Tag Archives: WRMI

Skybird takes to the skies again

Hi all, this is Fastradioburst23 calling the SWLing Post community to let you know of the return of Free Radio Skybird with their Spring 2022 broadcast on shortwave this weekend.

This Sunday 15th May 2022 Free Radio Skybird is being beamed out of the WRMI transmitter from Miami on 9395 kHz at 1800 EST/2200 UTC. Expect some free radio goodness from DJ Frederick. Nice flyer by the way!

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KBIN – Bargain bin radio on shortwave this weekend

Firstly, a big hi to all of the SWLing Post community, this is Fastradioburst23 and I’m just letting you know of our new transmission called KBIN this coming weekend via WRMI.

It’s at 1800 EST/2022 UTC on Sunday 24th April 2022 on 9395 kHz and it’ll be a bargain bin bonanza of a broadcast. We’ve got some recycled radio including KMRT and WGTR (Golden Throats Radio) and some new tunes dumped in for good measure. Tune in and catch yourself a shortwave bargain!

UPDATE: The audio of the transmission is now online here.

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Radio Waves: Pacific Broadcasting, Podcasting Ancestor, Spamming Russia Comms, WRMI Tour, Shortwave Necessary, and SW Revival a Non-Starter

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!


Good news for Pacific regional broadcasting – bad news for locals (Asia Pacific Report)

Good news — an Australian parliamentary review recommends a more “expansive” media presence in the Pacific.

Bad news — little of that expansion envisions a role for island media.

Instead, the committee endorsed a proposal for “consultation” and the establishment of an independent “platform neutral” media corporation, versus the existing “broadcasting” organisation.

That proposal was among several points raised at two public hearings and nine written submissions as part of Australia’s “Pacific Step Up” programme, aimed at countering the growing regional influence of China.

Former long-time Pacific correspondent Sean Dorney last month told the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade that Australia was previously leading regional media spaces.

“But the vacant space that was left there when Australia Network disappeared, as people have said, has really been taken over by China,” he said.

“Throughout my time as the Pacific correspondent for the ABC, I saw this Chinese influence growing everywhere.”

[…]Taking up ten of 176 pages, the report’s media section is nonetheless seen as relatively comprehensive compared with the dismantling of broadcasting capacity in recent years.

This includes the literal dismantling of shortwave equipment in Australia despite wide protest from the Pacific region.

Nearly three years previously, a 2019 Pacific Media Summit heard that discontinuation of the shortwave service would save Australia some $2.8 million in power costs.

A suggestion from a delegate that that amount could be spent on $100,000 for reporters in each of 26 island states and territories was met with silence from ABC representatives at the summit.

However, funding would be dramatically expanded if the government takes up suggestions from the submissions to the joint committee. [Continue reading the full article…]

Pay Your Respects To Radio, The Ancestor Of Podcasting (Rolling Stone)

In the 1890s, Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi left a lasting legacy when he sent a wireless telegraph message via Morse Code to a recipient. By the turn of the 1900s, Marconi’s innovation would give rise to an entirely new industry, one focused on creating new ways for people to communicate even across vast distances: radio.

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, radio would not only play a major role in the international correspondence of countries fighting in both World Wars but it also became a widely popular phenomenon amongst the general public. By the mid-1920s, there were hundreds of licensed radio stations hosting news broadcasts, comedy shows, dramas, live music, sports programs and other forms of entertainment.

A century later, it’s not hard to spot the parallels between what made radio one of the most popular content mediums in history and the explosive growth of radio’s evolution in podcasting. Though there are some unique differences between the two mediums, I believe podcasters should still pay respect to how the evolution of radio gave rise to the advent of podcasting.

The Rise of Contemporary Audio Entertainment
On October 30, 1938 — the evening before Halloween — Orsen Welles hosted a radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’s science fiction novel, The War of the Worlds, “converting the 40-year-old novel into fake news bulletins describing a Martian invasion of New Jersey.” While Welles and his team reportedly had no intention to deceive listeners into believing the broadcast was in any way real, Welles would later go on to say in a 1960 court disposition about his desire to release the broadcast, “in such a manner that a crisis would actually seem to be happening…and would be broadcast in such a dramatized form as to appear to be a real event taking place at that time, rather than a mere radio play.” [Continue reading at Rolling Stone…]

Why Russian radios in Ukraine are getting spammed with heavy metal (The Economist)

Ukrainians are eavesdropping on the invaders and broadcasting on their frequencies

One of the many surprising failures of the Russian invasion force in Ukraine has been in radio communications. There have been stories of troops resorting to commercial walkie-talkies and Ukrainians intercepting their frequencies. This may not sound as serious as a lack of modern tanks or missiles, but it helps explain why Russian forces seem poorly co-ordinated, are falling victim to ambushes and have lost so many troops, reportedly including seven generals. What is going wrong with Russian radios? Continue reading

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Radio Waves: BBC WS extra funding, WRMI to Russia/Ukraine, Lviv Station’s Mission, Moscow Echo, and Former Tandy CEO Dies

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!


