(Source: Ventura County Star)
Shortwave listening like a fishing expedition
Trading clicks for turns, clarity for static … and really loving it
It starts with a high-pitched squeal followed by a burst of static.
[…]We’re living in the richest time the world has ever known when it comes to the availability of information from around the globe. But much of it arrives filtered – downsized into sound bites and a few seconds of video carefully selected and massaged by an editor. Almost everything you see and read has been interpreted and edited by professionals.
But when I spin the dial on my shortwave I travel to the source. Perhaps it’s the voice of an airline captain over the Atlantic reporting his position to an operator in New York. Or I may happen on music from a country I couldn’t even begin to spell. At other times I’ll come across news broadcasts from around the world — news that is told with the built-in biases and prejudices of the originating country. It’s all unfiltered, all coming to me as it happens. It’s such a random smorgasbord of information that there would be no way to duplicate it with a television or computer.
Unlike TV or the Web, shortwave listening is a lot like fishing. You never know what you’ll catch. Those who try it for the first time often find satisfaction and even excitement as they troll these waters and make their own catches for the first time.