Tuesday, December 10, 2019

MN.10.December 2019. The Lifeline Video Documentary

From 1980 to 2000, I produced and hosted a communications magazine on Radio Netherlands, the Dutch International broadcasting service. We made over 1000 editions of Media Network. Just over half of those shows still survive and are now on-line. Since then I have travelled the world several times in search of the stories of what made shortwave international broadcasting such a fascinating place to be towards the end of the 20th century. I am currently exploring what’s left of the Radio Netherlands archive.

Here’s one discovery. In 1997 I contributed to a documentary commissioned by Radio Netherlands TV department, released on the 70th anniversary of international broadcasting, or so we thought at the time. It looks rather slow paced by today’s standards of documentary producing. But there is some rather rare footage of Radio Tirana in Albania. If you were listening to a shortwave radio at the end of the last century many of these names will be familiar.




Monday, December 02, 2019

MN.07.03.1996. The AOR 7030 Review


Silly girlfriend opening. Tim Hendel asked about the Sony ICF100T. Irish Eyes are smiling in County Mayo. MidWest Radio, Box 1, Mayo Ireland is making programmes in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Irish, St Patricks Day starts at 12 -16 UTC.  11715 kHz using 250 kW. We broadcast our in-depth review the AOR-7030 first production line. Retails in the UK at 799 pounds. Our review proved to be quite controversial in the UK, even though the conclusions were very positive.  Arthur Cushen has news about the Cook Islands.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Friday, November 15, 2019

MN.21.11.1996 ICFSW1


A warm welcome on a wintry day. Receiver survey feedback reveals shortwave sales are dropping. Voice of Nigeria has returned to the air.  WRTH reports that Radio Jordan has expanded its output. Independent receiver review Sony ICFSW-1.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.12.12.1996 Baygen


A week of shifting emphasis. Radio Vlaanderen International cancels German, Arabic and Spanish. They have decided to use Juelich site in Germany for broadcasts to Europe. In Indonesia private stations will, at last, be able to air their own news programmes instead of just relaying RRI. Donald McDonald of the ABC explains how they are going to cut 27 million AUS dollars from their budget. We look at the end of Sport7, a shortlived commercial network in the Netherlands. We investigate the strange new business network called Stocks and Funds based in Atlanta. Dennis Thompson, ex BBC Frequency Manager has been asked to set up the schedule. The programme concludes with a visit Diana made to the Baygen Freeplay clockwork radio factory in South Africa.  


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.24.10.1996. soho


A news and science features edition of the programme. Victor Goonetilleke reports a problem on Radio Netherlands CIS relay – a loud hum. Arthur Cushen reports wider distribution of Radio Netherlands Dutch language material in New Zealand via Echo Radio. Space feature: We report on the European SOHO project and the results of the coronagraphs. Interview with Piet Maartens on the line from the Goddard Space Centre. We investigate a new top-level communications receiver one of the first software driven DSP receiver the Kneisner+Doering KWZ 30. We never got the chance to review the set because shortly after introduction one of the founders passed away. Interview with Hans Juergen Kneisner. Mike Bird comments on why shortwave receivers in Australia are so expensive. There is a 37% tax on sets and the market is small. Lou Josephs updates online audio. There has been a problem with compatibility. Netscape announces several new versions of their browser suite.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.20.07.1995. SES ASTRA


Will Ireland to return to shortwave? Michael Collins advises us of a radio conference in the West of Ireland where the keynote speaker will be Simon Spanswick. There is an extensive visit to SES Astra in Luxembourg. We get the tour from Yves Feltes. When the steel industry went down, the Luxembourg government looked for ways to diversify its economy. Satellites were the answer. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Thursday, November 14, 2019

MN.08.06.1995 Peru


A regular edition of the programme. Across the Americas opening. We take a call from Lima Peru and talk to George McLintock station manager WWCR which has been airing some controversial programmes on shortwave. Victor Goonetilleke reports what’s going on in the Sri Lankan conflict between the government and the Tamil Tigers. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.22.11.1990 - Prague Velvet Revolution


