““I listen to NPR…on my shortwave radio”

  1. I have not heard NPR on shortwave, however I have listened to CBC on 6160 khz from their transmitter site in St. John’s, Newfoundland (300 watts into a folded dipole plus rear reflector wire).

    What shortwave frequency could NPR be found on?

  2. who would be listening to npr on shortwave? Just turn on your fm radio , you can’t escape it, it’s worse than talk radio on the AM band. DON

  3. Who would listen on shortwave? But it sounds so much cooler with selective fading, adjacent channel interference and isosondes (thweep!). It’s the best kind of ‘processing’, makes pop radio sound ‘edgy’. Bring the noise!

  4. Cool, I also like to listen to NPR on mediumwave here in the Netherlands. There are a couple of AFN relays just over the border in Germany.

  5. I have just received a shortwave radio from my father in-law and started listening to NPR Australia on it. I love the poor reception, squawks, back-ground noise and “live” feel for the broadcast medium. I still love high-tech but I’m finding much more life in the old analogue ways.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more, Andrew! In what part of the world are you located? Curious what time and frequency you’re hearing NPR via RA. They’re never playing NPR content when I listen, though I’m well aware they do.

  6. I live in southern Africa, in a rural area without affordable internet access. Can I access NPR content via a short-wave broadcaster here? Please direct me. Thanks!

    • Hi, Peter,

      NPR is a tough one to find on shortwave. There are two broadcasters who sometimes play NPR news or stories, though:
      The American Forces Network and Radio Australia.

      I’ve listened to NPR a number of times on the AFN (here’s a post I made about this some time ago) but they are not an easy catch. They broadcast in SSB instead of AM (so you’ll need a receiver with SSB Mode) and the transmitter output is quite low compared to other international broadcasters. Still, if you have a receiver capable now, you might give it a go.

      I have heard an NPR report once on Radio Australia, too. They partner with NPR (via the ABC) and sometimes relay their content. Problem is, the schedules and broadcast times have all changed in the past year, so I’ve no clue if they can still be heard. I recently posted the Radio Australia schedule–you might see if that coincides with your listening time and when NPR content is played.

      ASide from NPR, you should be able to easily hear several top-notch broadcasters via shortwave: BBC World Service, Voice of America, Deutsche Welle, Radio Australia, Radio France International, Radio New Zealand International, and a host of smaller stations. Check out broadcast listings one one of the sites I mention here: http://swling.com/Resources.htm

      Good luck! Perhaps readers might chime in with more suggestions.


  7. NPR is broadcast via the Armed Forces Network on upper sideband (need a receiver that can decode single sideband) from Key West Florida, Guam, Diego Garcia (Indian Ocean), Keflavik Iceland, and Pearl Harbor Hawaii.

    The frequency changes from during the day to at night for each of those locations so check out the linked below webpage for the frequencies.


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