Tag Archives: Radio Australia

New Managing Director of ABC signals a return to international broadcasting

Radio-Australia-BannerMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Phil Brennan, who writes:

The following piece regarding Radio Australia caught my eye last week. It was authored by Hamish McDonald and appeared in the 18 June 2016 edition of the Saturday Paper.

[McDonald] reports on a variety of foreign policy matters from an Australian perspective:

“Guthrie’s world view

Our mole at the ABC tells us new managing director wants to pull back from the embrace of the Chinese Communist Party’s Publicity Department, as the Ministry of Propaganda is known.

In her first meeting with the board on June 9, Guthrie questioned the value of the ABC’s Chinese language portal, AustraliaPlus.cn, which has been pinged by the ABC’s own watchdogs for pulling awkward content to avoid displeasing the CPC.

We are told she also “forcefully expressed” her interest in the corporation returning to full-blooded international broadcasting, and raised the fact that Radio Australia no longer broadcasts in Mandarin, nor in Tok Pisin, the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea. A return to international TV broadcasting two years after the Abbott government scrapped funding for the ABC’s Australia Network (to please Rupert Murdoch) would not come cheap. Nor would a revival of Radio Australia, once the major arm of Australia’s soft power in the region.”

I also spotted a reference to this meeting of the new ABC MD in a previous issue by another columnist which seems to be outside the paywall. Click here to view.

Many thanks, Phil, for sharing this! As I’ve mentioned before, Radio Australia is a staple source of news for many.  I hope Guthrie does, indeed, re-focus on their international content and all forms of delivery.

Video: Listening to Radio Australia via the BST-1 car shortwave radio


I’ve been evaluating the BST-1 car shortwave radio for a review that will soon appear in The Spectrum Monitor magazine.

I must admit: it’s mighty fun to be able to listen to shortwave broadcasters through my vehicle’s audio system.

Last week, the BST-1 saved my sanity, too. You see, I was in a rush to get to a morning appointment in town when Murphy’s Law stopped me dead in my tracks!

A construction crew began resurfacing a two mile (unavoidable) stretch of asphalt road on my route. As the road crew set up their gear, I was forced to wait a full 20 minutes (!!!!) before being allowed to pass.

Fortunately, I remembered that I had the BST-1 hooked up in the car. I tuned to 9580 kHz and there was Radio Australia. Somehow, hearing my staple broadcaster soothed my nerves. I accepted that I would be late for my appointment and simply enjoyed the moment. In your face, Murphy–!!!!

Here’s a very short video I made while stopped:

Click here to view on YouTube.

In Pacific Islands, newspapers are a “luxury item”, radio remains the “staple medium”

Vanuatu-MapMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Cuff, who shares the following article from The Saturday Paper. The article speaks to how important radio
is to Pacific Islanders, and the challenges Radio Australia faces with its budget:

“For many Pacific islanders, newspapers are a luxury item. On average, each newspaper in the Pacific will be read by seven people, which helps explain why the daily paper’s print run is so low. While mobile phones are ubiquitous – top-up booths can be found in the most remote areas of the Pacific – the cost and patchy coverage of internet and TV mean radio is still the most accessible form of media.

“…?radio remains the main staple medium for the Pacific,” says Suva-born Francis Herman, who has worked in the Pacific media industry for more than 30 years as journalist, broadcaster and pre-coup CEO of the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. “Radio stations across the Pacific are actually opening up.”

I’m speaking to Herman from a conference phone in the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) office at Port Vila, where Herman works as program manager. PACMAS, a four-person team funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and supported by ABC International Development, works with local and Australian media to deliver 74 programs in media training and development throughout the 22 Pacific islands.

[…]The Australian government’s lack of regard for the development of international media was made clear last year by the cancellation of a 10-year $220 million contract to deliver the international broadcasting service, Australia Network, to the Asia-Pacific region. The most worrying effect of this cut for many was the ABC’s decision to compensate for their losses by ravaging Radio Australia.

After axing three correspondents and Pacific-focused programs, Radio Australia content was replaced by translated domestic ABC programming, restricting the interaction of Radio Australia in the region and the news Australians were getting back from it.

“If the story doesn’t fit the paradigm of paradise (swaying palm trees, blue water, sandy beaches) or paradise lost (coups, corruption, climate change), voices from the islands rarely get a run,” wrote past Radio Australia correspondent Nic Maclellan for Inside Story shortly after the cuts were announced.

Shallow international content doesn’t bode well for the development of Pacific media, with a 2013 PACMAS study showing that while Ni-Vanuatu journalists self-censor to avoid retaliation from the government, they will still run investigative pieces from other news outlets.[…]”

Click here to read the full article on The Saturday Paper website…

Vanuatu’s radio services restored


(Source: Radio Australia)

Broadcast communications that were knocked out by Cyclone Pam have been fully restored.

Francis Herman, the ABC’s program manager for the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme, says transmission engineer Steve White and local technicians have fixed Radio Vanuatu’s short and medium wave service to a level better than before the cyclone.

Listen to the interview on Radio Australia’s website.

Radio Australia antenna azimuth settings


SWLing Post reader, George, recently asked about the new Radio Australia antenna settings accompanying the modified (trimmed) broadcast schedule.

The following are the new azimuth settings for the antennas at the Shepparton transmitter site:

  • 9,580 kHz: 070 degrees 0900-2100 UTC
  • 12,065 kHz: 355 degrees 0900-2100 UTC
  • 12,085 kHz: 030 degrees  0900-2100 UTC
  • 15,240 kHz: 030 degrees 2100-0900 UTC
  • 15,415 kHz: 355 degrees 2100-0900 UTC
  • 17,840 kHz: 070 degrees 2100-0900 UTC