One year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, radio colleague Kim Andrew Elliott jumped in my car and we toured some of the famous Eastern European radio stations. We went to Budapest, Prague and Berlin sending faxes in advance in the hope of getting the station tour. In Prague we were given a grand tour of Radio Prague and heard from several people what it was like to work in the English section. We also went to see Radio Free Europe (photo) operating from the old Czech parliament building. Studios were inside mobile vans on the floor of the building because permanent changes to the building were not allowed. I thought this edition of the programme was lost because the tape went missing. Luckily a CD copy has survived. Nice to hear the voice of the late Olrich Chip (Peter Skala) once again.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

DXJB.7.01.1981 - Hunt for USSR Stations


Many recordings of the predecessor of Media Network were not preserved. There was pressure on producers to recycle tapes since the large 30-minute reels cost 25 Euro each in those days. However, I quickly argued that many of the documentaries and Media Network specials would have value later - and I'm glad I put tapes aside for later. When I took over "DX Juke Box" in August 1980, the first thing I did was replace the music with features about broadcasting. The quality of phone calls was still poor, but we could be far more topical. In January 1981 I made this feature with several guests, including Richard Measham of BBC Monitoring, where we explored the changes at Radio Moscow and also spoke with those who were fascinated about the complex Soviet media scene. Remember that very little was published about this vast network of transmitters in the West. The programme concludes with off-air recordings of several Soviet stations. Remember this is a programme I made 38 years ago. No Internet. No Facebook. Just a shortwave radio and a tape recorder. The episode photo was taken in 2010 at the offices of the independent media publishers in Moscow. Fascinating to hear those stories too. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Saturday, October 26, 2019

MN.25.07.1996. Not Atlanta


While the rest of the media was focussing on the Olympic Games in Atlanta, we ran an "Olympics Free" Programme...well almost. Problems for journalists in Atlanta with reporters being refused access to events. Lou Josephs discusses Macromedia and ActiveX technology. We link up with Christian Voice in Zambia and ask why it decided to broadcast only in English. Incidentally, as of 2019, the station is still on the air https://onlineradiobox.com/zm/christianvoice.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN,26.09.1996 Receiver Survey


Richard Richter announces the new name for US surrogate broadcasting to Asia: Radio Free Asia They keep quiet about the transmitter sites and the frequencies. We dip into your letters including insights from Japan. AsiaSat is going to have difficulty getting listening in Japan.  We launch a challenge for listeners to find an MPEG-2 satellite receiver in their city – no-one could find one. Apart from the news that Ireland is returning to shortwave for sports commentaries, most of this edition is devoted to calling up shortwave receiver dealers to get a feel of how things are changing.

The Internet is having an impact on the level of shortwave listening, at least in the USA.  Bob Grove in Brasstown North Carolina explains that the hobby of shortwave listening is in trouble. Fred Osterman of Universal Shortwave, though, was more optimistic, pointing to the softness in the US economy. John Day runs a shop in Australia. The Kenwood R-5000 receivers are popular there. Hans Doeven in the North of the Netherlands says his sales market is shifting towards the maritime market. Lowe Electronics says the German market is soft. They are promoting their HF-150 in Asia. Richard Robinson from EEB in Vienna, Virginia says the high-end portables are doing well.  


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.10.10.1996 Grand Antenna Show


Complete schedule of RNW in English in advanced of the winter transmission season.  Interesting to see how extensive the schedule was in 1996. Also, there is an extensive explanation by Jonathan Marks giving tips on how to build an antenna in your garden. It updates a publication that Radio Netherlands published in the 1970’s. Perhaps you remember - Give your antenna some air? There is a curious sign-off from voice over champion Jim Cutler.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.22.08.1996. New Season


