Sunday, March 20, 2011

Remembering Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal

I have been digging through more audio archives of about 15 years ago as I document the demise of international sound broadcasting, at least at the level we understood  16 years ago in 1995. Take this programme for instance. This was made just after Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal celebrated its official 50th anniversary with a great listener get together in Brussels and a visit to the shortwave transmitting centre in Wavre. What a great celebration it was of Belgian external radio broadcasting.

As we looked back in the archives we discovered Belgium has been active on shortwave for much longer than 50 years. Jacque van der Sichel, then director of RVI, has researched into the history and explains that Belgium’s appearance on the dial actually goes back 58 years. Just before the German invasion, the Belgian National Radio had been planning to upgrade the facilities in Ruiselede to improve reception of its programmes in other parts of the world. In fact, with war in Europe, the new high power facilities were moved to Africa, in the Belgian colony of Congo, now Zaire. Frans Vossen, media producer at the English department of Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal takes up the story. It's a shame that nothing seems to be left on line of these radio programmes from Brussels. Great archive recordings in this show.
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