Many thanks to several SWLing Post readers who shared the following story from Radio Prague:
Underground agents and plots in the Cold War broadcasting war
In this week’s Czech History we look at one aspect of the Cold War, the use of secret agents to spy on and disrupt the enemy’s propaganda services. In particular, we focus on the circus that surrounded the return of a Czechoslovak double agent Pavel Mina?ík 40 years ago in 1976 which was aimed at discrediting the US financed and Munich-based broadcaster Radio Free Europe.
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Knut, who recently informed me that the German language services of Radio Slovakia International, Radio Prague, Radio Ukraine International and the Polish Radio External Service are being relayed on shortwave radio, via Radio 700 in Euskirchen, Germany.
All broadcasts are on 3985 kHz and are transmitted daily (with 1 kW), beginning at 19:30 UTC.
At one thousands watts, on 3,985 kHz, this will be challenging DX outside of Europe. Still, I love the fact that independent broadcasters (like Radio 700, WRMI, WBCQ, etc.) make shortwave broadcasting affordable for many of these international broadcasters.
Knut originally learned about these relays through the German radio blog, DX Aktuell.
Nov 2009 Radio Parague QSL Card. Click to enlarge.
An article on Radio Prague’s website deals with the situation following the Czech government’s decision to reduce the station’s budget, especially with regard to shortwave, which the Director of Radio Prague, Miroslav Krupicka, says accounts for about half the station’s audience reach:
“Radio Prague’s budget for this year has been reduced by 15.0 percent. It is a little bit more than we expected but we have to come to terms with it. It still makes it possible for us to continue shortwave broadcasts. What we have to do is to close one of the two shortwave transmitters that we have in Litomyšl. We will be able to cover basically more or less the same territory we have been covering so far, which means the whole of Europe, North Africa, let’s say the Middle East and parts of North and South America. We won’t be reducing very much the area that we cover so far.”
Those economy measures almost halve the shortwave transmission bill to 7.0 million crowns (US$ 387,000) a year. Dutch-based consultant and former RNW Creative Director Jonathan Marks and the AIB’s Simon Spanswick explain to Radio Prague’s Chris Johnstone why some international broadcasters have dropped shortwave altogether.
Please support the SWLing Post by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Our advertisers are by invite only and are only radio related--no junk ads here! Ads are what helps us bring you premium SWLing content! Thank you so much!