An interesting catch-up show as we re-convene for a new season of Media Network. Diana Janssen is back from Asia and has some concerns about how the pace of change is leading to discussions of censorship. Andy Sennitt explains about challenges in Belarus. WorldSpace seems to be expanding. Karl Miosga of WRN explains a plan to carry their network overnight on SAFM. Alok Das Gupta has a new edition of his South-Asia listening guide. ORF KurzwellenPanorama (photo of editor Wolf Harranth) and MN celebrate 15 years of collaboration. Lou Josephs has been testing Shockwave from Macromedia. NOS has abandoned plans to produce a regional TV magazine


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.20.06.1996. Channel Africa


Plenty of radio news in this edition of the programme. We talk to Flame Nieuwenhuizen about the future finances of Channel Africa. The station has been saved and moved to become part of the SABC. Radio ABC Denmark is to start up in 7570 kHz using 150 kW via Kaliningrad. The Voice of Tibet has started up from studios in Oslo, Norway. It goes out via the Seychelles. They are on 15445 kHz at 1145. They claim to have funding from private investors. Victor Goonetilleke reports the station is coming from FEBA in Seychelles. We review the Sony ICFSW600 receiver which has 9 SW bands on it. Jelle Boonstra reports a new series about Jingles on Dutch domestic radio.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.01.08.1996. Pacific Island Stations


This edition focused on the future of digital satellite television. We started with an Interview with Scott Zimmer of Echostar about the growing direct satellite television service. They have just launched the DISH network. They also plan data services including educational programmes. All this was the forerunner of what was the set-top box. But the price? Between 1000 and 2000 US dollars. 30% of US households have purchased PC’s of one type or another. There is controversy as to whether these systems will ever be two-way. We linked up with Arthur Cushen to find out about the sale of stations in New Zealand. There is also accusations of censorship and financial problems for stations on the Pacific islands. We talk about the new ATS909 receiver from Sangean. 9590 kHz has some interference problems from Channel Africa. Leo Kohl explains they had to go off the air in Bonaire for a few hours because freak weather threatened to push sand into the heat exchanges. Radio Australia’s Carnavon transmitters.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN 04.07.1996 DAB Gender


This edition starts with feedback from the answer line. DAB Radio E. As July 1st sees the daily email news service begins. NOS Gender Portrayal department is shutting down after 5 years which confirm rather traditional views about the way women are portrayed in Dutch media. Only 10% of the interviewed experts on the radio are women. We announce the 750 anniversary contest results. We gave away 50 CD anniversary. Arthur Cushen reports that there has been a lot of snow in Invercargill, New Zealand. He has been hearing a lot of Caribbean and Columbian stations on mediumwave. There is a new Nigerian clandestine via Meyerton, South Africa. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, September 29, 2019

MN.08.08.1996 Early Fake News


We are recording this edition of the programme in advance because of Diana’s upcoming Asian trip. Andrew Rodgers reports that he heard us on the Astra satellite mucking around in the studio 1 preparing jingles with Jim Cutler. We explain what happened. Lou Josephs has launched a new newsletter from Washington DC. He discusses what we would call Fake News today and how cookies can spy on your Internet activity. Profile of the new Radio France Internationale with Eric Baptiste.  6000 jobs to go at Philips in their audio/video divisions as part of Operation Centurion. CDI and DCC were disasters


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.17.10.1996.BFBS Germany


Ginger da Silva announces that Radio Netherlands will switch from 1440 kHz via Luxembourg to 1512 via Radio Vlaanderen International.  SKY Channel is now turning a profit. It will cost 200 million pounds for Sky to go digital. Lou Josephs gives the secret site for the FCC search. RTB will not be starting a shortwave service. Diana Janssen is off to Chile to attend a major media conference in Santiago. We review a designer-driven shortwave receiver. P-2000 is a new travel portable from Grundig Europe. There is a new book out about the BFBS in Germany. The author is Alan Grace and we spoke with him. It started in North Africa in Algiers. There was even a forces station in Iceland.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.14.11.1996 Language AI Stasi


Professor John Campbell answered questions about the future of artificial intelligence and language recognition. It is hard to believe this was recorded in 1995! Campbell, as usual, was spot on. Listening to certain radio stations like Radio RSA in India can get you in trouble. Wolf Harranth of ORF’s Kurzwellen Panorama has been looking at the extent of monitoring of DXers by the Stasi in Eastern Germany. We have since visited the Stasi HQ in Berlin - the museum is highly recommended.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Friday, September 27, 2019

