Radio Waves: Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio
Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers. To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Dan Van Hoy, Dennis Dura, Rich Cuff, and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:
There’s still lots to listen to, and new ways to do it
Surprise! Shortwave radio as a broadcast medium is holding its own, despite the intrusion of the internet, transmission cutbacks by major broadcasters such as the BBC World Service and Voice of America and abandonment of the SW bands by other state-owned broadcasters.
Meanwhile, the ways in which people listen to SW radio transmissions are evolving, because SW receiver manufacturers are keeping up with the technological times.
There is no doubt that the variety of stations on the SW bands has declined, due to the end of the Cold War — the propaganda war of which drove the medium in the 1950s and 1960s — and the emergence of the internet.
Nevertheless, “Even with many stations that are long gone, there is still quite a lot to listen to on the SW radio bands,” said Gilles Letourneau, host of the OfficialSWLchannel on YouTube (25,600 subscribers) and editor of the CIDX Messenger magazine column “World of Utilities.”
“You have stations like Radio Romania, Voice of Turkey, Radio Prague, Radio Slovakia and Radio Tirana, Albania, while WRMI in Miami has popular listener-created programs like Voice of the Report of the Week,” he said.
“The big broadcasters are there as well but they don’t target North America anymore. Still, I get my share of BBC World Service, Radio France International, Voice of America and Vatican Radio mostly targeting Africa, Middle East and Asia but still listenable here at certain times of day.” [Continue reading…]
An ‘Internet apocalypse’ could ride to Earth with the next solar storm, new research warns (Live Science)
The underwater cables that connect nations could go offline for months, the study warns.
The sun is always showering Earth with a mist of magnetized particles known as solar wind. For the most part, our planet’s magnetic shield blocks this electric wind from doing any real damage to Earth or its inhabitants, instead sending those particles skittering toward the poles and leaving behind a pleasant aurora in their wake.
But sometimes, every century or so, that wind escalates into a full-blown solar storm — and, as new research presented at the SIGCOMM 2021 data communication conference warns, the results of such extreme space weather could be catastrophic to our modern way of life.
In short, a severe solar storm could plunge the world into an “internet apocalypse” that keeps large swaths of society offline for weeks or months at a time, Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, an assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine, wrote in the new research paper. (The paper has yet to appear in a peer-reviewed journal).
“What really got me thinking about this is that with the pandemic we saw how unprepared the world was. There was no protocol to deal with it effectively, and it’s the same with internet resilience,” Abdu Jyothi told WIRED. “Our infrastructure is not prepared for a large-scale solar event.”
Part of the problem is that extreme solar storms (also called coronal mass ejections) are relatively rare; scientists estimate the probability of an extreme space weather directly impacting Earth to be between 1.6% to 12% per decade, according to Abdu Jyothi’s paper.[Continue reading…]
Overcoming indifference: what attitudes towards news tell us about building trust (Reuters Institute)
In recent decades, trust in news has declined in many parts of the world (Fletcher 2020). While the coronavirus crisis has reminded some of the value of independent journalism, boosting trust in some places (Newman et al. 2021), many continue to regard news with considerable scepticism. The media are at the centre of often intense public arguments over how societies generally – and news specifically – deal with important and sometimes polarising issues including the pandemic but also more broadly the climate emergency, populist politicians, racial injustice, other social inequalities, and much more. One prominent feature of these debates is often outright hostile attacks on news media and individual journalists by vocal and visible critics who actively express their distrust and disdain for the media and its many shortcomings, both real and perceived, especially on social media.
To be fair, news media are not alone in facing often dwindling public trust. Trust in many other institutions, including both national and local governments, has also declined in some cases, as has interpersonal trust. However, social scientists have long stressed that, despite frequent and sweeping claims of a ‘crisis of trust’, there is no evidence for a consistent, across-the-board decline in public trust in every country, every institution, or every news organisation (Norris 2011, Newman et al. 2021). These wider developments and pronounced country-to-country differences are important for trust in news, too, because attitudes towards news media are difficult to disentangle from other forms of trust towards other institutions (Hanitzsch et al. 2018).
Trust also matters for democracy. When the public place their trust in those who are in fact trustworthy, it can be profoundly enabling. But its absence can be equally debilitating, and, when trust is misplaced, it can lead us astray. Trust in news specifically matters for journalists who want people to rely on their reporting, for news media who depend on people paying attention to (and paying for) the news they produce, and for each of us as citizens. We all need trustworthy sources of information to understand and navigate our worlds and consider perspectives outside of our own narrow personal experiences.
The impact of the digital media environment on trust
Understanding trust in news and how news media may be able to build trust is especially important in an increasingly digital, mobile, and platform-dominated media environment where more and more people rely on intermediaries, including search engines, social media, and messaging applications, to access and discover news. As more people spend more of their time using platforms – which often provide limited context on the sources of information displayed and where many do not recall the brands behind stories they have read (Kalogeropoulos et al. 2019) – there are considerable concerns about how such changing audience behaviours will impact attitudes towards news outlets that depend on trusting relationships with audiences. [Continue reading…]
The Society has just launched a trailer for this year’s online Convention. It gives a whistle-stop tour of the programme that delighted 3,500 radio amateurs from 24 countries on the day last year, and a taste of what to expect from this year’s event.
It is just one minute long so take a look, be inspired and put 9 October 2021 in your diary!
Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?
Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!