Editorial doesn’t mention RFE and VOA audio broadcasts

RFE and VOA audio services are broadcast over the air and are streamed online.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

The Washington Post’s Editorial Board put out this opinion piece this weekend entitled, “Russian propaganda has flooded U.S. airwaves. How about some reciprocity?”

I wrote to them at <corrections@washpost.com> and asked why they didn’t mention the U.S. Government’s considerable state media broadcast resources in their article.

Apparently they never heard of international broadcasting.

Maybe you could link to this article in the SWLing Post and encourage readers to write to the Washington Post’s Editorial Board to enlighten them.

It amazes me that people who work at high levels in a major U.S.-based news media outlet seem so ignorant about international broadcasting.

Thanks, Ed. It is interesting that while the article notes RFE and VOA’s TV program, Current Time (which is only available online), they fail to mention the substantial resources backing RFE/Radio Liberty and VOA’s on-air audio broadcasts that are also available to stream online.

10 thoughts on “Editorial doesn’t mention RFE and VOA audio broadcasts

  1. Brian, W9IND

    Looks like they’ve revised their editorial since the weekend, probably as a result of your correspondence.

    The current online version of the Washington Post contains sentences like this one: “A 24/7 Russian-language television venture produced by Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, called Current Time, has been up and running for several months, producing high-quality news, but is available only online.” I’m guessing that wasn’t part of the original editorial.

    Incidentally, if Post editors need to get up to speed on what happened with VOA’s shortwave broadcasts to the former Soviet Union, they should check their own library for stories like this 2007 article, titled, “VOA Says Goodbye to Uzbek, Other Tongues.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/22/AR2007022201654.html

    Reply
  2. DL4NO

    That is the usual, global problem with journalists: Most of them think they can write about everything. But most of then do not know that they have absolutely no clue at all.

    The almost universal symptom: Which journalist can distinguish between power and energy? Whenever I find this error, and I find it often, only one hope remains: That the journalist was able to copy the rest of the press release correctly.

    The base line: You cannot rely on any single piece of news. You need to consult news sources that are as independent from each other as possible.

    This is where international broadcasting comes in, for example BBC World Service: If they report about German topics I either find things discussed I did not catch nationally. Or I can calibrate my trust to that news channel by finding bias or outright errors in their German reporting. I found both.

    Reply
    1. Brian, W9IND

      Ben Rhodes, a security adviser for the Obama administration, famously derided the Washington press corps in a New York Times Magazine interview: “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus. Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

      That especially applies to a topic as esoteric as radio.

      As a career journalist, I once wrote a local magazine article on a subject that was quite shocking to the average reader: The fact that cell phones were actually radios — and that despite the important-sounding Electronic Communications Privacy Act passed by Congress, it was ridiculously easy to listen to their conversations (in the early days of cell technology) … and the odds of getting caught doing so were infinitesimal.

      I must confess that a part of me wanted to say, “Of course they’re radios. You don’t drag a long phone cord behind your car, do you?”

      Reply
  3. Kire

    I am so glad that i have ‘discovered’ international shortwave broadcasting. By listening to other nations views, I am able to form a better idea of what goes on.
    The USA is quite insular in many regards and since the general public only gets its info from the coorporate media, they often have half-opinions based on 10 second soundbites.
    Another example. With ABC’s exit from shortwave, I have to rely exclusively on RNZI’s reporting on the horrible conditions of Australias treatment of their refugees on Manus island, PNG. News does get out from shortwave and people are listening. Since ABC went dark, I will assume that they really dont have much ground to stand on. Thanks Michelle G!

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  4. Ross

    If you wish to listen to the Australian Broadcasting corporation you can still via he world wide web and Podcasts.
    However I agree that the shutting down of Radio Australia’s shortwave service to the Pacific and the now sale of the Shepparton Victoria transmission site is not a good move and removes an excellent broadcaster from areas where the population are not well connected and use simple SW portables for their information.

    Reply
    1. Kire

      I live in a semi rural part of the USA, with no good internet. I cannot download podcasts, or stream audio very well from my cell phone, so unless i go into town, find free wifi, and download/listen there, i will not bother with the trouble.

      Reply
  5. Mario

    The Post needs to hire an SWL or Ham op to round out the staff of reporters hi hi.

    Somewhat related is TV Marti, the USA’s broadcast to Cuba, found broadcasting via Free To Air satellite on Hispasat 30W Ku band.

    Reply
  6. Ken

    they know about international broadcasting, the VOA, BBC, RFE, but if they included that in the article it would ruin the effect they were trying to impose on their readers, what the washington post does not have is intellectual honesty and integrity

    Reply
    1. Brian, W9IND

      The strange thing is that I’ll bet if you could go back and study every major newspaper editorial ever written about Radio Free Europe and Voice of America, you’d find many that say the money allocated to shortwave broadcasting could be better spent elsewhere.

      But now, suddenly, it’s a good idea again? Or is it a good idea only because it isn’t happening under the current president? Funny, I don’t remember the Washington Post worrying much about RFE and VOA broadcasts during the last administration.

      Reply

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