(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.”[…]
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.