MN.13.11.1997. BVN


BVN and the future of Television: Lodewijk Bouwens (in photo) explains that Wereldomroep TV will get a permanent status as from January 1st 1998. Mike Bird reports on large geomagnetic storm, the 4th largest since records began. Radio New Zealand has been reporting some very bad weather in the Pacific, especially in the Cook Islands. Tahiti seems to have gone off the air, 15167 kHz is silent. BBC has stopped recordings of its news bulletins in New Zealand. Media Network visits NEWSWORLD for newsmakers. There was clearly a crisis of confidence amongst professionals. 24hr news channels not thought to be viable. The late Allister Sparks was quite outspoken, saying it was a first world broadcaster conference. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allister_Sparks . Chris Cramer from CNN claimed only CNN and BBC were serious about international news.  Coping with sudden spikes in demand when news breaks is a challenge. 400-500 people can watch at the same time with online video. RTE has hired shortwave time to broadcast commentary on the World Cup. Julian Isherwood has a programme online from Copenhagen. http://www.isherwood.dk/contact.html


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.28.09.1995 Victor


This was a general news programme with an indepth interview with Victor Goonetilleke who was visiting The Netherlands. European winter time has started. People using electronic mail more and more. InfoDutch promo. News from WRTH editorial office. In-depth Interview with Victor Goonetilleke.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.12.10.1995 Frits Thors


Hilversum 3 opening with song by Herman van Veen.  Jonathan’s annoying tie. Anniversaries. Hilversum 3 and Nederland resumes broadcasts to the Dutch East Indies. Interview with Frits Thors. 30 years since the creation of Hilversum 3. We find out more about the Trondheim student radio in Norway. Answerline number has changed. Tim Hendel enjoyed the wind-up clockwork radio. Arthur Cushen has news from the Pacific. Review of new 1996 edition of Passport to World Band Radio. We also talk to Craig Sigenthaler of KIWA electronics. Photo of Frits Thors via Polygoon Hollands Nieuws - Cut from File:WEEKNUMMER461-HRE00013A19.ogv / Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid / NOS Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid / NOS, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10564395


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.09.06.1994.Kalingrad


This edition of Media Network was salvaged from a cassette and a few seconds before Chris Greenway you will hear that a bit is missing. Radio Netherlands using is a transmitter near Kalingrad, Russia for a European reception. At the time it was one of the world's most powerful transmission sites on MW. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolshakovo_transmitter There was a problem with interference to RNW on 6020 from Moscow. We cross to Chris Greenway for news about Radio Moscow. Major expansion of Radio France International of 430 million francs over 4 years. There were two projects one in Djibouti which was abandoned. We also hear about plans for the Internet broadcasting System. They will put up to 2 hours of audio on the Internet. We also spoke with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Malamud Carl Malamud who put up various data (like all US patents). Philips will put a couple of million into the development of DAB radios. We review the AOR 3030, made by a scanner manufacturer. Willem Bos has been putting it through its paces. Here is a link to a catalogue https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/commrxvr/ar3030.html


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Monday, August 12, 2019

MN.12.08.2019. A visit with Dan Robinson Episode 1

This is the first in a new series of Media Network special video safaris, investigating the long slow fadeout of shortwave international broadcasting. Today's guest is Dan Robinson. We talk at length about the magic of shortwave receivers, international broadcasting and his 34 year career at the Voice of America.

Since Libsyn is an audio podcast network, please watch this episode on vimeo using this link. 

 

I remember filling in US visa forms in the plane and using the zipcode 20547 when asked for a hotel address. 330 Independence Avenue was easy to remember and I had heard it mentioned so many times on the air.

