Tag Archives: The Guardian

While Ofcom threatens RT, Voice of Russia launches as “Sputnik”


(November 11, 2014 Screen capture from Sputnik news agency and radio)

As some attentive SWLing Post readers have noted, the Voice of Russia has found a new identitySputnik News Agency and Radio–with a new website/news portal to match. Here’s the message the (former) Voice of Russia posted on their website today:

“Dear readers, we are excited to announce that the Voice of Russia is changing its name and moving over to a new website. We will now be known as Sputnik news agency and radio. You can find all the latest stories from our London bureau here: http://uk.sputniknews.com. Please update your bookmarks and stay with us!”

Meanwhile, The Guardian is reporting that Russia Today has been found guilty of breaching UK broadcasting regulations in their coverage of the Ukraine crisis:

Russia Today, or RT, was summoned to a meeting with Ofcom after it was found guilty of breaching the code governing UK broadcasters in a ruling published on Monday.

The regulator flagged up four separate reports, all broadcast in March this year, all dealing with the situation in Ukraine.

Ofcom said it recognised that RT, which is funded by the Russian government and launched a UK version last month, would “want to present the news from a Russian perspective”.

But it said all news must be presented with “due impartiality … in particular, when reporting on matters of major political controversy”.

[Read the full article at The Guardian online…]

Guardian: BBC World Service asking for voluntary redundancies

(Photo source: NY Times)

(Source: The Guardian)

Corporation’s global arm to close 73 editorial posts, but hopes to avoid compulsory layoffs as part of £42m budget cuts

The BBC World Service has urged all its network news journalists to consider voluntary redundancy as it aims to avoid compulsory layoffs as part of £42m budget cuts.

The BBC’s global arm is closing 73 editorial posts following its cut in funding by the government in 2010.

Post closures include 16 in network news, which includes domestic journalists based around the UK, 14 in World Service news, and two in newsgathering for world and business.

Stephen Mitchell, the BBC’s deputy director of news, urged staff to consider voluntary redundancy in an email on Thursday morning.

He said: “We are committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies where possible, and have previously been very successful in achieving this. We hope to continue our good record, and therefore are asking all network news staff once again whether they wish to be considered for voluntary redundancy.”

[…]Compulsory redundancies at the World Service led to two walkouts by staff last year.

[…]The National Union of Journalists has criticised the World Service cuts. General secretary Michelle Stanistreet said the job losses “fly in the face” of the corporation’s commitment to quality programming, and urged director general George Entwistle to push for a renegotiation of the licence fee settlement.

“The World Service is a source of information for people across the world, described by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan as ‘perhaps Britain’s greatest gift to the world’,” Stanistreet added.

[…]”These cuts will severely impair the BBC’s scope and services at a time when they are needed more than ever. The BBC needs to stop and rethink its approach to the World Service before it does irreparable damage.”

Read the full article at The Guardian website.

Guardian article on “the rise and rise of radio”

(Source: Susanna Rustin, The Guardian)

What is it about radio that has made it so durable, and able to coexist not only through the age of television, but the age of new media too? As social networking giant Facebook prepares to float itself and raise an astonishing £5bn, what has enabled radio to stand its ground?

[…]Radio can be made at a fraction of the cost of television, meaning that programme-makers, DJs and entrepreneurs can all have a crack at it. Commercial broadcasters as well as the BBC value it as an incubator for future TV talent. Added to which, radios themselves are cheap, and all over the place: by people’s beds, in the bathroom, in the car.

“Despite the fact you think we’re a visually saturated culture, there are all sorts of places where you get radio and nothing else. The technology of radio is cheap, simple and idiot-proof, and older listeners in particular are going to be very reluctant to let it go,” says [Mark] Damazer.

[…]There is a confidence among many of those who work in radio that what they do will carry on. We remain attached to radio and its rhythms, to the hum and the sound of it. And we get attached to the people who present it, when we don’t violently take against them. Radio is personal.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Another article filed under “why radio?”

Read Rustin’s full article at The Guardian website.


Shortwave radios keep Burmese informed

Filed under our ever-growing tag, “why shortwave radio“:

(Source: The Guardian, via Kim Andrew Elliot)

Zigon does, however, have electricity – unlike 90% of Burmese villages – installed by the government late last year. This has meant a number of changes. One of the more significant is the arrival of television. A satellite dish has now been installed at the village tea shop, largely used to watch state TV networks and Premier League football.

Though censorship has been eased in recent months, information is still tightly controlled. News of the Arab revolts last year was blocked for weeks – though millions use cheap Chinese-made radios to listen to the BBC, Voice of America or other networks broadcasting in local languages.