RFI: The Sound Kitchen now on shortwave radio

RFI-Logo-World-LargeMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Mike who notes that Radio France International’s program, The Sound Kitchen, is now available over shortwave radio.

The Sound Kitchen staff reported this news in the show notes of their latest episode, Pieces of Eight:

“Fabulous news! We have a shortwave frequency again! It’s 13725 kHz, on the 22m band; you can hear us between 6.00 and 7.00 UT every day! We’ve had reception reports from New Zealand, Japan, Bangladesh and the UK, and although the frequency is “aimed” (or however that works) towards the African continent, give it a try! You never know!”

Fabulous news, indeed! Though–as they state–North America is not the target of this broadcast frequency and time, I will certainly be listening as night time openings on the 22M band are certainly possible. I imagine those of you in Africa, Asia and the Pacific can receive The Sound Kitchen with relative ease.

Fire at Radio France building in Paris

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, @K7al_L3afta, for sharing news that the top floors of the Radio France broadcasting house were on fire this morning:

You can read more about the fire, in English, via Reuters:

A fire broke out at France’s public radio headquarters in Paris on Friday, forcing live programmes off the air as staff evacuated the vast Paris complex where major building work has been underway.

“The fire is not put out but it is under control,” said Paris fire brigade spokesman Gabriel Plus, adding that there were no victims and that there was no longer any risk of the fire spreading to other parts of the building.[…]

Continue reading…

Fortunately, it seems all staff were evacuated and there have been no casualties noted at this point. Time will tell if this has a temporary effect on Radio France International programming.

UPDATE: Jonathan Marks comments, “Unlikely that RFI will be affected as they have moved out of the Maison de la Radio and into the same offices as France 24 a little bit further down the river.”

Thanks, Jonathan!

Radio France International features Ears To Our World

RFI-RadioFranceInternationalMany of you know how important I consider shortwave radio to be in the third world and for those living under repressive regimes. Radio France International recently interviewed me regarding these views and my position as the founder and director of the charity, Ears To Our World.

Click here to download the interview, or listen on RFI’s website.

Many thanks to RFI’s Brent Gregston for giving Ears To Our World air time!

 

Guinea imposed temporary ban on Radio France International

Map of Guinea (Source: CIA World Fact Book)

(Source: Committee to Protect Journalists via RNW Media Network)

On Monday [25 July], Guinea’s state-controlled media regulatory agency imposed a “temporary” ban on media coverage of the July 19 attack on the private residence of President Alpha Conde, silencing private radio and television talk programmes in which critical questions were being raised about the episode.

In such circumstances, Guinean listeners turn to foreign media outlets such as France’s state-funded international broadcaster, Radio France Internationale (RFI), the most popular station in Francophone Africa. With programmes such as “Appels Sur L’actualite”, a daily news call-in show, RFI is considered by millions of African listeners to be an essential source of news and information.

Wednesday’s “Appels Sur L’actualite” began with an ominous statement read by host Juan Gomez. “We had planned this morning to debate the attack last week against the residence of the Guinean president, but yesterday the National Communications Council of Guinea decided to temporarily suspend any programme or article about the attempted assassination against the head of state as well as all call-in programmes.” Gomez told listeners they would have to debate another topic.

Squeezed between the expectations of listeners and the conditions set by governments leasing the local frequencies it needs, RFI found itself in a difficult position. “We are not submitting to a censorship measure; we regret it and we hope that it will be temporary.” RFI deputy director Genevieve Goetzinger told CPJ today [28 July].

RFI has suffered for its critical reporting on current events in Africa. The station has seen its reporters expelled from Chad, Rwanda, and Senegal, its local correspondent jailed in Niger, and another correspondent killed in the Ivory Coast.

RFI has had its broadcasts temporarily banned in a number of countries, most recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the government of President Joseph Kabila sought the removal of RFI senior reporter Ghislaine Dupont, the station’s DRC specialist who was expelled from the country in 2006. Nevertheless, RFI management remains adamant the station will continue to report without interference. “Our editorial line is set in Paris, in complete independence from all the governments in the world,” Goetzinger said.

As a follow-up, RNW Media Network noted that the temporary ban was eventually lifted.

As with Fiji, Burma, Zimbabwe and many other countries where the ruling party arbitrarily tries to block free speech, shortwave radio cuts through censorship without regard for national borders.