If you’re interested in how shortwave services are being affected by the budget, you can do a simple search for the word “shortwave.”
One change of note to the Greenville, NC, transmitting station (page 37):
In FY 2023, USAGM is proposing a realignment of the ERM transmitting station in Greenville, North Carolina under the USAGM’s Office of Technology, Services, and Innovation (TSI), which currently is responsible for other of USAGM’s transmitting stations. The realignment of shortwave resources will effectively
enhance the overall USAGM broadcast mission capabilities by aligning all content
distribution platforms as managed by TSI. This action will decrease OCB’s general
operating expenses by approximately $2.1 million annually
This is a 197 page document and traditional over-the-air services are mentioned frequently.
If you notice relevant points to shortwave services feel free to point them out in the comments and note the page number! Thank you!
This is the story of one of the ABC’s best kept secrets.
ABC Radio Australia was never intended to be a great secret. It was just the nature of the service that few Australians knew about it. When I hosted its breakfast program for nine years, I could count on one hand the number of people who knew what I was talking about when I told them I worked for RA.
Most people mistakenly thought it was the same thing as Radio National. I would have to explain, yet again, that this was our version of the BBC World Service, a worldwide broadcaster.
RA was founded at the start of the World War II by prime minister Robert Menzies as an antidote to the disinformation being broadcast by Australia’s new enemies, Germany and Russia. The idea of Australia Calling, as the service was initially named, was to provide an antidote to this propaganda, to counter that aerial bilge with factual, balanced and fair reportage.
So with a small team of English, Spanish, Dutch and French broadcasters, a minuscule budget and some tiny transmitters in antiquated shacks in Victoria and New South Wales, Australia joined the short-wave age in December 1939. [Continue reading…]
Situated on the northwest tip of New Zealand’s north island, and home to the historically significant Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the Northland region is to receive a funding boost to strengthen its AM broadcasting infrastructure.
New Zealand’s Minister of Broadcasting and Media, Willie Jackson, and Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty, have announced a NZD$1.48 million package to fund the repair and replacement of three transmission masts in Northland to ensure AM radio can stay on air in the region.
“This funding will secure the reinstatement of the Waipapakauri mast, which services Far North communities, and replace the masts at ?taika and ?haeawai which are on their last legs,” Willie Jackson said. “This will ensure that Northland communities retain their access to AM transmission in areas that are not serviced by FM frequencies.
“RNZ has already completed work to reinstate the Waipapakauri mast, which went back on air today.”
Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty said radio is a critical information channel to help reach New Zealanders in an emergency.
“When emergencies happen, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and local Civil Defence Groups work with the media to issue warnings and other critical information. We rely on radio as our number one emergency info channel as it is the most resilient and widely available form of public communication.
“Northland is especially reliant on AM radio due to its remote and rugged terrain, its exposure to hazards like tsunamis, and limited access to cellular service and other information sources,” Kieran McAnulty said. [Continue reading…]
The TALIBAN has shut down several VOICE OF AMERICA RADIO ASHNA FM repeaters and has blocked RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY’s Afghan service RADIO AZADI, alleging that the U.S.-backed outlets are violating Afghani press laws and journalistic principles.
A statement from the VOA said that the move, which it noted broke a multiyear contract between the stations and the Afghan government, “is a blow to the large audience that turns to RADIO ASHNA for uncensored news and information. VOA broadcasts provided the people of AFGHANISTAN uncensored perspectives and hope. They gave ordinary Afghans a voice through call-in programs and discussion shows about subjects censored by domestic media. On VOA programs, topics ranged from the increasing isolation of AFGHANISTAN’s current government and the second-class status of women and girls as a result of the TALIBAN’s policies to the persistent economic failures that have diminished the quality of life in AFGHANISTAN since the TALIBAN takeover.”
“Many programs were anchored by women,” said Acting VOA Director YOLANDA LÓPEZ. “Removing VOA from the domestic airwaves will not silence us. It will only increase the importance of serving the captive audience inside AFGHANISTAN.”
The statement noted that the VOA reaches 7.3 million adults per week in the country, with almost half of those listening on broadcast radio; the service can also be heard via satellite TV, shortwave, AM, streaming, and social media and is “actively exploring additional ways to provide our content and fulfill our mission of serving our audience in AFGHANISTAN.” [Continue reading…]
US-funded Voice of America said Taliban authorities pointed to “complaints” about their programing. Radio Free Europe was also banned by the Islamist regime.
Voice of America (VOA) and the AP press agency reported that Taliban authorities banned radio broadcasting from VOA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in Afghanistan from Thursday.
According to VOA, the Taliban authorities cited “complaints they have received about programming content” as reason for the ban.
However, there were no further details provided about the alleged complaints, VOA shared in a press statement.
