RNW headquarters in Hilversum, Netherlands (photo coutesty: RNW)
Media Network, which covered international broadcasting developments at Radio Netherlands, recently ended a 30-year run on RNW. In a series of four articles, Andy Sennitt mentions some of the highlights, and then looks ahead to how international broadcasting might develop in the next ten years.
Part 1 is now available on RNW’s website. Part 2 will be published on May 1st 2012. This read is definitely worth your time.
Though I’m at least happy that RNW is making it their core mission to keep broadcasting to parts of the world where free speech is suppressed, I do fear how far the cuts may go beyond their Dutch broadcasts to expatriates. With 70% cuts in funding, future changes are likely to go beyond Dutch services and hurt many who live in remote, impoverished parts of the world where they rely on shortwave.
Andy Sennitt wrote the following about the RNW changes:
As the clocks in Europe go forward to summertime, Radio Netherlands Worldwide is entering a period of drastic change which will see the closure of many services and the relaunch of the organisation with a much smaller staff. RNW will in future be specialising in producing material for audiences in countries with limited press freedom.
RNW will no longer be broadcasting to Dutch expatriates. The Dutch radio service will hold a 24-hour marathon broadcast on 10/11 May to mark the end of its 65 years of service.
Other services will be affected too – plans are still to be finalised, but Radio Netherlands Worldwide will cease to operate in a number of languages and other services, including this website, will be adapted to meet the new focus of promoting free speech.
All these changes have been forced on RNW by the Dutch government’s decision to slash our budget by 70 percent with effect from 1 January 2013. The budget will come from the Foreign Ministry rather than the Ministry of Education and Culture as at present. The editorial independence of RNW will remain sacrosanct.
More information about the changes will be published as soon as these are official.
On Saturday, March 24, RNW’s Andy Sennitt will be closing down his Media Network blog. SWLing Post readers will recognize the name “Media Network” as I have referenced it many times as the source of news regarding international broadcasting. Andy posted the following message to his readers:
Important announcement to all our readers
March 8th, 2012 – 20:32 UTC by Andy Sennitt.
This Weblog will be closing on Saturday 24 March 2012.
I shall be taking early retirement from RNW at the end of April. Due to the new mandate of RNW effective on 1 January 2013, it will no longer be possible for the organisation to provide coverage of international media news.
In April I shall be writing a series of articles reflecting on the changes in international broadcasting since I started appearing on the Media Network radio show in 1981, and looking ahead to the coming decade. The articles will be published on the RNW English website.
If you have any memories of RNW or other international broadcasters that you would like to share, I will be pleased to hear from you at MediaNetwork@rnw.nl and I’ll try to include them in the articles.
The Weblog contains over 15,000 media news items published since October 2003. It will remain online as a searchable archive. To prevent spam, it will no longer be possible to add comments, but nearly 14,000 comments already received will still be available.
Our best wishes to Andy in his early retirement and hopes that we will not completely lose him from the media scene. Andy, keep in touch!
(Source: Media Network Newsletter)
Media Network Newsletter
By Andy Sennitt
22 December 2011
Several people asked us if we had any photos of the first ABB transmitter to go into service at our Madagascar relay station. The transmitter, formerly used by Radio Sweden at the Hörby transmitter site, is in regular service in place of an old Philips transmitter following successful tests a few weeks ago. I have published some photos in the Weblog.
These photos are all © Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
(Source: Radio World Online)
“DRM is not seen as a profitable line for the major manufacturers,” said Sennitt. “A few smaller manufacturers have produced DRM receivers, but the unit cost is still too high, and there simply aren’t enough DRM transmissions audible at any one location to stimulate consumer demand. It’s a classic chicken and egg situation — which comes first, the transmissions or the receivers? The broadcasters and the receiver manufacturers are each waiting for the other to move first.”
Read the full article at Radio World Online.
(Thanks to Andy Sennitt for bringing this to my attention.)
This year, it’s difficult for me appreciate the annual tradition of broadcasting to the 43 scientists and technicians at the British Antarctic Survey in light of the recent BBC World Service cuts. Still, the broadcast is quirky, nostalgic and certainly DX worth catching.
Here are the times/frequencies courtesy of RNW Media Network:
This half-hour programme will be on the air at 2130-2200 UTC tomorrow (Tuesday 21 June) on the following shortwave frequencies:
- 5950 kHz Skelton 300 kW beam 180 degrees
- 7295 kHz Rampisham 500 kW beam 180 degrees
- 7360 kHz Ascension 250 kW beam 207 degrees
- 9850 kHz Skelton 300 kW beam 180 degrees
Read RNW Media Network’s full article on the broadcast here.
For all its transmission expense and audio problems, analog shortwave radio has one clear advantage over the Internet and domestic radio/TV: It cannot be easily blocked — even when states try to disrupt its signals using jamming transmitters.
This is one of the best articles I’ve read recently about the state of shortwave broadcasting. It features authorities on the subject like Andy Sennitt, Larry Magne and Kim Elliott. Moreover, it highlights the historical appeal and the challenges shortwave broadcasts face in the internet age. Click here to read the full article on Radio World’s website.