This is an in-depth video, and designed to ensure that important stories about international broadcasting are preserved. We may make a more popular, shorter version at a later stage. But for the moment, I am grabbing the stories long form while I can. Suggestions welcome to a special e-mail address: medianetworknewseries@gmail.com


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Saturday, August 03, 2019

MN.15.01.1998. Boundless & RNZI


Crazy opening with Coco Jambo. Radio New Zealand may be axed. We spoke with Linden Clark (photo) who explains the importance of RNZI, producing some 30 bulletins of news each day. Shortwave still makes sense because of the vast distances. There are problems with the license of independent station Star Radio in Monrovia, Liberia. They are funded by USAID. We look at the challenges facing documentary makers. We compare the glory days of radio theatre, programmes like The Shadow and Tales of Two Cities. Lots of quotes from Orson Welles. He explains that most directors and writers are actors. We have another visit to the documentary festival “Boundless Sound” in Amsterdam and hear from Chris Brooks of the CBC. ABC Australia argues that the “Listening Room” project works. Michiel Matszer says there may be too many documentaries being made in the Netherlands. 20-30,000 listeners daily, but each documentary may take a month to produce. Victor Goonetilleke explains the launch of student radio. The SLBC loaned a 50-watt transmitter, especially at science festival. He also reports Myanmar is being heard quite well in North America. Mike Bird’s report comes from a phone box, as Mike is on holiday.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.24.03.1994 -schedule changes and Capital Radio


Shortwave radio stations shifted their frequencies to cope with changing propagation conditions. It was often quite challenging to find where your favorite station had gone to when the summer schedule started. Although it may sound boring to read lists of times and frequencies, as in this edition of Media Network, there really was no other way unless you had one the station's programme schedules. Radio Mozambique is facing severe problems both technical and financial. We promote our "email facility". Radio Norway may close down its Fredrikstad transmitter. The Grundig Yacht Boy 320 and 360 has been announces. These sets costs around 150 Dollars. JIngle Feature: We look at the Dutch evangelist Johan Maasbach and how offshore radio disk jockeys would imitate the style of the religious sponsor. BBC World Service has closed its monthly magazine. Radio Netherlands launches new jingles for 1440 kHz from Hans Hoogedoorn.  


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.21.12.1994. EBS and Basicode


This was a news update edition of the programme. Tony Barratt pays us a nice compliment. Lou Josephs reports about the newly expanded AM band above 1600 kHz. US Digital Radio is failing. BBC has announced that DAB demos will be made in Berlin in the Funkausstellung in 1995. We also look at the future of the Emergency Broadcast System as the US moves to a digital service. Who remembers the CONALRAD?  Do you remember to BASICODE experiments in 1992? Optimod killed it. What happened to the AM data system to help spread schedule data in real time? Pierre Schwab in Hong Kong explains ID-Logic. Tom Sundstrom reports problems with the Mali transmitter of China Radio International. HAARP in Alaska is getting ready. Louis Slesin of Microwave News is critical. Voice of Russia has started using a new directional antenna on 1215 kHz, causing grief to Virgin Radio in the UK. Radio Free Europe/VOA has a new service from Holzkirchen on 1593. BBC Monitoring has completed an extension of its facilities in Caversham.  


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.08.12.1994. Veronica and Zambia


A news edition of the programme. Radio Tirana is now hiring out airtime on 1395 kHz. Trans World Radio signs on from the 1 MW transmitter in Albania. This is causing a bit of a headache in the Netherlands where Newsradio1395 is being planned by Veronica. Diana Janssen investigates. Piet van Tellingen from NOS Radio 1 thinks it won’t work – but then he would say that. BBC Radio 1 has left mediumwave. TalkRadio is to launch in its place. Dutch troops captured in Bosnia have been listening to Radio Netherlands as their only way of finding out what was going on. Because they knew their captors might understand the word “radio”, they gave the station the codename strawberry instead. We also play the solarplexis joke. The call of the FishEagle used to be the only identification out of Zambia. That was the government broadcaster Radio Zambia. We now follow-up on a new christian station called Christian Voice which has now gone on the air. We find out the details of how it has been organised and the technical details of the transmitter. A UK singer living in Denmark has released an album of songs about amateur radio called SEEKYOU. James Robinson reported on a new country radio network on Astra. Victor Goonetilleke reports on the 5th anniversary of the South Asian DX-SWL net on 7080 kHz +/-. An amateur radio operator has gone on the air in Palestine backed by Yassar Arafat.. Sam Voran’s Radio Free Somalia is back on the air. Arthur Cushen has been following up.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.02.06.1994 Soros moves to Prague


A news edition of the programme (i.e. plenty of short items). 

