The Age National Times: Radio Australia may cut broadcasts to China/Indonesia

ABC-Radio-AustraliaThanks to Richard Cuff for bringing this item to my attention:

(Source: The Age – National Times)

The ABC could soon abandon international shortwave radio broadcasts to China and Indonesia, ending more than 70 years of beaming news and current affairs on high frequency into Asia.

But the public broadcaster’s management insist it will not flick the switch on shortwave services of Radio Australia to Papua New Guinea and tiny Pacific nations for now.

ABC international chief Lynley Marshall said the older shortwave technology was still relevant in the Pacific, despite a drive to make mobile and internet devices the ”primary” way of delivering news.

Staff had grown increasingly alarmed in recent months that the shortwave service to the Pacific would be canned – including a popular Tok Pisin [a service we recently mentioned] to PNG – raising fears expats and locals would be vulnerable to dangerous news blackouts during natural disasters or regional strife.

Radio is the cheapest and most widespread source of news in poorer Pacific provinces. Most nations run only a 2G mobile network with little coverage outside capitals. When Prime Minister Julia Gillard visits Port Moresby on Thursday almost twice as many locals will hear news of the trip on radio than see it on television or read it in newspapers.[…]

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Richard also posted this relevant comment in the SW Programs discussion list:

[…]I believe this would be the service more audible in Western Europe.

However the Pacific service – which is the service we’re more likely to hear in North America – appears to be safe for now, as mobile/Internet technologies aren’t adequate enough in that region.

Radio Australia has become my staple, reliable shortwave radio news and entertainment source. I certainly hope RA does not cut services in the same manner as RNW or RCI.

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