Monthly Archives: March 2012

Changes at Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Though I’m at least happy that RNW is making it their core mission to keep broadcasting to parts of the world where free speech is suppressed, I do fear how far the cuts may go beyond their Dutch broadcasts to expatriates. With 70% cuts in funding, future changes are likely to go beyond Dutch services and hurt many who live in remote, impoverished parts of the world where they rely on shortwave.

Andy Sennitt wrote the following about the RNW changes:

(Source: RNW)

As the clocks in Europe go forward to summertime, Radio Netherlands Worldwide is entering a period of drastic change which will see the closure of many services and the relaunch of the organisation with a much smaller staff. RNW will in future be specialising in producing material for audiences in countries with limited press freedom.

RNW will no longer be broadcasting to Dutch expatriates. The Dutch radio service will hold a 24-hour marathon broadcast on 10/11 May to mark the end of its 65 years of service.

Other services will be affected too – plans are still to be finalised, but Radio Netherlands Worldwide will cease to operate in a number of languages and other services, including this website, will be adapted to meet the new focus of promoting free speech.

All these changes have been forced on RNW by the Dutch government’s decision to slash our budget by 70 percent with effect from 1 January 2013. The budget will come from the Foreign Ministry rather than the Ministry of Education and Culture as at present. The editorial independence of RNW will remain sacrosanct.

More information about the changes will be published as soon as these are official.

Radio Korea struggles to stay on air

A problem worth noting: Radio Korea has been having difficulty keeping their shortwave broadcasts on the air. As North Korea Tech points out, their domestic broadcasting arm is still operating:

(Source: North Korea Tech via shrtwvr)

Voice of Korea, the DPRK’s international shortwave radio broadcaster, is still having technical problems that result in entire broadcasts failing to make it on-air.

The problems began just over a month ago when some Voice of Korea broadcasts failed to appear at their scheduled times.

Now, a month later, the broadcaster is still failing to match its schedule. Today, on March 27, some of the scheduled transmissions were heard but others were missing.

[…]The problems have also hit the DPRK’s radio jamming operations, which attempt to block Korean-language foreign radio reception by broadcasting strong noise on the same frequency.

The most severe jamming is usually targeted at “Echo of Hope” and “Voice of the People,” two stations that are believed to be broadcast by the South Korean government.

[…]It’s [also] worth noting that the DPRK’s shortwave transmitters carrying the domestic service, largely for listeners in the country, have not been hit by such problems.

The problems could be technical in nature, perhaps related to faulty equipment, or due to an electricity shortage.

Curious, that these problems are occuring not so very long after the death of Kim Jong-il. Could it point to other problems with infrastructure under Kim Jong-un’s authority? These may be difficult times for those people living under North Korea’s repressive regime–= especially in light of recent food aid suspension.

Read the full article–and listen to radio clips of the interruptions–at North Korea Tech’s website.

Reminder: Global Pirate Radio (This) Weekend March 31-April 1

Harri Kujala, organizer of the Global Pirate Weekend, has 17 stations scheduled to be on the air this weekend (March 31-April 1, 2012). Check out full details on Harri’s blog and schedules announced as they become available.

Global Pirate Weekend is an event that gives pirates from all over the world a chance to test their broadcasts on the HF spectrum (not limited to, but mostly between 15-22 MHz).

This will be a great opportunity for radio listeners to log pirate radio stations from across the globe. Good music and variety are a given!

World Radio TV Handbook 2012 contest

This beautiful book could be yours!

UPDATE: This contest is now closed and the winner will be announced soon. Thank you so much to all who participated! We will do more contests in the future as we occasionally have extra shortwave radio supplies/books. We’re thinking of “name that interval signal” contests and other fun events. If you have any suggestions, or if you are a retailer who would like to contribute a prize, please contact us.  Thanks!  -Thomas

We just so happen to have an extra copy of the 2012 WRTH (World Radio and TV Handbook) here at the SWLing Post HQ.  So, we’ve decided it would be fun to share it with a SWLing Post reader who would like a copy of this excellent resource–which also happens to be a great read, featuring many articles that we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

And since the SWLing Post recently opened a Facebook account, this little contest will be a great way to spark some interest there.

How can you win?  Simply “like” us on Facebook–before 12:00 UTC on April 11, 2012–and you will automatically be entered to win the 2012 WRTH. We’ll pick a reader at random and notify the winner via Facebook.

Then, simply send us your postal address, and we’ll pop this in the mail to you. And though we may regret the postage (this is a heavy book!) this contest  is open to anyone on the planet!

If you’re not familiar with the newest edition of the WRTH, check out our recent review.

Click here to go to our Facebook page now!