Both VOA and RFE are funded by the US government, but “operate with journalistic independence and aim to provide comprehensive, balanced coverage,” the statement continued.
Whether or not the ban will be extended to other international broadcasters in Afghanistan remains unclear at this point.
In March, some parts of DW’s Afghan programing were stopped from being rebroadcast by Afghan partners, and BBC news bulletins in Pashto, Persian and Uzbek also taken off air.
Taliban say VOA and RFE ‘failed to show professionalism’
Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi told AP his country had laws regulating the media and any network that was “repeatedly contravening” them would be banned.
“VOA and Azadi Radio (Radio Liberty) failed to adhere to these laws, were found as repeat offenders, failed to show professionalism and were therefore shut down,” he said.
The Taliban regime has been cracking down on press freedom in the country by imposing restrictions on media and journalists since seizing power last year. [Continue reading…]
The police promptly responded to the call, but the SBU for some reason delays its response to illegal actions People’s deputy Mykola Knyazhytskyi announced this on Facebook .
“In Lviv, journalist Vitaly Portnikov, who hosts programs on Espresso and Radio Svoboda, found a eavesdropping device at home. It is a voice recorder with the ability to record for a long time. The police were called. They arrived quickly. The SBU was called. They are not going. As a member of the Verkhovna Rada, I ask the SBU to come immediately and disrupt case. We don’t know who installed this device and for what purpose: our services, foreign services or criminality,” the politician said.
Image via Espreso
Vitaly Portnikov commented on the incident for “Espresso”:
“Today, while cleaning the apartment I lived in at the end of February, when the war started, I found a recording device under the bed. The device had an inventory number. I informed the law enforcement authorities about my discovery so that they could investigate this incident.”
The journalist added that he hoped for a high-quality investigation and clarification of all the circumstances of the case:
“After my statement, the investigators of the SBU of the Lviv region conducted an inspection of the premises and seized a device that is a device for listening and recording information. I hope that the relevant structures will conduct an examination and find out by whom and why this device was placed in my apartment.”
Vitaly Portnikov is a well-known Ukrainian journalist, publicist and political commentator. Cooperates with Radio Svoboda and Espresso. On the Espresso TV channel, he creates the programs “Political Club of Vitaly Portnikov” and “Saturday Political Club”. [Click here to read the full article at Espreso.]
A group calling itself the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America has filed a petition with the FCC asking the Commission to revoke the license of the translator owned by John Garziglia. FM translator W288BS in Reston, Virginia rebroadcasts WZHF-AM in the Washington DC metro which carries Radio Sputnik. Continue reading →
WASHINGTON—Following the forced suspension of RFE/RL operations in Russia on March 6, RFE/RL is pleased to announce the opening of news bureaus in Riga, Latvia and Vilnius, Lithuania. These offices will house teams from RFE/RL’s Russia and Belarus services and the 24/7 Current Time global digital and TV network, and also provide a base for new investigative journalism projects and digital innovation hubs.
Said RFE/RL President Jamie Fly, “These new bureaus will allow RFE/RL to continue to engage with our audiences in Russia and Belarus, despite those government’s best efforts to silence independent journalism. RFE/RL will expand its already-successful efforts to reach Russian and Belarusian audiences with the relevant news they seek, and desperately need. We are grateful to the Latvian and Lithuanian governments for their commitment to press freedom and their support for vulnerable journalists who have had to seek safe haven outside their home countries.”
In Riga, RFE/RL plans to establish a multimedia hub that will host Russian Service and Current Time staff displaced from Russia. The Latvian capital will also house a new, Russian-language investigative journalism unit and a digital innovation hub designed to counter disinformation and develop strategies to circumvent online censorship across delivery platforms. The Vilnius news bureau will primarily host displaced Belarus Service journalists forced to flee after the flawed 2020 elections, as well as a new reporting team being set up by Current Time to serve the needs of the network’s Russian-speaking audiences in Belarus.
RFE/RL’s impact during the first two weeks of Russia’s war on Ukraine demonstrates the appetite within Russia and Belarus for a credible, uncensored alternative to Kremlin media about the full scope of the conflict. Between February 24 and March 16, the number of views of RFE/RL videos on YouTube from Russia tripled to nearly 238 million, while the number of visits, page views, and unique visitors to its websites from Russia rose by 34 percent, 51 percent, and 53 percent respectively. As for Belarus, the number of RFE/RL videos viewed via YouTube from inside the country quadrupled (to 22.4 million), and the number of visits (+158%), page views (+148%), and unique visitors (+110) to RFE/RL websites from Belarus has also increased dramatically.
