Category Archives: Broadcasters

Radio Free Europe receives offhand mention in Senate hearing on Russian Hacking

Many thanks SWLing Post contributor, Aaron Kuhn, who writes:

[While passing by the TV at just the right time] I heard an interesting little 16 seconds of exchange in the Senate Russian Hacking hearings.

The exchange take place between Lindsey Graham and James Clapper from 1:57:40 to 1:58:24:

Click here to view on YouTube.

In this short exchange, which starts by Graham asking, “Would you agree with me that Radio Free Europe is outdated?” We learn that Clapper isn’t “familiar” with Radio Free Europe and both of them admit that they don’t listen to the radio (though Clapper believes it’s popular in some parts of the world).

Graham: “Is radio big in your world?”

Clapper: “Not in my world.”

Graham: “Yeah, I don’t listen to the radio so much either.”

Well…glad we sorted that out, gentlemen.


UPDATE — Kim Andrew Elliott comments:

That exchange might explain why the RFE/RL Press Room sent out this email on January 5…

Facts about Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

(WASHINGTON – January 5, 2017) RFE/RL serves a measured audience of 27 million people a week in 23 nations and territories by video, social networks, mobile apps, websites, podcasts and radio – whatever media they use most. From its Prague headquarters and 18 news bureaus, it provides local news and information in 26 languages to the nations of the former Soviet Union, the Balkans, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, including a round-the-clock Russian-language television channel.

Through last September, RFE/RL recorded one billion page views on its websites, 300 million views on YouTube and 225 million engaged users on Facebook, plus many more visits and views on other social networks and apps.

“RFE/RL’s audience is highly loyal, making their way to us despite efforts by some governments to jam us on the internet and over the air, and even to directly intimidate viewers and listeners,” said Thomas Kent, president and CEO of RFE/RL. “They find us an indispensable source of news and investigative journalism, constantly adapting to the most modern platforms to reach them.”

About RFE/RL

RFE/RL is a private, independent international news organization whose programs — radio, internet, television, and mobile — reach 27 million people in 26 languages and 23 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus, and the Baltic states. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).

Greek mediumwave station on-track to resume operation

Many thanks to our friends at The Greek Radio who share this news:

The medium wave broadcasting center of the Greek Radio in Pachi Megara is likely to go live again after three and a half years, since the procedures for the necessary maintenance and repairs have recently been initiated, with a high possibility that one of the two transmitters will operate again soon. It is worth noting that the broadcasting center, which used to host two powerful mediumwave transmitters (the ones of multilingual “Filia” and of EPA Sport) had been subject to looting by burglars, few days after the ERT closure by the Samaras government, which left the premises unattended. Since then, it has not operated again.

Repairs and maintenance

As revealed by official announcements, ERT is launching a tender for the maintenance of the building and electricity poles with a budget of EUR 18,703, while in December they proceeded with a maintenance of the broadcast center and a cleaning of the 100 KW mediumwave transmitter. In November, a dummy load was installed by a team of the ERT subdivision of structural and electromechanical projects and they checked the generator Nautel, which ensures the continuation of the broadcast in case of power outage. They also installed a new grounding network in the main building of the transmitters.

Alongside, there were other smaller operations required for the safe operation of the facilities, such as the placement of fire extinguishers by a private firm, the restoration of the water supply, the maintenance of fence lighting. In October there was also a visit by a private security company, in response to a tender, whereas data were collected for the water insulation and the lighting of the buildings where the transmitters are placed.

Continue reading at The Greek Radio website…

ABC Friends: “Plea For Urgent Ministerial Action” to retain NT service

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Phil Brennan, who shares the following press release from ABC Friends.

ABC Friends represents the community’s interest in independent national public broadcasting:

MEDIA RELEASE
5/1/2017

NEW THREAT TO LIVES IN OUTBACK
PLEA FOR URGENT MINISTERIAL ACTION

An urgent call for ministerial action to protect short wave services in Northern and Central Australia has been made by ABC Friends National.

