Wojtek Gwiazda retires from RCI

Wojtek’s final appearance on the Link in RCI’s remaining studio, with Lynn and Marc on Friday May 1, 2015 © Leo G- RCI (Source: RCI)

Wojtek’s final appearance on the Link in RCI’s remaining studio, with Lynn and Marc on Friday May 1, 2015 © Leo G- RCI (Source: RCI)

My friend, Wojtek Gwiazda, who has been a host and journalist for Radio Canada International–and an integral part of the RCI Action Committee–has retired.

Click here to listen to an exit interview with Wojtek on RCI’s The Link.

Also, check out this page and audio from the RCI website.

Wojtek: here’s wishing you the best in your retirement!

RCI Action: Stop CBC from dismantling our transmitters to the world

A few of RCI Sackville’s curtain antennas–soon to be dismantled

October 31st is quickly approaching and the CBC has requested that the remaining employees at Radio Canada Internationals Sackville transmission site begin dismantling antennas and transmitters that are not currently being used for their remaining three broadcaster clients (NHK, KBS and the Voice of Vietnam) and the CBC North Quebec Service. To be clear, once this transmission infrastructure is dismantled, there will be no going back.

RCI Action posted a plea on their website with a request to contact Canada’s Heritage Minister James Moore james.moore@parl.gc.ca and tell him to stop CBC/Radio-Canada from dismantling the Sackville transmitters:

(Source: RCI Action)

In the next few days the transmission lines that allow Canada to broadcast to the world will be taken down one by one. For more than 67 years Radio Canada International’s shortwave transmitters have guaranteed that Canada’s voice would be heard despite the Cold War, despite natural disasters, and Internet blocking. Now this efficient, cost effective communications tool will be dismantled by Canada’s public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada.

Those of us who understand how important this lifeline to the world is to world communication are sick to our stomachs at the rapidity with which the broadcaster wants to make the transmitters disappear. Shortwave broadcasts of Radio Canada International ended on June 24, 2012. Other countries’ use of our transmitters will end on October 31.

But CBC/Radio-Canada has already started the process of dismantling unused transmitters, and will start taking down still functioning transmission lines very shortly.

[…]The transmitters are there, they don’t cost much to maintain. Why do we want to cut ourselves off from being able to communicate with the world? Who should be making these decisions?

Please contact Canada’s Heritage Minister James Moore james.moore@parl.gc.ca and tell him to stop CBC/Radio-Canada from dismantling our transmitters.

And please send us any suggestions you may have rciaction@yahoo.ca

Thanks!

The above is a clip for RCI Action’s post, read the full message on RCI Action’s website. Please, if you feel strongly about the value of RCI’s Sackville site, contact Canada’s Heritage Minister James Moore james.moore@parl.gc.ca and tell him to stop this process.

RNZ interviews RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda: Shutting off the shortwave

Radio New Zealand’s Bryan Crump, host of  Nights, interviewed RCI Action Committee spokesperson, Wojtek Gwiazda today. It’s an excellent and insightful interview.

Thank you, Mike, for the tip!

You can download the audio from the show here, or simply use the embedded player below:

From RNZ:

Wojtek Gwiazda is host and producer of Masala Canada at Radio Canada International, and spokesperson of the RCI Action Committee. Wojtek is still fighting to try and retain the ability to broadcast in shortwave with the very recent shut-down of the shortwave transmitters of Radio Canada International.

CKUT’s International Radio Report sheds light on RCI cuts

The International Radio Report with Wojtek (left), Janice (center) and Sheldon (right). Photo: RCI Action

Sunday, concerned as I am about the deep cuts to RCI’s (Radio Canada International’s) vital radio programming, I listened to CKUT‘s International Radio Report with much interest.  Hosts (and good friends) Sheldon and Janice were joined by Wojtek Gwiazda, RCI Action Committee spokesperson, as their on-air guest. RCI Action is a coalition that has worked to restore RCI funding since cuts in 1991; Wojtek explains some of their history in the interview.

Most importantly, the interview provides insight into the internal reaction to the program cuts and changes. Wojtek makes many excellent points, including the fact that since RCI’s English and French news rooms are being eliminated, Canada will effectively have no international voice, no means to offer their opinion of world events. He also notes that, even though the US has the VOA, and UK has the BBC World Service, these countries also have periodicals such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, so forth, all of which carry their voices abroad.  Canada, sadly, has no such international news presence. Indeed, I’m aware that The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, has very limited international exposure).

If, like me, you’re interested in the recent developments at RCI–or in reductions to radio’s international presence generally–this show is a must-listen.

Click here to download this episode of the International Radio Report. Click here for an audio archive of past shows.

Note that Wojtek Gwiazda, besides his role with RCI Action, also hosts a show on RCI called Masala Canada. On Saturday, he posted the following message “off mic” for his listeners:

Saturday, April 7, 2012 – 13:34

Why the silence? And a budget cut.

I wanted to take a moment to explain why I’ve been so silent on this site in the last few days.

Some of you may have heard by now that this past Wednesday, Canada’s national radio and television public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada announced the impact of federal government cutbacks to the financing of the broadcaster.

Many services will be affected, many people will lose their jobs.

At Radio Canada International – the effects are quite devastating.

Our budget of $12.3 million will be reduced to $2.3 million.

At least, two-thirds of our staff will be laid off.

We will no longer broadcast on shortwave. The only presence we’ll have is on the Internet, on our website.

The RCI newsroom will be closed, there will be no newscasts.

Our Russian service will be closed, the Brazilian program eliminated.

What will be left is a presence on our website in English, French, Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish. What kind of presence this will be, is yet to be determined.

And yes, that means, that as with everything else that’s being eliminated, the last edition of MASALA CANADA will be on June 23rd.

So far that is all that we know.

I can tell you that there is a union supported lobby group, the RCI Action Committee, which is actively lobbying to stop the cuts. Whether it will be successful, is unknown.

I’ll give you updates when I can.

All the best,

Wojtek