Richard Measham of BBC Monitoring Services explains that Radio Metropolis in Prague will start a commercial radio service on shortwave including programmes in English. Jeff White reports about the demise of La Voz del CID, the Cuban clandestine run by Cuban exiles. The FCC has a new bulletin board. VLQ9 Brisbane heard in Europe. Mike Bird investigates and discovers it’s a new channel for Radio Australia. George Soros announces it will take over the 15 million items in the RFE/RL archives and move them to Prague. Radio D-Day from Bournemouth is currently on the air. Radio Kiwi has announced a schedule of test broadcasters. Jeff White explains at WRMI. Radio Dnesti International,  broadcasts three times a week heard on 15290 kHz.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Thursday, August 01, 2019

MN.19.09.1994.WillemBos


A news edition of the programme. Radio Netherlands is closing the Arabic, French and Portuguese shortwave broadcasts after a re-organisation. Holland FM transmissions noted 1224 kHz. Radio Moscow is stopping its broadcasts in several languages including Dutch and Afrikaans. Australian TV’s future is in doubt because of high costs. There were questions when it was revealed that companies had paid to be part of the public service programming. Another review of Radio Australia has been set up. Hans Bakhuizen updates us on DAB’s launch, expected in Berlin in 1995 and the ESA Archimedes project.

Visit to IBC 1994 in Amsterdam. Jeff Cohen explains MPEG compression and the plans for the World Radio Network. Arthur Cushen has been following the crisis surrounding the volcano eruption in Papua New Guinea. We also talk with Dutch radio engineer, Willem Bos, about the trend to launch cheaper communications receivers under 1000 US dollars.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

MN.09.06.1994. Guiana Car Radios


Media Network grew in the mid-nineties because of topical input from its listeners who volunteered information. This was in an age before email and phone calls abroad were very expensive. That may help to explain the shoeshine sketch at the start of this news edition of the programme. This coming winter the lower sunspot numbers will mean difficult reception in the lower frequencies. Radio Thailand external services is now using the VOA Udorn transmitter site. SRI is now operating via French Guiana. SRI talks about its shortwave signal via Monsinery, French Guiana as well as satellite feeds to stations in Brazil. Lou Josephs reports that the Philips car radio DCC811 will only have the 49 metre band on it. Lowe radio is expanding in North America. Universal Radio has published a new utility guide. Lou Josephs explains that audio downloads from VOA are still rather slow through dial-up. Holland FM is to start shortly on 1224 kHz via the Communicator. Some of the stations in the Ukraine appear to be off the air. Also some Russian stations have disappeared. Ghana has also disappeared from Shortwave. Arthur Cushen has tuning tips from Invercargill, New Zealand including news that the BBC World Service AM frequencies are up for sale.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, July 14, 2019

MN.04.08.1994. KGEI


KGEI signed off for the last time. We trace the history of the station from the days when it was started by General Electric on Treasure Island for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. But now the costs of running this religious station out of Redwood City make no sense at all. We also find out about plans for a shortwave religious radio station in Zambia, Christian Voice. They will have a 100 kW transmitter serving a 1500 km radius. Karl Miosga explains expansion plans at World Radio Network in London.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.17.11.1994 East German psyops


We look at a mysterious station OPS which used to operate on 1430 kHz aimed at the US forces in Berlin. It was presumed to come from the Nalepastrasse, home of Radio Berlin International. Jonathan Marks visited to find out more about the BBC Networking Club. A small team of 8 people set up the club including a Bulletin board called Auntie. They started an Archive library. BBCNC started with 500 members. They were also trying to make the schedules of BBC World Service easier to understand. In 1994 there were an estimated 30 million users of the Internet.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.13.04.1994.WashingtonEasterIsland


