The Dutch parliament has voted against two motions which might have blunted the effect of the budget cuts facing Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
One motion called for a separate debate devoted to the future of RNW. Previous debates tackled the cutbacks facing all public broadcasting. The other criticised the decision-making as hasty and called for a postponement.
Effectively, this vote means that the cabinet’s plans to move RNW from the education, media and culture ministry to the foreign ministry and cut the budget from 46.3 million euros to 14 million will definitely go ahead.
RNW’s management will now draw up a redundancy plan, which is expected to be completed in October.
As local AM broadcast (a.k.a. mediumwave) stations around the world struggle to find their local niche, a new global angle may be taking shape. Much like the proliferation of political talk shows in the late 80’s which began to give the AM spectrum its identity (at least here in the USA) could the AM broadcast band now be a local vector for international communities?
I found this article and story from NPR member station, WBUR in Boston. It features WILD-AM who has traditionally served the African American community in Boston. Their newest offering, however, is coming from thousands of miles away–from China:
1090 WILD-AM was the scrappy little engine that could. A small-budget radio station with big ideas with over 40 years on air, it earned a trusted place in the heart and soul of Boston’s inner city community. But now that’s all gone. The station serves a very different audience.
[…]As of June 1, China Radio International is the new sound of WILD. The station is targeting “new Americans.”
[…]One of the reasons WILD is no longer on the air is that the marketplace has changed — the competition is greater. What’s happened to WILD is not surprising to media observers like WBUR media analyst John Carroll.
“I think it’s a reflection of what’s happening in the radio market overall, a movement toward consolidation, a movement toward nationalization or internationalization, a movement away from local community presence on radio stations and more toward major conglomerates, which are much less expensive to operate,” Carroll said. “One of the issues is can anyone make the FCC care about this?”
Also, consider reading commentary from Boston Radio Watch.
Great news for those of you who listen to space weather forecasts on WWV, from Fort Collins, Colorado or WWVH from Hawaii. It appears that NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center is going to continue announcing Geo-Alert products for the foreseeable future. The announcement from NOAA:
SWPC is no longer planning to discontinue the broadcast of its synoptic Geo-Alert products on the WWV and WWVH radio stations. SWPC plans to continue this service for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, updates to the content of this product are underway as a result of the feedback process. For example, in addition to providing the current, daily solar flux at 2800 MHz, we are evaluating adding more frequent observations at 2695MHz. Other improvements to the message content will also be evaluated. Stay tuned to this site for the latest status on these updates.
For additional comments or questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is fantastic news for BBC World Service’s Hindi shortwave broadcasts. The allocated funds will be given to BBC WS over a 3 year period.Kudos to
Foreign Secretary, William Hague, for recognizing the impact of BBC Wold Service’s Hindi language service.
Sadly, the cuts in funds earlier this year will still eliminate vital language services like Albanian, Macedonian, Portuguese for Africa, Serbian, and English for the Caribbean.
(Source: the Guardian)
The BBC World Service’s Hindi short-wave broadcasts have been saved from the axe after the foreign secretary, William Hague, agreed to give extra money to the highly regarded international broadcaster.
Hague has agreed to give an extra £2.2m annually to the World Service for the next three years from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office budget.
This slightly reduces the impact of a controversial 16% cut in the World Service’s FCO grant, announced as part of the government’s comprehensive spending review in October.
(Source: RNW Media Network)
More than 11,000 people have signed a petition to preserve RNW’s Dutch-language broadcasts. Iede de Vries, Chairman of the Action Committee, says that in addition there are about 7000 signatures from listeners who depend on programmes in one of the other nine languages. There are also separate petitions from former ambassadors, business and journalisitic organizations. Mr De Vries will lead a delegation from RNW who will hand the petitions to the Dutch parliament on Monday, prior to the debate about the substantial cuts in public broadcasting, including RNW.
The NIST is doing a comprehensive survey about WWV. If you listen to any WWV stations on shortwave, please take this survey. This will help the NIST know how/why we listen to WWV. The survey also gives you an opportunity to suggest new features for WWV broadcasts.