Tag Archives: Why Shortwave

Australia: International broadcasting, soft power and the wisdom of the crowd

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nigel Holmes, who writes:

Here are a couple of interesting url following the joint Australian DFAT & DCA Review of Broadcasting Services in the Asia Pacific. [One] gives a good overview and the [other] is a concise assessment of HF and Radio Australia in the role of broadcasting to remote areas. Have a look. Former RA Head Jean-Gabriel Manguy made a submission, I did not this time. The submissions are in the public domain.

Click here to read Trevor Bird’s submission (PDF).

Click here to read Jean-Gabriel Manguy’s submission (PDF).

(Source: Lowy Institute – The Interpreter by Geoff Heriot)

International broadcasting: the ABC vs the wisdom of the crowd

The findings of two related government reviews – on international broadcasting, and soft power – should offer an incoming Australian government the potential of a substantial policy reset following the general election in May. Specifically, they may help clarify the purpose and place of state-funded international broadcasting/digital media in Australia’s foreign relations, following a decades-long cycle of investment and dis-investment.

Shortly before Christmas, the Department of Communications published most of the 433 submissions (92 private individuals, 31 organisations or groups, and 310 signatories to a pro-forma submission) made to the first of those reviews, Australian Broadcasting Services in the Asia Pacific, excluding those whose authors wished them to remain confidential. Finalisation of the broadcasting report precedes the related Soft Power Review, being undertaken by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which has proposed a completion date of around March.

So it is timely to take note of the wisdom of the crowd, as expressed through the more discursive submissions to the broadcasting review, and to compare them with the institutional perspective of the ABC as the responsible agency for international broadcasting.[…]

Click here to read the full article.

Spread the radio love

Why shortwave radio makes an idea “a powerful weapon”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Rich Cuff and Mike Hansgen who share the following Op Ed piece from the Sydney Morning Herald:

Warning: put down any power tools and ensure you’re not operating heavy machinery before you read the next sentence. We’ve been outflanked!

Of course, unless you’re completely benighted or under some sort of strange, personal news blackout that prevents you even glancing at the front pages of newspapers, you’ll probably have already realised that China is extending and developing its relations with our close Pacific neighbours. This was, after all, only to be expected. Beijing and Taipei have long recognised the value of these countries’ votes in the United Nations; it’s not much of a step from there to glance at the map and recognise the islands’ have other significance as well. As China began expanding its international reach it was only natural it would similarly strengthen other relationships, including defence links.

[…]Nature abhors a vacuum and so, as we’ve been demonstrating less and less interest in this region, others have occupied the space.

The clearest example of this has been the strategically idiotic, fiscally-driven and wilfully blind destruction of Canberra’s lone voice in the region, the (once vital) ABC shortwave service, Radio Australia.

Sure, the internet’s better than a crackly radio signal. But simply to access the net requires computers and bandwidth, neither of which are readily available to the audiences in the South Pacific. And even if someone can manage to obtain a connection, the next problem is finding services, particularly news and information ones, that are relevant to your situation.

Someone in Apia (Samoa) is unlikely to be transfixed by events in Adelaide (South Australia) unless, of course, it’s their Seven’s team playing at the oval. Similarly a person in Buka (Bougainville) is likely to be bored by reports from Belgrade or Bulgaria, although not information about BHP Billiton. RA provided an independent, reliable news service specifically dedicated to the needs of its audience. Critically, it offered a vital, secure and trusted way of connecting islanders to their capitals and, through that, to the world.

The big advantage of shortwave services was that they could be heard; were relevant; and formed a starting point for a community. But as far as the ABC was concerned the broadcasts were nothing more than a big bag of money to raid in order to boost its domestic budget.[…]

Read this full article at The Sydney Morning Herald.

Spread the radio love

“Shortwave radio evolves into an IoT network”

(Source: Maritime Digitalisation & Communications via Richard Cuff)

KNL Networks is building a mesh network of base stations on ships for securely transmitting operational and machinery data to shore

Shortwave radio can be used for data transmissions from ships to shore and between vessels as an alternative, or even complementary, service to satellite communications.

This is a long way from shortwave radio’s use for voice communications at sea, but KNL Networks has developed this technology to generate a data transportation network. It has built a mesh of multiple base stations and terminals on ships to provide a backbone for internet-of-things (IoT) solutions.

The dedicated IoT network is combined with military-grade security, pole-to-pole coverage and affordable pricing to make maritime IoT connections smarter, said KNL Networks chief executive Toni Linden.

He explained to Maritime Digitalisation & Communications that this shortwave radio network does not have the complexity or issues of satellite communications and can be scaled through simple vessel additions. “We have reinvented shortwave radio so that it is fully digital and automatic,” he said.[…]

Click here to read the full article.

Spread the radio love

Vanuatu asks Australia to restore shortwave to the Pacific

(Source: Asia Pacific Report via Mike Hansgen)

Shortwave radio saves lives and foreign aid dollars, says McGarry

Vanuatu has appealed to Australia to restore shortwave radio services to the Pacific region, after they were switched off by the ABC in 2017, reports Radio Australia.

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai said other forms of communication usually failed during natural disasters.

He added his voice on the final day for submissions to an Australian government review of broadcasting to the region, Linda Mottram reported yesterday on a segment of the PMprogramme.[…]

Click here to read the full story.

Spread the radio love

PNG: Bougainville considering a return to shortwave and FM expansion

(Source: Radio New Zealand via Mike, K8RAT and Joey, KE4DRJ)

The Papua New Guinea government is contemplating restoring short wave radio services to Bougainville, after they were shut down during the civil war.

[…]The Bougainville regional member in the PNG parliament, Joe Lera, has raised concerns that the region’s mostly rural population lacks access to information.

He said in the absence of other media these people can be won over by groups like former combatants pushing just one view – that of independence.

Mr Lera said the Minister of Communications, Sam Basil, will take a team from the national broadcaster to Bougainville later this month.

“His thinking is two options. One, national government to immediately buy two shortwave transmitters and bring Radio Bougainville back to where it was before the crisis, and two, we want to keep FM. He is also talking national government paying for two FM transmitters.”

Click here to read the full story at RNZ.

Spread the radio love