This edition came from Washington DC where an international broadcasting meeting was being held at VOA Headquarters. There were major cuts announced to US International broadcasting. We did an interview with Worldspace founder, Noah Samara, who had a whole string of promises as a result of working with Motorola on satellite receivers. Gordon Harold of the BBC and an engineer from EBU comment on whether the Eureka 147 standard is suitable for satellite receivers. Terry Hargreaves of RCI says Canada has already made a decision for satellite DAB. In the final part of the programme, we chat with Alfonso Montealegre, media editor for Radio Netherlands Latin American service. He recounts his DXpedition to Easter Island and its radio links with Chile. Mike Bird closes with the propagation report.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.15.12.1994. RadioMoscow


Delighted to discover a cassette copy of this programme because the original Master has been lost. It includes a visit to Radio Moscow by Frans Suasso, former deputy programme chief at Radio Netherlands in the early 1990's. He was an authority on Eastern Europe, especially on the dramatic changes going on in the former Soviet Union. In 1994 he did a tour of Eastern Europe. This was the era where Russia had opened up its transmitting facilities and was relaying Western broadcasters (including Radio Netherlands) to the Middle East and Asia. Frans got to talk to Boris Belitsky, who presented programmes like "Science and Engineering". Boris was remarkably candid about the old days". We also found out more about the vast switching centre in Moscow at the heart of the largest radio transmitting network on the planet. We also had a correction to an item on WQEW which Arthur Cushen had been hearing in New Zealand. Robert Mugabe has inaugurated Zimbabwe's external service. Diana Janssen updates us on disappearance of Radio Gatashia and the role that radio was playing in the Rwandan genocide. Andy James gives us more information about Christian Voice in Zambia which has just signed on. Andy Sennitt has a round-up of tuning tips including the news that Radio Caroline is back on mediumwave.  


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Friday, July 05, 2019

MN.11.12.1997 - Eastern Europe reportage


After a few programme announcements and the propagation report, we presented a mini-documentary looking at various Western international broadcasters and their role in Eastern Europe. While stations like Radio Berlin International disappeared, stations like Radio France Internationale did deals with local radio stations in Bucharest, Romania. Obviously FM stations had running costs so nothing was for free. But exactly how much stations were paying for distribution on FM was often kept secret.  This programme was made with a lot of input from Eric Beauchemin who was travelling in the region for other Radio Netherlands' programmes. The photo I made in Bucharest in 2007, where it was clear to see that the RFI relay was still going strong. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, January 13, 2019

MN.28.10.1982 European TV


I recall that several of the early experiments in Europe wide satellite broadcasting by public broadcasters started on the top floor of one of the villas in the Emmastraat in Hilversum. Its started on the Orbital Test Satellite which required a huge dish to receive it. In this early episode of Media Network we talked to Klaas Jan Hindriks who was one of the early pioneers. The IBA from the UK explains about plans for direct satellite broadcast television in 1986. We suggest to Joop Acda, DG of Radio Netherlands, that this might be an opportunity for RNW. The programme concludes with the BASICODE promo (the famous Sherlock jingle from Pete Myers) and DX News from Victor Goonetilleke. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.26.05.1982 EDXC Lesotho


This edition of the programme is from the early series of Media Network. We were very much focused on the Falkands War at the time, and this programme was a catch-up show to report on other things. Richard Ginbey was a broadcaster who worked in South Africa, New Zealand, and Namibia. I think he was unique in recording and compiling what he heard on his shortwave radio. In this edition he traces the history of broadcasting in Lesotho. I think he used cassettes, so the editing must have been challenging. I think he cued up the clips and played them in to his live presentation. Some people may also remember him from the DX programme he ran on Radio Portugal - the Voice of the West. Wim van Amstel reports on his visit to the European DX Council in Cologne. This was an era when there was very little contact between shortwave broadcasters and their listeners. We also reviewed the Directory of World Band radio from Sony, concluding that it wasn't of much use. We spoke with Pat Gowen, G3IOR, (pictured) about the work of AMSAT and how the findings may have to modify our thoughts about radio propagation. Pat passed away in August 2017. The programme concludes with Arthur Cushen who had been hearing some amazing transpacific signals on mediumwave.  