RFE/RL deeply appreciates the support of the governments of Latvia and Lithuania for RFE/RL’s mission and for the establishment of these new bureaus. The people of Latvia and Lithuania have for decades been enthusiastic consumers of RFE/RL programming—both of RFE/RL’s Latvian and Lithuanian services that operated from 1975 to 2004, and more recently of Current Time programming. RFE/RL President Fly visited Vilnius and Riga this past January, in part to attend the Lithuanian premiere of the award-winning, Current Time-commissioned film “Mr. Landsbergis,” about Lithuania’s struggle to restore its independence.
RFE/RL’s Russian Service is a multiplatform alternative to Russian state-controlled media, providing audiences in the Russian Federation with informed and accurate news, analysis, and opinion. The Russian Service’s websites, including its regional reporting units Siberia.Realities and North.Realities, earned a monthly average of 12.7 million visits and 20.6 million page views in 2021, while 297 million Russian Service videos were viewed on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
Current Time is a 24/7 Russian-language digital and TV network led by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA, that caters to Russian-speakers worldwide. In addition to reporting uncensored news, it is the largest provider of independent, Russian-language films to its audiences. Despite rising pressure on Current Time from the Russian government, Current Time videos were viewed over 1.3 billion times on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram/IGTV in FY2021.
Labeled an “extremist organization” by the Belarus government, RFE/RL’s Belarus Service provides independent news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language, relying on social media platforms such as Telegram, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as mirror sites and an updated news app to circumvent pervasive Internet blockages and access disruptions.
About RFE/RL RFE/RL relies on its networks of local reporters to provide accurate news and information to more than 37 million people every week in 27 languages and 23 countries where media freedom is restricted, or where a professional press has not fully developed. Its videos were viewed 7 billion times on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram/IGTV in FY2021. RFE/RL is an editorially independent media company funded by a grant from the U.S. Congress through the U.S. Agency for Global Media.
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’sRadio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Ted Lipien, Josh Shepperd, Ronnie Smith, and Gary Butterworth, for the following tips:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Michael Pack, CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), announced today that veteran civil servant Ted Lipien is returning to U.S. international broadcasting as CEO and President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
“Few people have a greater understanding than Ted of the multifaceted operation and mission of U.S. international broadcasting,” said CEO Pack. “Ted is an ardent and captivating advocate of democracy who will excel at sharing America’s founding principles and ideals with the world.”
“When I was a teenager in Communist Poland, I would listen to Radio Free Europe to find out what the government was not telling me,” said Mr. Lipien. “It had an enormous impact on my life, and on the lives of millions of others. I’m honored, and humbled, to be entrusted with helping this storied organization continue to break the hold of censorship and give voice to the silenced.”
Mr. Lipien has dedicated virtually his entire career to U.S. international broadcasting. He joined Voice of America (VOA) in 1973 and served as the network’s Polish Service Chief for 12 years, from 1981 to 1993, including the Solidarity labor union’s struggle for human rights and democracy in Soviet-communist-ruled Poland. From 1993 to 2003, he served as the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ Eurasia Marketing Specialist and Director, first in Munich and, later, in Prague. Mr. Lipien then rejoined VOA, serving as Eurasia Division Director from 2003 to 2005 and Acting Associate Director from 2005 to 2006. He has interviewed a number of eminent public figures, including Cardinal Karol Wojty?a (Pope John Paul II), Lech Wa??sa, George H.W. Bush, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Czes?aw Mi?osz.
In 2008, after leaving the federal service, Mr. Lipien founded Free Media Online, a non-governmental organization committed to supporting free media worldwide. His pro-media freedom work has been noted in a variety of national publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. His articles have appeared in National Review, Washington Times, and Washington Examiner. Mr. Lipien earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations with distinction from George Washington University.
RFE/RL, headquartered in Prague, is a non-federal network funded by the United States Congress through USAGM. Daisy Sindelar, who had been serving as Acting President of RFE/RL since June 2020, is returning to her former role as the network’s Vice President and Editor-in-Chief.[…]
The American Radio Archives, one of the world’s largest and most valuable collections of radio broadcasting will soon become part of the UC Santa Barbara Library’s Department of Special Collections.
Established by the Thousand Oaks Library Foundation (TOLF) in 1984, the archive is one of the first in the state and includes original recordings of Winston Churchill, as well as broadcast photographs, radio and television scripts, books and film dated as early as 1922.
“It is critical that such a wonderfully curated collection documenting the golden age of radio is preserved and accessible, said Thousand Oaks Mayor Claudia Bill-de la Peña. “UCSB has one of the largest collections of performing arts records, sound recordings and broadcast recordings on the West Coast as well as a state-of-the-art audio laboratory, making it our first choice and a natural fit for the American Radio Archives.”
The collection was established in 1984 and grew significantly with the purchase in 1987 of radio memorabilia from the estate of Rudy Valleé, one of the nation’s most popular singing bandleaders and personalities. Valleé documented his career, which took off in the1920s, through an extensive array of journals, photographs and original pieces of advertising.
