Tag Archives: Why Shortwave Radio

ABC News: Portrait of a devoted shortwave radio listener

(Source: ABC News)

Saying goodbye to Radio Australia on the shortwave after 37 years

Kevin De Reus has lived in the same 24-kilometre-radius his whole life.

Born and raised in Iowa in the US, Kevin now calls his grandfather’s farm — just 12 kilometres from where he grew up in central Des Moines — home.

He is married, has five children and has worked at the same company for 20 years.

And while he admits he has not travelled much in his 52 years, it hasn’t stopped Kevin from listening to the news from Australia since 1980 — with the help of a shortwave radio.

Listening from the other side of the world

Even half a world away, he says the broadcast was one of the clearest of the stations he listened to.

“Radio Australia always held a special place in my heart just because it was in the South Pacific and I didn’t know much about that area — and the signal was always good from that part of the world,” he says.
“Most recently, over the last two to three years as I was listening in the morning hours here on 9.580, the signal was so good. It really was about the only English broadcaster at that time of the day that had news and information.

“Most mornings I would get up and turn on the shortwave radio at 7:00am (local time) and listen to the news from Australia and then I would drive to work.

“So many of the stations just aren’t on the air anymore. BBC doesn’t broadcast to North America anymore. I can’t even hardly hear the Voice of America in English anymore to tell you the truth. So Australia had the strongest signal.

“That’s why it was hard for me to hear [Radio Australia] was going to go off the air.”[…]

Click here to continue reading the full article on ABC News.

I believe Kevin De Reus did a fine job explaining the appeal of being a shortwave radio listener.

Though I gather a lot of international news these days with a WiFi radio (especially since Radio Australia left the shortwaves), I still prefer listening to shortwave.

It’s just how I’m wired.

Radio Slovakia International asks, “Why is shortwave radio still alive?”

Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post readers who shared a link to this article via Radio Slovakia International:

Why is shortwave radio still alive?

If you use the internet to listen to streaming audio and podcasts, you could be forgiven for assuming there’s no need for shortwave radio any more. It seems many broadcasters appear to agree, with stations dropping their shortwave services year after year.

But not so fast. Shortwave’s not dead, say its proponents. Rather, it’s in a state of transformation. Not only does it still provide a vital service for the many millions of individuals worldwide who don’t have access to the internet, but this medium also has a certain ‘magic’ which, we discovered, is very hard for its fans to explain.

In this entertaining, full-length feature, Gavin Shoebridge asked shortwave listeners from across the globe to explain why they still use the service, why they don’t ‘go digital’, and where they think shortwave will be in the coming years.

Click here to download the MP3 audio.

Click here to read and listen via Radio Slovakia International.

Radio World International eBook: “Radio’s Role in Developing Countries”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors, Bill Patalon and Dennis Dura for sharing a link to this free eBook download from the excellent RadioWorld Magazine.

Here’s the press release from Radio World International:

Radio’s Role in Developing Countries

A new eBook from Radio World International is now available

Radio is the primary communications medium in many developing countries. It is able to reach millions and has a vast impact on societies facing adversity. What are the obstacles and opportunities for radio broadcasters in these regions and how can stations benefit from their unique position, while ensuring social development for local populations?

This latest Radio World International eBook looks at the ways stations and nonprofit establishments are meeting the challenges of this important role. It offers some notable examples of how broadcasters are launching or expanding services in specific emerging countries, illustrating how the medium plays an essential part in improving people’s lives; and more.

Learn more in the latest free Radio World International eBook. Read it free
now — click here!

Produced by the editors of RADIO WORLD INTERNATIONAL.

Click here to read “Radio’s Role in Developing Countries”

RNZ: ‘Thousands’ in Solomon Islands affected by ABC shortwave cut

(Source: Radio New Zealand via London Shortwave)

The ABC ends its short-wave service to the region from 1pm Solomon Islands time and says it will focus on FM and online services.

Ruth Liloqula said people from Choiseul to Malaita and as far south east as Tikopia tuned in to the ABC because the signal was stronger than that of the country’s public broadcaster SIBC.

Ms Liloqula who works with Transparency International says the ABC has been very valuable for the country and a good way to get her message across.

“We are very very mindful of the fact that the SIBC media here is owned by the government. I mean they don’t ask the questions that they need to ask for obvious reasons. I mean we do get asked those tough questions by ABC and that gives us the opportunity to talk about the issues that affect this country.”

Ms Liloqula said after the recent earthquake people in the bush in Choiseul only knew there was no tsunami by listening to the ABC.[…]

Continue reading at Radio New Zealand’s website…

Radio World: The evolution of shortwave radio

Panasonic-RF-2200-1

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who shares the following article by James Careless in Radio World Magazine.

The article includes interviews with Andy Sennitt, Kim Andrew Elliott, Nigel Fry,  and even yours truly. The following is a short excerpt taken from the introduction of the article:

(Source: Radio World)

OTTAWA, Ontario — With the advent of radio in the 20th century, the shortwave band (1710–30,000 kHz) soon became a hotbed of long-distance radio broadcasting. Used primarily by state-run international broadcasters, plus ham radio operators and ship-to-shore radio communications, the shortwave band was prized due to its astoundingly broad reach.

That reach was — and is still — made possible by the tendency of ground-based shortwave radio transmissions to bounce off the ionosphere and back to earth; allowing shortwave broadcasts to “hop” repeatedly, increasing a broadcast’s range while minimizing its decay.

[…]At the height of the Cold War, the shortwave bands were packed with content as the Voice of America and West Germany’s Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany) traded ideological punches with Radio Moscow and East Germany’s Radio Berlin International. This is because analog shortwave radio broadcasting was the only way for both sides to make their political cases cross international borders: There was no satellite TV, let alone any internet.

Read the full, in-depth article on the Radio World website…

This article is well worth reading and one of the more in-depth pieces I’ve seen in a trade publication or news site recently.

I should add that I completely agree with James Careless’ conclusion:

“[T]he research that went into this article suggests that the shortwave band is sufficiently alive to be still evolving.”

The fact is, the shortwave landscape is not what used to be in the Cold War. Many of those big voices have left the scene and, in the process, left the door open to others.

The shortwaves are a dynamic communications space that continues to evolve.

That’s why I keep listening.

Want to read more about the future of shortwave radio? Click here to read Does Shortwave Radio Have a Future?