RNZ and the “Chinese shortwave foray into the Pacific”

(Source: Radio New Zealand via Mike Hansgen)

China is taking up a lot of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s former shortwave radio frequencies into the Pacific region.

In response to budget cuts, the ABC last year ceased shortwave broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific region ahead of a transition to FM transmission.

Since that withdrawal, frequencies on which Pacific Islanders listened to ABC radio for many years are being filled up by China Radio International.

Radio New Zealand Pacific is of course still broadcasting to the Pacific region on shortwave.

Its Technical Manager, Adrian Sainsbury, spoke to Johnny Blades about the Chinese shortwave foray into the Pacific.

Click here to listen to this story via RNZ.

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2 thoughts on “RNZ and the “Chinese shortwave foray into the Pacific”

  1. Tom Servo

    I don’t get why this is such a big deal. Frequencies get re-assigned all the time, so sometimes different broadcasters wind up on frequencies they didn’t use before, or were in use by someone else. It’s not like there are thousands of people who ONLY know to tune to ABC’s old shortwave frequencies, or are turning the radio on and checking just to see if something has come back.

    If there were any people out there who listened regularly, they have long since moved on to other program providers.

  2. Laurence N.

    As much as I hate CRI (it is one of two factors that make it rather likely that I’ll stop listening to shortwave altogether), I wonder whether the people who were listening to radio Australia are really likely to have any problem when CRI takes over. The reasons I say this are, briefly, these.
    Firstly, ABC’s shortwave services have been closed for a long time. I doubt many people tune in their frequencies in the hopes that something changed. Anyone who periodically listened to ABC on shortwave will have heard about their shutting down. Anyone who listens only occasionally will have tried, and realized that it doesn’t work.
    Secondly, CRI, while it uses people with Australian and American accents, isn’t really that hard to identify. They’re the people who, after the first news item which is usually something relevant, start jabbering on about the Chinese railway company’s quarterly results. Even if you miss the Chinese national anthem and that man who goes “This is China Radio International” at the top, it doesn’t take that long to find out. Also, they always have the not very useful learn Chinese program for about ten minutes, which should make it really clear. I think that anyone who listened to the news-heavy Australian broadcast will rather quickly determine that this broadcast is not the same.
    Lastly, I understand that ABC can frequently be heard by a repeater in many of these locations. I understand why shortwave might have been helpful while it was there, in case the framework allowing the repeater had problems. Still, I assume that many people used the repeater to listen, because the quality would have been much higher. I assume they’re still doing that.


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