The prominence of the Valleé collection attracted numerous celebrities and radio historians from around the world who gravitated toward the American Radio Archives. Among them were such luminaries as Norman Lear, Carl Reiner, Ron Howard, Ray Bradbury, Norman Corwin, Edward Asner, Walter Cronkite, Janet Waldo, Candice Bergen and William Shatner.
When Norman Corwin — dubbed America’s poet laureate of radio — donated his career files in 1990, it further increased esteem for the archives and generated significant interest among radio aficionados. As a result, many noteworthy collections were donated to TOLF, including, among others, those of radio station KNX-CBS; radio actor and radio historian Frank Bresee, who hosted “The Golden Days of Radio”; comedian Red Skelton; Carlton Morse, the creator of the long-running radio soap opera “One Man’s Family”; radio and television writers Milton and Barbara Merlin; and Allin Slate, a pioneer of the sports talk show format on KABC radio in Los Angeles.[…]
The coronavirus pandemic has made life difficult for everyone. On the plus side, however, it’s prompted creative solutions to work around the various roadblocks the pandemic has imposed. Volunteer Examiners in Grant County, Oregon, affiliated with the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) put their heads together to overcome the adversity and hold a safe and secure exam session. Current health regulations in Oregon precluded both indoor and outdoor gatherings. Nonetheless, the Grant County Amateur Radio Club, the local ARES Group, and the Grant County Emergency Radio Infrastructure Coalition (ERIC) combined forces to offer five candidates the chance to obtain their first license or to upgrade their existing license, all from the comfort of their vehicles.
“Many amateur radio clubs have experimented with exams via the internet,” said Steve Fletcher, K7AA, who is the ARES Emergency Coordinator for Grant County. “In eastern Oregon, with the cooperation of the County Roads Department, we chose to hold a ‘drive-up’ exam session on Saturday, December 12. Under the circumstances, we used four ARRL VEs for the exam instead of the required three.” Wheeler County ARES loaned Stuart Bottom, K7FG, to help as the third required Amateur Extra-class Volunteer Examiner.
Fletcher reports three new Technician licensees and two new General-class radio amateurs resulted from the session.
Required ARRL VEC forms contained pre-printed data — including the FCC Registration Number (FRN) — were given to the candidates on a clipboard. Each candidate took the exam in the front seat of their own vehicle. Cell phones, papers, and anything not required for the exam were removed.
“Everyone dressed warmly, and most candidates had their heaters running,” Fletcher reported. A camper owned by Ronda Metler, KB5LAX, and a communications van owned by Fletcher served as sites to check results and sign forms.
The Grant County Roads Department loaned its parking area for the exam session.[…]
As the world observes International Migrants Day on December 18, Voice of America continues to enhance its operations to serve the growing refugee populations in Africa. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, reports that, in just the past few weeks, 50,000 Ethiopian refugees have joined the world’s 80 million forcibly displaced people, including more than 18 million in sub-Saharan Africa.
Recognizing the deteriorating conditions in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region in recent weeks, VOA rapidly added existing Tigrigna-language radio broadcasts to existing VOA FM radio stations in the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Misrata. These newscasts reach not only the newly displaced civilians, but also Eritreans in both cities who arrived prior to the current exodus and still have ties to the crisis-affected area. Newly created “micro sites” deliver digital content in Tigrigna, Amharic, Afan Oromo and English from VOA regional reporting teams.
In Kakuma, Kenya, site of one of the world’s oldest refugee camps, VOA launched a new FM station to provide both refugees and the local community with news, music, and educational content in English, Swahili, and Somali. For the Dadaab refugee complex near Kenya’s border with Somalia, a new VOA station offers local residents and refugees a mix of VOA English and Somali language content that airs in Somalia and Djibouti.
“VOA is committed to providing vital news and information to underserved populations worldwide, including refugees and other forcibly displaced persons,” said VOA Director Robert Reilly. “In particular, as the only international broadcaster with a presence in Kakuma, VOA serves as a critical lifeline for individuals in this region with access to few other reliable media resources.”
VOA’s efforts to reach at-risk refugee populations expanded exponentially in 2017 in south Asia and Latin America. VOA’s Bangla language service began broadcasting in Rohingya to reach refugees in Kutupalong, the world’s largest refugee camp. Nearly one million ethnic Rohingya, who fled persecution in neighboring Myanmar, inhabit the site. When Venezuelans began to flee President Nicolás Maduro’s regime, the VOA Spanish language service significantly increased its coverage of this unfolding crisis for audiences all across the region.
VOA FM Frequencies
Existing in Libya: Tripoli (106.6 MHz); Misrata (99.1 MHz)
New in Kenya: Kakuma (99.9 MHz); Dadaab (106.7 MHz)