Cuts to Radio Australia shortwave broadcasts

Radio-Australia-Banner

(Source: WRTH Facebook Page via contributor, Mauno Ritola)

“According to information from Radio Australia, there will be a drastic cut to their shortwave schedule starting 1st February 2015.

Only these transmissions from Shepparton will remain to the Pacific:

  • 2100-0900 UTC on 15240, 15415, and 17840 kHz
  • 0900-2100 UTC on 6080, 6150, and 9580 kHz

Their web site hasn’t yet been updated:
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/

Radio Australia is a staple news source for many in the Pacific islands. Fortunately, RA plans to maintain shortwave services 24 hours per day via the frequencies above. I’m happy to see that 9580 kHz–which is a morning blowtorch signal into  much of North America–will still be transmitted.

Radio Australia: SWLing in the Colorado Rockies

Sony-ICF-SW7600GR-RA-CO I’m in Keystone, Colorado at about 9,300′ (2,835 M) above sea level; mornings are crisp and chilly (38F/3C), but that doesn’t stop me from putting on a jacket, heading to the balcony and listening to Radio Australia on 9,580 kHz. Despite flaky solar conditions (flaky, frankly, is an understatement) I managed to snag RA Wednesday morning (13:58 UTC) on my Sony ICF-SW7600GR. There was a little fading, and a little local noise, but overall signal quality was quite good.

gnav_logoThis recording starts a couple of minutes before the top of the hour; you’ll hear the TOTH news brief and then triple ja brilliant show dedicated to new Australian music.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

SWLing in New Mexico: Radio Australia

Sony-ICF-SW7600GR

This morning, I was very happy to tune to Saturday Night Country on Radio Australia (9,580 kHz). RA’s signal was booming into Taos, New Mexico, where my travels have taken me this Saturday morning.

It was a welcome relief to hear RA; the shortwave bands have been in terrible shape the past three days or so. The ionosphere has been so disturbed that the only broadcasters I’ve been able to hear have been Radio Havana Cuba and a few domestic religious broadcasters.

I hope to take the CommRadio CR-1 out later today and perhaps test a couple of outdoor antennas…Stay tuned!

John follows Radio Australia schedule changes

SX-99-Dial

Yesterday, John Figliozzi (editor of The Worldwide Listening Guide) followed Radio Australia schedule changes as he heard them online and over the air:

“Listening in now (1415 GMT/UTC) on 12065 kHz. and via the internet, the scheduled program (up to now) “Late Night Live” is missing with alternative rock music from Triple J taking its place at this time. On the RA web page, there is a notice stating:

“Schedule update
We are in the process of updating our radio schedule. We’re introducing some new shows and some existing ones have moved to new time slots. Please stay tuned, we’ll be publishing the full new schedule soon.”

LNL is a Radio National-sourced program, so I gather this means it’s either being moved to a new time slot or (hopefully not) dropped altogether. No doubt a bit of confusion wrought by the thoroughly precipitous manner in which the ABC has had to adjust to the government budget cut that prompted that all this, a budget cut the Coalition had claimed prior to its election that it was in no way contemplating.”

Three hours later:

“At this point, it appears that Radio Australia shortwave frequencies and online is just relaying Triple J Unearthed, one of the ABC’s all digital networks, that plays new Australian music 24/7 with occasional IDs but no DJ commentary.

Then four hours later:

“A more normalized schedule appears back in place as “Pacific Beat” was heard via the RA internet stream from just past 1900 until 2100 GMT.  This is the two hour morning edition of the program which carried a very nice tribute to the “retiring” Sean Dorney, the ABC’s and RA’s Pacific correspondent, after 40 years with the organization.  There was a reminder at the end of the program for listeners to tune into the afternoon edition of the program later in the day, which if memory serves is a shortened compilation of some of the morning content.  Perhaps the earlier relay of Triple J Unearthed is just a temporary placeholder or is intended as overnight programming (Australian time)?

Listening now (2100) via shortwave.  17860 putting in a steady listenable signal peaking at S8 albeit with the usual local late afternoon QRN.  “ABC News for Radio Australia” followed by “AM”, morning news program at 2110.”

Be sure to check out John Figliozzi’s book, The Worldwide Listening Guide online–click here for my most recent review.

Thanks for sharing this, John! 

A chat with Peter Homfray

Peter-HomfrayOn the topic of Radio Australia, Jonathan Marks writes:

“It doesn’t seem like 10 years ago that I sat down with Peter Homfray to discuss the early days of Radio Australia. What a truly fascinating person.”

A Chat with Peter Homfray from Jonathan Marks on Vimeo.

“The Gutting of Radio Australia”

ABC-Radio-Australia(Source: Inside Story)

We’re sitting on the grass in the village of Matangi on the island of Futuna. This is one of the more isolated communities in Vanuatu, a small group of houses on a small island at the southeastern extreme of the archipelago.

“We rely a lot on Radio Australia when there’s a cyclone coming,” says Miranda, a member of the island’s Community Disaster Committee. “We have no telephone on this side of the island and we often can’t hear Radio Vanuatu.”

As Australia debates budgets, debt and deficits, we rarely hear the views of communities affected by planned cuts. Whether it’s the size of the aid budget or the resourcing of the international services of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, or ABC, our neighbours have little input into decisions that affect their lives.

The latest blow is the planned redundancy of eighty staff from ABC International following the Abbott government’s decision to take Australia Network television away from the ABC. Revoking the $250 million TV contract – with just ninety days’ notice – has had an impact well beyond television. Given the integration of TV, radio and online services within ABC International, the decision affects not only Australia Network but also the other international services providing crucial information to the islands region.

Continue reading at: http://inside.org.au/the-gutting-of-radio-australia/#sthash.4cwXhev9.dpuf

View other posts related to Radio Australia cuts by bookmarking the tag RA Cuts.

ABC Radio staff memo outlines cuts to external service

ABC-Radio-AustraliaMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Jonathan Marks, who has posted a letter by Michael Mason (Acting Director of ABC Radio) to the staff of ABC. Mason’s letter outlines changes to Radio Australia’s external service. His key points:

  • Radio Australia will continue to broadcast a 24/7 schedule built on a deeper collaboration with ABC News and ABC Radio and through collaboration with SBS.
  • Pacific Beat continues, as do RA’s hourly news bulletins.
  • Radio Australia will work with colleagues in ABC Radio and ABC News to identify and deliver a sustainable and engaging English program service that will appeal to our International audiences.
  • Language services in Tok Pisin, Khmer and Burmese will be delivered through a mix of reduced original content coupled with translated ABC content and content from SBS. The model for the French language service remains under consideration.
  • Asia Pacific and Asia Review will cease production as will the Mornings program.
  • Shortwave transmission of RA remains unchanged for the time being.

Read the full letter on Jonathan’s website, Critical Distance.

Follow news about the cuts to Radio Australia by bookmarking the tag: RA Cuts