Tag Archives: VOR

Voice of Russia to remain on the air in 2014

RIA Novosti Newsroom, Moscow (Source: Wikipedia)

RIA Novosti Newsroom, Moscow (Source: Wikipedia)

This year has been a confusing one for Voice of Russia listeners.  At least two separate news sources–in August and December–announced that VOR would be leaving the shortwaves effective Jan 1, 2014, but VOR couldn’t confirmed or denied the news.

Then, only two weeks ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised us all by essentially liquidating the Voice of Russia and merging it with Rossia Segodnya newswire in sweeping changes affecting all Russian state media.

I was curious if this move might have changed VOR’s outlook on the shortwaves, so I contacted VOR to see if they had any official word. I received the following response this morning:

“We are glad to let you know that the Voice of Russia will stay on the air in 2014, however, considerable changes in our frequency schedule are expected. The information on the updated frequency chart will become available on the Voice of Russia’s web site before the New Year at http://voiceofrussia.com/radio_broadcast/frequencies/ , so please stay logged in.

You may have already read about the planned merger of the VOR an RIA Novosti Press Agency in the upcoming year, for details please see the article at http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_09/President-Vladimir-Putin-issues-decree-to-reorgonize-Voice-of-Russia-RIA-Novosti-to-Rossia-Segodnya-news-wire-1689/

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Voice of Russia broadcasts lack any mention of sweeping changes to state news agency

President Vladimir Putin (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

President Vladimir Putin (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

This morning, I tuned to the Voice of Russia (a.k.a. Radio VR) English language service to hear the state news agency’s take on the sweeping changes President Vladimir Putin implemented yesterday.

I expected the story to be somewhat buried amongst international headlines, but instead I heard no mention within the one hour news broadcast. [Please note update at end of article.]

Here’s a recording of the broadcast from today at 13:00 on 12,075 kHz (which begins to fade toward the end):

I then searched through some spectrum recordings I made yesterday and discovered VOR’s American Edition broadcast on 9,395 kHz, starting at 23:00 UTC.

Even though this is the American Edition, I would have expected some mention of the news agency changes in the international news selection.

Ironically, VOR News prominently featured an article on their website yesterday regarding these changes within the state media. Indeed, it was the VOR News article that I posted yesterday on the SWLing Post.

Perhaps Putin’s move will actually make previous news reports regarding the demise of VOR on shortwave null and void? Only time will tell.

On a side note, I imagine this move by Putin could lower Russia’s position on the 2014 Press Freedom Index–they’re currently listed at 148 out of a possible 179 (with Finland in the number 1 position and Eritrea having the least press freedom at 179).

(Update: Please note that the title of this post used to read, “Voice of Russia news lacks any mention of sweeping changes to state news agency.” I’ve since updated the title to more accurately reflect my point, by replacing the word “news” with “broadcasts.”  I also added the audio from yesterday’s American Hour and removed some links to international media. Many thanks to those of you who pointed out my confusing message.)

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Putin liquidates the Voice of Russia, absorbed by Rossia Segodnya newswire

RUVR-VOR-VoiceOfRussiaLooks like the Voice of Russia will be a part of an extensive reorganization within the network of Russian state-run news agencies. No mention of shortwave service, other than previous articles we’ve posted. I can’t help but believe Dec 31st 2013 might be VOR’s last day on the shortwaves.

Read the full press release from VOR below:

(Source: Voice of Russia)

As of today, The Voice of Russia radio company has officially ceased to exist in its previous capacity and will merge with several other state-run news agencies to emerge as Rossia Segodnya, a Russia-based international news service.

Putin ‘liquidates’ RIA Novosti to replace it with global news agency Rossia Segodnya (Russia Today)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree abolishing RIA Novosti, one of the largest news agencies in Russia. RIA will be reborn into its second life as a global agency called Rossia Segodnya (Russia Today).

Rossia Segodnya will be headed by Dmitry Kiselyov, the Kremlin says. The headquarters of the newly-born agency will stay at the RIA office.

According to the official statement, Rossia Segodnya will also include the state-run Voice of Russia radio station.

President Putin has also given the Cabinet of Ministers a month to plan all events necessary to help the International News Agency “Rossia Segodnya” into existence and add it to the list of state-run strategic entities.

The fledgling agency will focus on informing foreign audiences about Russia’s policies and the way of life.

The President’s decree today reformed and did away with an entire bulk of state media. It abolished the State Fund of Television and Radio Programs, placing it under control of All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.

The same order has passed over the Russian Book Chamber, a federal scientific center, to the ITAR-TASS news agency.

The decree comes into force starting today, December 9.

Voice of Russia, TASS

Many thanks to Andrea Borgnino for this tip!

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Shortwave Radio Recordings: Voice of Russia

VoiceOfRussiaSyria is one of the biggest international news items at the moment. If you want to hear Russia’s side of the story, there’s no better place than via the Voice of Russia.

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Frank, for submitting this recording of the Voice of Russia English language service. Frank recorded this broadcast on September 14, 2013 starting at 22:00 on 9,465 kHz with his Kenwood R-5000 receiver.

Click here to download an MP3 of the broadcast, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

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CNN reports on new Voice of Russia studios in DC

Many long-time shortwave listeners may find it ironic that the likes of Voice of Russia now broadcasts from a studio in downtown Washington DC. I just read this news article posted on CNN about VOR’s new presence:

Jordan Hostetter doesn’t know it, but he’s a target. He’s a young professional living in Washington, curious about international events and listens to the radio while driving to work — just the kind of person Voice of Russia radio is trying to reach.

Changing American hearts and minds about Russia has been Voice of Russia’s mission since it first went on the air in 1929, broadcasting from Moscow via short-wave radio. It still does use short wave but with the Internet, Facebook and Twitter, that seems like a blast from the past.

It goes on to mention how, long-time rival, Voice of America has gone totally digital. Not totally true, in fact, but VOA is putting a major effort into moving off of the shortwave bands. As we mentioned previously, in their shortwave sunset plans, the BBG plans to keep shortwave alive in parts of the world where free speech is suppressed and where shortwave is the only option. They will, most likely, rent broadcasting time from other providers and shut down VOA-run facilities.

What was notable in this CNN article was a tidbit about a VOA attempt to do what their Russian counterpart is doing:

VOA says it tried to get a license to […] broadcast on local Russian radio in Russian to Russians. But Elez Biberaj, VOA’s Eurasia division director, says it was prevented from affiliating with Russian radio and television stations “because of threats and because of the pressure that the government brings on license holders.”

So, I guess, VOA will take on this objective with a web presence?

No doubt, our international broadcasting field is changing. I believe we’ll see more broadcasters following VOR and CRI’s local vector. Perhaps, in fact, this is just what our AM band needs.

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