Author Topic: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story  (Read 462 times)

Offline Carl

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  As recently as 25 years ago, shortwave radio was a preferred source of breaking international news in North America.

Most hours of the day, the BBC World Service boomed in, especially at night on 6175 kHz. There was also Radio Moscow — once the mouthpiece of old-style Soviet propaganda — the Voice of America, Radio Netherlands, Deutsche Welle from West Germany and Radio Berlin International from East Germany.

If you wanted to know what was happening in Cuba, Tel Aviv or what was then called Bombay, you could tune to Radio Havana, Kol Yisrael or All India Radio directly.

120 million people

At the time, the BBC estimated global shortwave listenership to be in excess of 120 million people weekly. Granted, most of that audience was outside of North America. But back when there was no awareness of the Internet and no international satellite TV, shortwave was where many news-hungry North Americans went first.

Scan across the shortwave bands and you’ll find that much has changed. In North America and Europe, many of the major broadcasters have disappeared or minimized their presence. In fact, the BBC World Service no longer beams programming via shortwave to the Americas or most of Europe.

“There has been a massive decline in shortwave listenership, especially in Europe and North America,” said Andy Sennitt. ...

http://www.radioworld.com/headlines/0045/whatever-happened-to-shortwave-radio/302129


Edited due to copyright issues -- please see here for Fair Use info.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 11:39:04 AM by Mr. Bill »
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Offline chad

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 10:53:55 AM »
Interesting, all I ever picked up was a Spanish station I'm guessing from Cuba.

Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2017, 11:01:49 AM »
Interesting, all I ever picked up was a Spanish station I'm guessing from Cuba.

Yes,but more is there...Daytime 10 MHZ and UP...night time 10 MHZX and down. This is where the ETM (easy tune option) on some Shortwave radios makes life easier as it will scan and add to a temporary memory any signals captured and allow the user to tune quickly through the captured channels to rapidly find useful signals. Even the handheld PL-360 ($45) will capture 20 to 30 daytime stations and many more in the lower frequencies at night,often from Europe.
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline chad

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2017, 11:15:02 AM »
I'll dig my sony 7600 out and give it a go, not sure if it has the scan feature.

Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2017, 12:17:58 PM »
I'll dig my sony 7600 out and give it a go, not sure if it has the scan feature.

It won't scan,but is a good quality receiver.
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline chad

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2017, 12:32:09 PM »
It won't scan,but is a good quality receiver.

I think that's why I had little success, manually adjusting it got tiresome.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2017, 01:20:36 PM »
Good article Carl, thanks.  It dovetails with piece about fast-approaching troubles even for local AM & FM broadcasting: http://variety.com/2017/music/news/traditional-radio-faces-a-grim-future-new-study-says-1202542681/  A key quote:
Quote
In the 30-page report, Larry Miller argues that traditional radio has failed to engage with Generation Z — people born after 1995 — and that its influence and relevance will continue to be subsumed by digital services unless it upgrades.

Back to SW radio, there's likely an economically viable model for it out there that just hasn't been implemented yet.  The two markets that I can see (apart from the church-funded religious programming) are to a broadly-distributed non-mainstream audience, and for a general national newscast.  Both accompanied by an online stream, of course.

The first of these is where, of all people, Alex Jones is having some success on WWCR.  Yes, it's whacky and paranoid, but if you're whacky and paranoid it's good to have a SW receiver, right?  Another niche was being filled by Art Bell with his new show on WTWW.  Unfortunately he retired, his replacement is a vocal Wiccan, and that probably didn't fly too well with WTWW's paid religious programming customers.  (Well, it was fun while it lasted.)  But imagine a SW station that broadcasts some of the podcasts many of us listen to... say Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy, Jack, Chris Martenson, etc.  It'd need some fleshing out, but it might work.  Again, who already owns SW receivers?  Steer the programing toward, well, people like us.

On to the general news station idea, anybody remember Global24 from about three years ago?  They started out buying time on WRMI to broadcast news & commentary 24/7.  It was a good idea but the guy spearheading it was a yo-yo who consistently over-promised and under-performed.  But imagine if it was done correctly, then it might stand a chance.  Think of how Elon Musk is taking over from Cold War-era government efforts on space travel, and then think of somebody taking on Cold-War-era mass broadcasting.  Just with less war and propaganda crap this time.

SW is such a great thing, I hate to see it abandoned just because Cold War propaganda machines moved in and screwed it up for a half-centruy.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 03:44:14 PM »
I became a SWL back in the mid/late 1990's.  Man it was FUN back then. Bo Gritz, that guy could put on a show for sure....
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Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 03:59:15 PM »
  There are a few produced shows of interest still ,from time to time on WWCR ,in between the religious programing and such. I am still very happy with talk radio on AM at night as there is much of interest to hear. I often listen to baseball or football games in the manner I was introduced to them on radio and my radio runs all night to occupy my mind and mask out the 'bumps' in the night that cause worry for my dog and me. My AM radio lets me listen in to many interesting shows and provides a good 'storm alert' with the lightening static and the CD warning that alerts one to serious weather is helpful also.

  The internet has mostly replaced shortwave simply because so few are listening in industrialized countries. If you search for english language shortwave broadcasting,you will find a very short list as the shortwave guide used to be the size of a telephone book...times are changing.AM radio,with it's long range night time propagation has become the 'new' shortwave for collection of information though as most talk radio is from the 'right' ,I see it is under attack from the left and soon a confrontation may develop as it is one of the few conservative mediums left for us to use.
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Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline armymars

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 09:38:38 AM »
Remember Radio Cairo?