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Saturday, January 12, 2019

MN.18.11.1982 ANC Radio Freedom


We started with a critical letter from William O'Dickerman who wants more tuning tips about English stations. Andy Sennitt also suggests that there isn't enough news. As Leonid Brezhnev was laid to rest, Radio Moscow said that there was a 5 minute silence across the country. We found that it didn't include the jamming stations. Richard Hunt queries if Philips is getting into the domestic satellite TV business. We visit Dennis Powell at radio station WOR in New York and marvel at their recent use of satellite feeds which improve the audio quality. We look at the priorities for news stations in New York.  We spoke to the people behind Radio Freedom which was raising awareness for its shortwave broadcasts in the Netherlands. The programme concludes with DX tips from Dan Robinson. (This recording was made off the transmission line in Bonaire which explains the AM sound rather than usual studio quality).


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.25.11.1982 Suriname


A rather mixed bag this week. Pete Myers reports that the UN may make it difficult for countries to start direct broadcast satellite transmissions. There is a new series of photographs in Amsterdam which show all the various types of domestic broadcasters. DLF in Cologne has doubled its power on LW and you can win a radio. Mike Barraclough reports about pirates that will be testing across the Atlantic. We were quite famous for in-depth reviews of radio equipment. In this edition, we review the AN-1 active antenna from Sony. We found that the antenna totally overloaded the portable radio. (This was a very detailed test). Asian DX News from Victor Goonetilleke is hearing stations in Latin America. We also looked at broadcasting in Suriname. We talked to Victor Hafkamp of Radio Netherlands Caribbean Dept. SRS is calling itself Radio Venceremos. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.25.08.1993. Media War in the Balkans


We did several reports from Yugoslavia as the country gradually broke up. These were the days when we spoke of Serbia and rump Yugoslavia. Eric Beauchemin compiled this excellent feature on the role played by the media, especially television, in the Balkans war in 1983. This edition was actually sent out on transcription to other international stations, which is why it is only 15 minutes instead of the usual half hour. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.19.02.1982 Poland


This was a newsy edition of Media Network in early 1982. KYOI, the SW music station in Saipan is planning to start testing November 1st. 107 people have written to support Radio New Zealand on shortwave. Tunnel Radio is launching in the US. FEBA Seychelles is faced with political problems on the island. Andy Sennitt has news about World Music Radio on 6219 kHz. Capital Radio in Transkei may resite its transmitters. Over the last 18 months we've been looking at what it is like to listen to western broadcasters in Katowice, Poland. We did a quick feature on time signal stations. We find the transmitter of CHU in Canada. Dan Robinson has some tips of African and Latin American stations he has been hearing in Washington DC. Rudy van Dalen reports that the Greek military station has become ERT-2.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.30.03.1983. Asian Special


It was difficult sourcing audio from South Asia back in 1983. Tape recordings of radio stations were rare and phone lines to just about anywhere were crackly. We started with some frequency changes to our English transmissions. The shortwave equipment news is about the Sony ICF7600D. The new receiver has keypad tuning. Pete Myers has new RF-799 from Panasonic. There a clandestine station in Kabul. Gaither Stewart has news about Radio Free Afghanistan. Radio Nepal has two new transmitters, a gift from Japan. Mohini Shephard has been visiting the station. Pete Myers reports on the National Youth Association in Bhutan using recordings from Adrian Peterson in Poona. ORF Vienna has a Master Morse course. We also talked to Finn Krone, producer of AWR World DX News on 9670. Radio Freedom, the Voice of The Sri Lankan people. Finn thinks it comes from Germany. There is news from Cambodia and Thailand as well. The final report is about the radio battles going on in Andorra. Robbert Bosschart reports from Madrid.    


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

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