Tag Archives: BBC World Service

Radio Doc: New York City’s pirates of the air

SWLing Post friend, David Goren (the same fellow behind Shortwaveology and the Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map) has just produced and presented a BBC World Service documentary about the pirate radio scene in NYC.

Spoiler alert: it’s amazing–!

Below, I’ve included the description and audio links from the BBC World Service:

New York City’s pirates of the air

As the workday winds down across New York, you can tune in to a clandestine world of unlicensed radio stations; a cacophonous sonic wonder of the city. As listeners begin to arrive home, dozens of secret transmitters switch on from rooftops in immigrant enclaves. These stations are often called ‘pirates’ for their practice of commandeering an already licensed frequency.

These rogue stations evade detection and take to the air, blanketing their neighbourhoods with the sounds of ancestral lands blending into a new home. They broadcast music and messages to diverse communities – whether from Latin America or the Caribbean, to born-again Christians and Orthodox Jews.

Reporter David Goren has long followed these stations from his Brooklyn home. He paints an audio portrait of their world, drawn from the culture of the street. Vivid soundscapes emerge from tangled clouds of invisible signals, nurturing immigrant communities struggling for a foothold in the big city.

With thanks to KCRW and the Lost Notes Podcast episode Outlaws of the Airwaves: The Rise of Pirate Radio Station WBAD.

Producer/Presenter: David Goren

Click here to download New York City’s pirates of the air via the BBC World Service.

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The BBC World Service has a new theme

(Image source: BBC)

(Source: The Guardian)

For 70 years, far-flung listeners knew they had found the BBC on their radio dial when they heard the jaunty notes of the Irish jig Lillibulero. Its brassy, old-fashioned sound spoke of men in dinner jackets and vintage radio microphones, and there was a minor public outcry when it was formally dropped more than a decade ago.

Since then the World Service, which has an audience of 79 million, has used a musical motif which, according to controller Mary Hockaday “changed every now and then in rather an ad hoc way”.

But from tomorrow morning, the English-language station will have a new jingle, letting listeners across the world know unquestionably that London is calling. The signature tune is a nod to the station’s long traditions, with even a beat or two of the BBC’s famous pips to send a message about values in an age of “fake news”.[…]

Click here to read the full story at The Guardian.

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Skelton, Penrith and the World 1943-1993

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Barraclough, who notes the following update to BBCeng.info:

Skelton, Penrith and the World 1943-1993

A personal account by the author Ken Davies.

Following my request I have been notified that Cumbria County Council, the publishers of this book, would have no objection to it being on bbceng. Unfortunately I have not been able to contact Ken Davies but, given the nature of the publication, I think it is likely that he would approve. He clearly wanted to celebrate the achievements of everyone involved with Skelton transmitting station and his efforts in compiling this record are gratefully acknowledged.

68 pages with many photos.

Click here to download [PDF].

Fascinating!  Thank you for sharing this, Mike. I’ve just downloaded a copy to my (rooted) Nook e-reader.

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BBC World Service: Global audience up, shortwave listeners in “steep decline”

(Source: The BBC Media Centre)

BBC’S Global audience rises to 376m

The BBC is reaching a record weekly audience of 376m people, new figures published today reveal.

The figures – the Global Audience Measure (GAM) – show how many adults the BBC reached weekly with its news and entertainment content in the year 2017/18.

The BBC World Service, which has just undertaken its biggest expansion since the 1940s, has seen its audience increase by 10m, to 279m.
The total global news audience has risen by a million, to 347m.

The GAM shows the way people access their news is continuing to change around the world. With the increased availability of cheap smartphones around the world, audiences are continuing to switch to digital platforms for news. Overall, online news website audiences have grown by four million, with social media audiences up by nine million.

The English language international website, BBC.com, continues to perform well even in competitive markets like the USA, adding two million weekly users this year.

More people listen directly to World Service English via the internet than by any other method – a total of 27m. And World Service English podcasts now reach one million people every week.

However, shortwave radio listening continues its steep decline, with shortwave audiences virtually disappearing in Pakistan, and down substantially in Nigeria.

Jamie Angus, Director of the BBC World Service Group, says: “This has been an exciting year for the BBC World Service, with the launch of 12 new services, new programming, and the opening of new and expanded bureaux across the world, so it is great to see international audiences continuing to turn to the BBC for independent and impartial news.

The figures highlight not only the successes of our global news operation, but the challenges that lie ahead for us. We still need to grow the share of women engaging with our news services globally, and we need to ensure we have the right services to continue to attract young audiences.

At a time when Britain is forging a new relationship with nations around the world, the BBC’s global news services are more important than ever.”

The figures also show:

  • More than a quarter of the BBC World Service’s audience is aged between 15-24 years old.
  • In Afghanistan, more than 60% of the adult population consumes BBC News; in Nigeria the figure is just under 40%
  • The top ten markets for the BBC’s international news services are Nigeria (41m), USA (33m), India (30m), Bangladesh (16m), Egypt (16m), Iran (13m), Afghanistan (12m), Tanzania (10m), Pakistan (9m) and Indonesia (8m).
  • More people are consuming more than one BBC service, or using more than one platform to access BBC News; 24m people consume the World Service in English as well as other languages.

Notes to Editors
The Global Audience Measure is an annual update of how many people are consuming the BBC weekly for all services in all countries across all platforms (television, radio, website and social media). Key to this is de-duplication i.e. ensuring that a person who consumes multiple BBC services or platforms or on multiple devices is not counted many times in the top level totals.

The total figure includes audiences for all BBC News services outside the UK and branded entertainment content on TV, BBC websites and social media pages for BBC Studios.

PR

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BBC RMP transmitting site up for sale (again)

(Source: Dorset Echo via Dave Porter)

It helped the BBC broadcast its radio programmes across Europe.

Now the vast site of the former radio transmission station in the west Dorset countryside is set for a new lease of life.

The Rampisham Down site next to the A356 Maiden Newton to Crewkerne road, which extends to more than 180 acres, is on the market with a guide price of £2.5 million.

It includes commercial land, and a huge area for grazing – which could be used for a ‘recreational business’.

Rampisham Down was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 2014 for its special grassland and heathland habitats.

British Solar Renewables (BSR) wanted to build a huge solar park there, but after a lengthy planning battle – in which the decision was ‘called in’ by the government’ – the company shelved its plans.

A site nearby not deemed of high importance for wildlife was instead chosen for the solar park and given planning permission.

This solar park could help to power the new venture at Rampisham Down, it is said.

All but one of the original telecommunications towers, which helped to broadcast the BBC World Service in Europe until the station was decommissioned in 2011, have been removed.

The remaining tower has become a nesting platform for peregrine falcons, as part of work by BSR, in conjunction with Natural England, to restore the land and make it a home for wildlife.[…]

Click here to read the full article at the Dorset Echo.

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