Ukraine war: BBC World Service granted extra funding (BBC News)

The BBC World Service will receive more than £4m in extra funding from the UK government to help counter disinformation about the Ukraine war.

The BBC made the request for the money, which will also be used by the Ukrainian and Russian language services to cover urgent and unexpected costs.

It welcomed the announcement and said the money would help relocate staff and operations to safe locations.

The two language services have had record audiences since the invasion.

The announcement on Wednesday followed a BBC request to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Foreign Office.

“The BBC has seen a big demand for clear, fact-based, impartial journalism to counter disinformation and our teams are working around the clock to bring people the very best independent journalism,” BBC director general Tim Davie said.

“This funding will also help us with the immediate need to support staff who have been displaced, many of whom are continuing to work and provide vital expertise to the whole of the BBC,” he added. [Continue reading…]

BBC gets emergency funding to fight Russian disinformation (Gov.UK)

£4.1 million in additional funding for BBC World Service to support Ukrainian and Russian language services in the region

The government is giving the BBC World Service emergency funding to help it continue bringing independent, impartial and accurate news to people in Ukraine and Russia in the face of increased propaganda from the Russian state.

BBC World Service will receive an additional £4.1 million in emergency funding to support its Ukrainian and Russian language services in the region, and to help it increase trusted and independent content to counter disinformation about the war in Ukraine.

BBC World Service channels – including TV, radio and digital – play an increasingly valuable role in challenging the Kremlin’s disinformation, but it is facing additional costs from operating within a military conflict and due to a crackdown on independent reporting in Russia.

Following a BBC request, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will provide the extra funding to cover urgent and unexpected costs that have arisen as a result of the conflict.

This will help the BBC to relocate staff and operations to safe locations to ensure the resilience of their services and that they continue to reach people in Russia and Ukraine.

The BBC will also use the funding to continue expanding new and more widely accessible content, delivered through a range of channels, to tackle disinformation and to help local audiences circumvent the Kremlin’s media restrictions and continue to access the BBC’s journalism.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said:

The Government is providing the BBC with an additional £4.1 million in emergency funding to help the World Service broadcast directly into Ukraine and Russia.

In scenes reminiscent of 80 years ago, the BBC will ensure that audiences in the region can continue to access independent news reporting in the face of systemic propaganda from a dictator waging war on European soil. It’s vital we lift the veil on and expose the barbaric actions of Putin’s forces.

Minister for Europe and North America, James Cleverly said:

Britain is calling out Putin’s lies and exposing his propaganda and fake news.

This new funding will help strengthen the BBC’s impartial voice in Russia and Ukraine, which is critical to counter Russian disinformation and will help ensure we win the battle for the airwaves.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The World Service receives funding from the BBC’s licence fee income, in addition to grant funding directly from the FCDO. The World Service’s Spending Review settlement for the period 2022 to 2025 from the FCDO will be confirmed shortly.

The Culture Secretary made it clear to the BBC in her letter confirming the final licence fee settlement that the BBC should continue to make a substantive investment from the licence fee into the World Service to ensure that it continues to effectively reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world – in English and through its language services.

Russia, Ukraine Get News From Shortwave Radio Station In South FL (Patch)

Radio Miami International (WRMI)? is working with Shortwaves for Freedom to transmit news to Russia and Ukraine during the war.

OKEECHOBEE, FL — When the commercial shortwave radio station Radio Miami International — which operates under the call letters WRMI — got its start in 1989, its primary focus was helping Cuban exile groups in Miami legally transmit programming to their homeland.

Since then, the station has broadcast news during all sorts of trying times — the Gulf War, hurricanes, earthquakes, other natural disasters.

Now, 30 years later, at a time when Instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms rule when it comes to communication, WRMI finds itself in a unique position during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Working with several organizations and government groups, the station is broadcasting news programming to both Russians and Ukrainians who have access to shortwave radios.

“We’ve been through all sorts of crises. This is one of the biggest,” said Jeff White, the station’s general manager.

When the station launched three decades ago, Radio Miami International worked with Cuban exiles and Latin American groups to find existing shortwave stations where they could buy airtime to broadcast shows. [Continue reading…]

Lviv radio gets ‘new mission’ after Russian invasion (Yahoo News)

The Lvivska Khvylya local radio station in west Ukraine changed its broadcast output dramatically the day Russia invaded the country.

