My post was written some time earlier and scheduled to publish Saturday while I was traveling. Unfortunately, the Cold War Radio Vignettes articles I had linked to were removed prior to Saturday.
I contacted Richard Cummings who has kindly assembled a small PDF booklet with the text from all of the posts I had referenced and is allowing me to share it here on the SWLing Post.
Richard asks that if any Post readers have information about these clandestine broadcasts and is willing to share it with him, he would me most thankful. His contact information is on the front page of the PDF.
UPDATE: The links to Cold War Radio Radio Vignettes below became inactive just prior to publication. Richard Cummings has kindly assembled the texts I referenced and made a PDF booklet available for SWLing Post readers. Click here to download.
Last week, I received a tip from SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson: Radio Biafra, a new clandestine station, was audible on 15,560 kHz via the Universite Twente Web SDR.
Despite miserable propagation conditions, I tuned my receiver to 15,560 kHz and was surprised to hear a weak signal from Radio Biafra, here in North Carolina. I recorded a few minutes before conditions changed and Biafra’s signal began to fade.
This was the first time I had logged Radio Biafra, so I was amazed to have copy clear enough to understand.
Radio Biafra also known as Voice of Biafra, is a radio station that was originally founded by the government of the Republic of Biafra but is currently operated by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Believed to have had its first transmission before the Nigeria-Biafra war, the radio station was instrumental in the broadcast of speeches and propaganda by Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to the people of the Republic of Biafra.
[…]Radio Biafra currently transmits via the internet and shortwave broadcast targeted majorly around Eastern Nigeria. Radio Biafra claims to be broadcasting the ideology of Biafra –”Freedom of the Biafra people”.
[…]Radio Biafra has been met with mixed reactions. While some critics have criticized the station for “inciting war” through its programmes and “preaching hate messages” against Nigeria which it refers to as a “zoo”, an editor for Sahara Reporters wrote in defence of the radio station after he compared Radio Biafra with the British Broadcasting Corporation Hausa service.
On 14 July 2015, it was reported in the media that the radio station had been jammed because it did not have a broadcast license from the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission. However, the radio station in a swift reaction labelled such claims as “lies” and went on to release its new frequency details to the public.
At the end of October, the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) will stop producing its ethnic language radio program after 21 years of broadcasting, a decision revealed yesterday during a meeting of staff members from DVB’s Ethnic Groups’ Program.
“Because there are more and more magazines and journals [being distributed] in the country, the audience [listening through] short-wave radio has become smaller. We broadcast the news at six in the morning and nine in the evening, but at those times the audience has demonstrated a preference for newspapers and journals instead of waiting for us,” said DVB editor U Khin Maung Soe.
According to a US-based group which collects data on short-wave radio audiences in Burma, the DVB’s short-wave radio programs only attract 2% of the Burmese exile radio station audience, the smallest percentage among the four exile stations.
Due to such small audience numbers, DVB donors have suggested that the organization stop broadcasting radio programs and produce TV media programs instead. However, changing from radio to TV broadcasting may pose challenges and difficulties for those in charge of the DVB’s Ethnic Groups’ Program.
[…]The DVB’s current ethnic language radio program is broadcast in Kachin, Karenni, Karen, Chin, Mon, Rakhine, and Shan languages.
The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) launched the DVB Burmese Program in Oslo, Norway and also broadcasts from Oslo. For its part, the DVB Ethnic Language Program was founded by ethnic armed groups on July 19, 1993 at the Karen Nation Union’s former Marnepalaw headquarters.
“London-based SW Radio Africa has been forced to cease broadcasting after losing donor support.
SW Radio Africa, a non-profit station which broadcasts daily into Zimbabwe on shortwave, is winding up it operations on August 10.
Gerry Jackson, SW Radio Africa founder and editor, confirmed the impeding closure of the radio station which used to air daily between 6 and 9pm Zimbabwean time.
[…]The radio station was set up by a group of Zimbabwean journalists and started airing on December 19, 2001. The North London-based independent radio station had gathered a growing number of listeners, with its existence infuriating the Zimbabwean government.
[…]Staff at the radio station said they were disappointed that donor withdrawal had led to the downfall of the radio station.”
“It is with regret that SW Radio Africa announces that it is closing down. We recently stopped our shortwave transmissions but have continued to provide broadcasts via our website and other formats, but these too will cease.
We’d like to thank the organisations and individuals who have supported us for the past 13 years and the contributors to our programs who have given so willingly of their time and expertise.
In particular we’d like to thank our listeners, who have shared their lives, hopes and dreams and helped us to tell the story of Zimbabwe’s sad decline to the world.
We hope that one day Zimbabwe finally has a government who understands that its sole responsibility is to ensure a safe, healthy, prosperous life for every man, woman and child in the country.
Our first broadcast was on 19th December 2001.
Our last broadcast will be on 10th August 2014.
I have a hunch this closure is due to financial constraints. I’ve pasted SWRA’s announcement below:
SWRA shortwave broadcasts to end
SW Radio Africa
17th July 2014
It is with regret that SW Radio Africa announces that after 13 years, our shortwave broadcasts are to end on Friday 18th July.
You have welcomed us into your homes since our first shortwave broadcast on 19th December 2001.
Our broadcasts will continue on our website, via Channel Zim through TV decoders, and by various other forms of new media.
We know how much these shortwave broadcasts have meant to our listeners in more remote areas who have so little access to news and information, and we sincerely regret that we will no longer be able to provide this service.
We would like to thank our listeners who have been such loyal supporters for so many years and also for their willingness to share the stories of their lives with us on our Callback program. This has allowed people all over the world to have a better understanding of the many crises that Zimbabweans continue to face.
We can only hope that one day, sooner rather than later, there is real media freedom that allows Zimbabweans, wherever they are in the country, easy access to what is a basic human right – freedom of information and expression.
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