Tag Archives: Why Shortwave

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.

Celebrate World Radio Day 2017

Today is UNESCO World Radio Day:

“a day to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves.

Radio is the mass media reaching the widest audience in the world. It is also recognized as a powerful communication tool and a low cost medium.”

In honor of World Radio Day, at Ears To Our World, we sent 60 HumanaLights and 40 self-powered AM/FM/SW radios to be distributed in Haiti through our partners, the Haitian Health Foundation.

We’ve been working steadily in Haiti since 2009, shortly before the 2010 earthquake. You may know that Haiti has most recently been dealing with the effects of Hurricane Matthew which struck on October 4, 2016. Shortly after urgent food and medical supplies started making their way to the island, we began sending radios and other supplies.

The importance of radio access in disaster situations cannot be overstated, and the results getting receivers into the hands of those in need are both immediate and enduring. According to the Knight Foundation, a non-profit organization that advances journalism in the digital age, radio was “the undisputed lifeline for the Haitian public after the [2010] earthquake.” In their report, “Media, Information System and Communities: Lessons from HAITI,” the Foundation asserted, “Of all the available humanitarian information tools, radio was the most effective means to share information with the community and to distribute information to affected populations.”

This remains true today as Haiti rebuilds after Hurricane Matthew.

If you would like to help those who ETOW serves, please consider a donation of any amount. This is unquestionably a meaningful way to give the gift of radio, as well as education on World Radio Day!

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio Romania International

Like a lot of shortwave radio listeners, since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed tuning my radio to parts of the world where events are unfolding.  There’s something tangible–something that is transportive–when you listen to a news coming directly from the source, on air and originating from halfway across the planet.

I believe, listening to government broadcasters, you get a much better picture of what is actually happening. For example, sometimes the broadcaster devotes the whole news hour to an important event, or (perhaps even more telling!) doesn’t mention anything at all! The Voice of Turkey comes to mind as a recent example.

Yesterday evening, I tuned to Radio Romania International–one of my favorite little international broadcasters.

If you’ve been following the news, you’ll know that there have been six consecutive days of massive protests to stop a Romanian law that would have eased corruption penalties. This is the sort of thing a lot of broadcasters– being the mouthpiece for their current administration or ruling party–would either ignore or bury in their news report.

I was happy to hear that RRI at least featured the protest as their very first news item.

This recording was made on 5,960 kHz starting at 0100 UTC on February 06, 2017. Receiver used was a WinRadio Excalibur with a large horizontal delta loop antenna here in North Carolina. The following recording includes a few minutes of the RRI interval signal. Enjoy:

Click here to download as an MP3.

RNZI “continues to serve people across the Pacific region”

(Source: RNZ Press Release via London Shortwave)

Press release: Following the ABC’s decision to cut shortwave radio transmission in the Pacific, Radio New Zealand International wants to reassure our listeners that we are committed to our Pacific broadcast partners.


Radio New Zealand International (RNZI) continues to serve people across the Pacific region, delivering essential day to day news and information and providing a vital lifeline in times of natural disaster.

RNZ CEO, Paul Thompson, has confirmed that there will be no reduction in Radio New Zealand’s commitment to its Pacific broadcast partners. His reassurance comes as Radio Australia closes its international shortwave transmission service to Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.

Paul Thompson has emphasised the importance of RNZI’s 25 year relationship with New Zealand’s Pacific neighbours.

“Remote parts of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu who may be feeling the loss of the ABC can rest assured RNZI will continue to provide independent, timely and accurate news, information and weather warnings as well as entertainment to its Pacific listeners.”

RNZI has been broadcasting since 1990 to the Pacific and is regarded as the authoritative voice of the Pacific. It can be heard across the region and has proven to be a vital lifeline during times of disaster. In 2007 RNZI was named international Radio Station of the Year by the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB).

RNZI broadcasts timely cyclone and tsunami warnings via shortwave and can continue to be heard should local broadcasters go off-air due to a cyclone or other disaster.

Paul Thompson said the essential nature of Radio New Zealand’s role in the Pacific has been regularly underlined by the positive feedback to RNZI following cyclone and tsunami alerts.

“A Vanuatu villager has told our reporter Koroi Hawkins that he knew to take shelter during Cyclone Pam just because of the warnings broadcast on RNZI. At times like this we are the essential voice of the Pacific ” See attached photograph.

RNZI’s coverage of the aftermath of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu in 2015 won RNZI reporter Koroi Hawkins a silver medal at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards in 2016.

RNZI broadcasts in digital and analogue short wave to radio stations and individual listeners across the Pacific region.

Around twenty Pacific radio stations relay RNZI material daily, and individual short-wave listeners and internet users across the world tune in directly to RNZI content.

The RNZI signal can sometimes be heard as far away as Japan, North America, the Middle East and Europe. RNZI also provides rich content for online users through our website

How to listen to RNZI

For further information contact:

Walter Zweifel, RNZI News Editor +644 474 1432

walter.zweifel@radionz.co.nz

Adrian Sainsbury, RNZI Technical Manager, +644 474 1430 adrian.sainsbury@radionz.co.nz