The first thing staff did was to ease off on the entertainment programming and ramp up coverage of the war for their tens of thousands of listeners. Continue reading

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CBS Miami features WRMI and the “Shortwaves for Freedom” campaign

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Dura, who shares the following article from CBS Miami:

Shortwave Radio Signal From Florida Cow Pasture Reaches Russia Carrying Latest News (CBS Miami)

Click here to view on YouTube.

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A massive shortwave radio antenna sits in a cow pasture north of Lake Okeechobee in Central Florida.

“We have 14, 100,000-watt transmitters and 23 antennas beaming to all parts of the world,” said Jeff White, the general manager of Miami-based WRMI.

The multi-signal station is said to be one of the largest shortwave radio operations in the world.

WRMI stands for Radio Miami International and worldwide coverage means it can easily send signals into Ukraine and Russia.

Shortwave is old school technology, think of World War II or the Cold War, as American-produced news beamed behind the iron curtain. Now, during the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has shut down journalism as we know it.

Kate Neiswender, one of the guiding lights behind funding news programming for Russian audiences, said, “they were going to pass a law making journalism essentially illegal, facing a 15-year criminal penalty.”

Neiswender and fellow former journalists formed a fundraiser to beam news into Russia, where state-controlled media, at best, does not tell the true story of the invasion and many Russian citizens have no clue about the severity of the invasion.

“This is a journalistic pursuit more than anything else,” said Neiswender. [Continue reading at CBS Miami…]

Click here to read our previous post about Shortwaves for Freedom and contribute to the campaign here.

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“Shortwaves for Freedom” campaign is funding VOA and RFE/RL programming

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who brought the “Shortwaves for Freedom” fundraising (crowdsource) campaign to my attention.

I’ve confirmed with WRMI that this campaign is legitimate and that they are purchasing time from WRMI to broadcast VOA and RFE/RL into Russia and Ukraine.

Here’s the description of the mission behind their campaign:

The people in Russia, as well as those in Ukraine and other countries where Russian, Ukrainian and English are spoken in the imperiled region, need to hear the truth about the carnage President Putin has unleashed.

With Moscow silencing foreign media in Russia, threatening to send reporters to jail and censoring all war information, objective outside information is critically needed not only for Russia, but also for Ukraine and surrounding countries.

Such content, produced by the U.S. government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is being disseminated on the internet and TV. But these Russian, Ukrainian and English language programs are not being distributed through the simplest technology that skirts censorship and internet shutdowns — shortwave (and medium wave) radio.

The parent agency of VOA and RFE/RL, the U.S. Agency for Global Media, apparently has decided not to air such transmissions (unlike the BBC). As these programs are in the public domain, we plan to air them live and on tape delay by purchasing air time on commercial shortwave stations in the United States and Europe. These powerful transmitters (with hundreds of thousands of watts and large antenna systems) can easily reach Russia, Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe where hundreds of millions of people still listen to radio. These potential listeners will be alerted through social media as to what frequencies and times to listen for these critical programs.

We need your help to pay for the transmission costs until there comes a time when USAGM (like BBC) can be persuaded to utilize its own facilities (which are paid for by U.S. taxpayers).

Even a small donation will make a difference as airtime can be obtained for as little as $50 for a 30-minute slice of airtime that can be potentially heard around the world. Of course, the more money we raise gives us access to more powerful transmitters and more airtime.

This group has been started by members of the general public, policy professionals, academics, radio enthusiasts and others who feel this is a critical mission at a critical time. Help us be a part of world history. After all, jazz music aired by the VOA and the allure of blue jeans is credited with bringing down the Iron Curtain as much as anything else!

You can play a crucial role in this exercise of soft power to counter the guns, rockets and missiles of the Russian army intent on exterminating the Ukrainian nation and possibly other freedom-loving sovereign states.

Click here to check out this campaign.

After confirming this campaign with Jeff, I contributed.

Although I’m fully aware that Russia’s younger citizens may have never even heard of shortwave, my guess is that some in the older generation have.  According to a report I read recently, Russia’s older generation are the ones who tend to trust Russian state media and propaganda.

But as this CCN report points out, Russian state media is showing a consistent false narrative to all of its citizens and are also making it nearly impossible for any other independent news sources to broadcast within or into Russia. Many international broadcasters have been pulling out of Russia for fear of being arrested. The penalties if you’re labeled as “fake news” or if you protest what the Kremlin is doing in Ukraine are stiff–many carry 15 year jail sentences.

If you’d like to support this effort, check out the Shortwaves for Freedom campaign on FundRazr.

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