Okay SWLing Post readers: I need you to dig through your off-air recordings for something pretty obscure…
Over at the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive, I frequently receive inquiries from educators, researchers, historians, and enthusiasts looking for very specific off-air recordings, often for some worthy project or other. It’s quite a thrill when I can lay hands on just what’s being sought in our rather deep recordings archive.
I recently received just such an inquiry from producer Meghan Keane at NPR, and though we were not able to provide immediate help, I’m quite intrigued by the subject and thus not quite ready to give up the search. Meghan writes:
My name is Meghan Keane and I’m a producer for NPR’s Invisibilia. I’m working on a story about Somalia and music, and am currently looking for some archival sound.
Around 2010, many radio stations in Somalia broadcasted animal noises and gun shot noises to protest Al-Shabab. I am hoping to find audio of that to use in my story. Please let me know if you have any leads!
Fascinating stuff. I do recall a news story about Somali radio broadcasts including animal and gun shot noises back in the day, but I never actually heard a broadcast on shortwave or mediumwave.
Post readers: Can you help Meghan track down such a recording? If you can, please comment and/or contact me!
Hi there, great to hear this new station broadcasting from Somalia, during an early evening DX’pedition at my usual spot – a local Oxfordshire wood! Even better to hear it with just the telescopic antenna!
The ICF-2001D is renown for being extremely well ‘tuned’ to it’s own telescopic and this has been demonstrated many times over the past year or so that I’ve been using it. This signal from Somalia was recorded on 08/08/16 at 19:15 hrs UTC using just the ‘whip’. Please click on the image below to access the reception video.
I have another video of the same signal which I will upload soon, demonstrating reception with a 50 metre longwre and the ICF2001D. Until then, I wish you all excellent DX!
Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.
I found this BBC profile on Somalia quite indicative of many countries in Africa. In light of cuts that the BBC World Service has been facing, this short article, about Somalia’s fragmented media landscape, admits that shortwave plays a vital roll in domestic news.
The TV and press sectors are weak and radio is the dominant medium. There are around 20 radio stations, but no national, domestic broadcaster. Many listeners tune to Somali-language media based abroad, in particular the BBC Somali service. The latter is available on shortwave, and via FM relays in Mogadishu (91.1), the Somaliland capital Hargeisa (89.0), and elsewhere.
They go on to say:
The Somali diaspora – in the West, the Gulf states and elsewhere – sustains a rich internet presence. But domestic web access is hampered by practicalities such as limited access to mains electricity. There were 102,000 internet users by September 2009 (Internetworldstats). In secessionist Somaliland and Puntland the authorities maintain a tight hold on broadcasting.
Shortwave listeners in Somalia, one should note, also listen to the likes of the Voice of America, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Radio France International and many others. Most of whom are facing cuts right now as national budgets are being tightened in the economic recession. To those living in Somalia, where the media is fragmented and untrustworthy, shortwave radio represents a lifeline of information.
As we mentioned in this previous post, please consider speaking up on behalf of those without a voice. Let international broadcasters and their governing bodies know how crucial shortwave services are into impoverished regions of the world.
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