“It is the responsibility of both the Minister for Communications Senator Fifield and the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to respond to this very real need with urgency,’” said ABC Friends National President Margaret Reynolds today.

ABC Friends National sent a letter in December to Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, urging him to intervene so as to guarantee the ABC had sufficient funding to maintain the short wave service – which is so essential in rural and remote areas.

“Furthermore a number of Pacific Island states also rely on this service especially in the current cyclone season,” Margaret Reynolds said, “Pacific leaders have expressed concern about a loss of this service.”

”It is unacceptable to simply blame the ABC when government funding has been reduced so severely in recent years.”

“The ABC cannot provide adequate communication services for all Australians in isolated regions as well as support our Pacific neighbours if it is constantly facing funding cutbacks.”

“The Australian Government must accept that, ultimately, short wave services can provide early warning and be an important preventative disaster measure,” she said.

Further Information:

Margaret Reynolds
National President ABC Friends

Caversham Park featured on The Fifth Floor

Many thanks to several SWLing Post readers who shared this excellent radio documentary on the BBC World Service website:

The Fifth Floor: Watching the World

Caversham Park is the home of BBC Monitoring which for over 70 years has been the eyes and ears of the BBC, watching, translating and analysing the world’s media and social media. David Amanor visits the former stately home to meet some of the journalists who’ve witnessed history unfold in their own countries, from the Cold War to the Syrian conflict.

Senior Editors Simona Kralova and Chris Greenway take us back in time to tell the story of how this grand house become a hub for information gathering, from the era of morse code and typewriters to satellites and social media.

Sifting information from misinformation has always been part of the service’s DNA. Ukrainian Vitaliy Shevchenko, Iraqi Mina al-Alami, and Source Manager and morse code man Al Bolton discuss the challenges of sourcing reliable information in the past, and today.

Watching distressing news from home is part of daily life for many journalists. Vesna Stancic from Bosnia, Syrian Lina Shaikhouni and Pinar Sevinclidir from Turkey discuss the personal impact of living the story.

There are also lighter moments to be enjoyed at Caversham, particularly for the musical, including Co-ordinating Editor Tom Mulligan, and Iranians Arash Ahmadi and Mahtab Nikpour, who do a good turn on the guitar, jaws harp and drums when not analysing Iranian politics and tales of chubby Chinese squirrels.

Click here to listen to the radio documentary on the BBC website.

Vatican Radio being absorbed into new Secretariat for Communications

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Andrea Borgnino who shares this item from the National Catholic Register:

[O]n December 31, 2016, after more than 80 years of operation, Vatican Radio is being absorbed into the new Secretariat for Communications. The move is part of Pope Francis’ reorganization of Curial offices, and is intended to make better use of the Vatican’s limited financial resources. According to Catholic World News, broadcasting programs will continue—at least for the near-term future—but Vatican Radio will no longer have its own corporate identity.

Today, Vatican Radio employs a staff of 355 representing 59 nationalities, mostly lay people, who together produce more than 66 hours of daily programming (24,117 hours annually). There are currently 45 languages used on air, and 38 languages on the website. Programs are broadcast via short wave, medium wave, FM and satellite.

In recent years, Vatican Radio has experimented with digital transmission technologies (DRM, T-DAB, T-DMB). Their news reports and bulletins have been widely distributed through newsletters, podcasts, audio and video, paving the way to a Web TV. Vatican Radio and CTV began their own YouTube channel in 2010, operating in four languages, and on Twitter (6 channels).

Today with the reform of Vatican communications operations, Vatican Radio director Msgr. Dario Vigano has indicated that he plans to pare down short-wave radio operations. Other broadcasts will continue, but with an eye to controlling costs: Vatican Radio has been losing between €20 and €30 million ($21 – $31.5 million) annually.[…]

Click here to read the full article.