Tag Archives: Why Shortwave

Burundi Bans VOA, BBC and other news sources

(Source: VOA News)

WASHINGTON —Burundi will continue to block broadcasts from two international media organizations and expand restrictions on their operations, the government announced Friday.

At a meeting in Bujumbura, the president of the National Council of Communication, Nestor Bankumukunzi, said the British Broadcasting Corp. and the Voice of America are no longer allowed to broadcast, effective immediately. The ban is indefinite and extends to journalists, both foreign and domestic, who provide information to either broadcaster.

“We are alarmed that reporters in Burundi are now forbidden to communicate with VOA and believe these continuing threats to our journalists undermine press freedom in the country,” VOA Director Amanda Bennett said. “We stand with the people of Burundi against those who are restricting their access to accurate and reliable news and information.”

The BBC condemned the decision, calling it “a serious blow against media freedom.”

Last May, the Burundi government suspended both news organizations for six months, a week before holding a referendum on a new constitution. The outlets have been off the air since.[…]

Click here to read the full story at VOA News.

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“A Shorten Government will bring short-wave radio back to the Northern Territory”

(Source: RadioInfo via Michael Bird)

The Shadow Minister for Financial Services, Clare O’Neil, has told ABC Radio Darwin that a Shorten Government will bring short-wave radio back to the Northern Territory, after it was disbanded by the ABC in 2017, saying restoring the service “is actually crucially important for safety in the Territory.

“Malarndirri (McCarthy) spoke earlier today about a gentleman who was out fishing, and he didn’t know about the cyclone because he didn’t have access to short wave radio. We know there are long haul trucks travelling around the Territory, and short-wave radio is crucial for them to understand what’s going on around them. So that’s why a Shorten Labor Government will bring this back.”

Asked if that meant that Labor would fund the million dollars or so to meet the expense, the Shadow Minister said “That’s correct” though she was unable to commit to any further expansion of the short-wave service outside of the NT.

Read more at: https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/labor-will-bring-back-short-wave-nt © Radioinfo.com.au

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Radio World: Koode Radio Aims to Reduce Conflict in Africa

(Source: Radio World via Mike Hansgen)

ABUJA, Nigeria — Koode Radio International, a new shortwave program with considerable goals, has begun broadcasting to much of Western Africa.

With programs in the Fulani (or Fula) language, KRI aims to “educate, enlighten and entertain” its listeners, the Fulbe people. This predominantly Muslim, nomadic herder and farmer group is spread across Africa from Senegal in the west to Lake Chad in the east. Dialects of the language are spoken in some 20 countries and the station chose the name “Koode” because it means “star” in all of the dialects.

Usman Shehu in the KRI studio in Abuja. Photos courtesy of KRI.
While some Fulbe are able to communicate via the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook, others cannot. Because a number of Fulbe are herders, they are not only beyond the range of the internet, but beyond the range of electricity.[…]

Click here to read the full article t Radio World online.

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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.

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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.

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