Current events in the Ukraine and Crimea remind Jonathan Marks that history–especially as broadcast over the airwaves–repeats itself:
“History keeps repeating itself, both on the ground and on the radio. The theatre going on in Crimea and Ukraine at the moment remind me of other situations. But there is a difference. The programmes below [click here] were all made when the Russian’s had an external broadcasting service called Radio Moscow, later renamed as Voice of Russia. Just as Voice of America shouted at the Russia, so Voice of Russia shouted back.”
The BBC reports that Russia has “quietly switched off nearly all of its long-wave transmitters, ending almost nine decades of broadcasting – as cost finally catches up on the medium.” Read the full story on the BBC News.
Not a huge surprise as many countries are pulling the plug on longwave, despite the medium’s large local broadcasting footprint. It does make one wonder if VOR shortwave could also be pulled with little fanfare or warning.
I can tell you that for those of us in North America, VOR is now a much harder catch on shortwave–a very strange shift from the ubiquity of the broadcaster’s signal in past decades.
But if you want to hear frank, public comments about how these changes are affecting the staff of VOR, just bookmark and listen to From Moscow With Love. Hosts Vasily and Natasha happily march to their own beat and comment openly to listener inquiries.
Bumped into an interesting document on the voice of the listener and viewer site in the UK.
They seem to be concerned that BBC will reorganise so that BBC World Service won’t get representation high enough in the organisation. I have heard it said that this was a problem during the days of Sam Younger 1994-1998. BBC World Service will need a powerful voice to show its value. The licence fee is a continuous debate in the UK. But it surprises me that BBC WS doesn’t really have an organised listener foundation like the VLV. Those resident in the UK are not the target audience for the BBC WS.
“Shortwave radio stations rarely did public events in my day as editor in chief. Radio stations often played around with the idea of having an Internet café at the studios, especially music stations like Capital Radio in London at Leicester Sq. For the last few years DW has been building an annual discussion forum. Although not open to the general public, it has now grown to a point where many NGO’s seem to drop in. But DW needs to watch competition from other media organisations because others in Germany are building more participatory conversations.”