NASWA Journal Columns · Country List Committee Report, August 1996

Don Jensen • 5204 70th St. • Kenosha, WI 53142 dnjkenosha◊acronet.net

Country List Committee Report, August 1996

Two New Countries

By Don Jensen

For the past few months, the NASWA Country List Committee has been studying and discussing the radio country situation in Russia. Traditionally, NASWA’s list has included what were formerly known as USSR union republics as separate radio countries, with the huge Russian RSFSR further divided into separate European and Asian components. For a long while, this was considered unacceptably avant garde (or perhaps just plain wrongheaded) by DXers elsewhere in the world, who preferred to count the USSR as a single radio country.

But time and events caught up and, since the demise of the Soviet Union, the Ukraine, Lithuania and all the rest became, in political reality, the separate countries we’d always counted.

With the end of the USSR, no longer were there entities called union republics, and so the Country List Committee has had to rethink what, in the future, shall be a radio country and what shall not. Of course, all of the existing ex-Soviet radio countries continue. But what of possible new inclusions to the list?

We had to find a way to deal with the rash of autonomous, supposedly autonomous and pseudoautonomous, etc. regions and ethnic entities in Russia. We needed to try to sort out which of them have shortwave transmitters andoperations, and which seem to have a reasonable degree of intependence, enough to quality for consideration as separate radio countries.

A subcommittee, headed by committee member Jerry Berg, thoroughly researched the history, politics and radio broadcasting activity in several regions thought to be possible candidates for radio “countryhood.” Their report was considered and discussed by the full committee. Eventually, the Country List Committee voted, approving the addition of two countries to the list.

Therefore, please add to your NASWA Radio Country List, under Europe, the following two new countries:

The majority of the committee, by its vote, felt that the latter warranted inclusion since it has exercised a substantial degree of autonomy since it declared independence as the Moldavian Republic of Pridnestrovie on Sept. 2, 1990. It has an active SW broadcasting presence.

The former has a long and tangled history, variously under Russian, German and Polish control. It is physically separated from the rest of Russia, though not by great distances. In the past, on several occasions, the Country List Committee declined to declare this a radio country for purposes of our list. It was reconsidered and this time, in view of a new look at Russian radio countries, the majority of the committee agreed to add Kaliningrad to the NASWA list.>The committee considered other possible Russian radio countries but did not vote for their inclusion at this time. Undoubtedly, those issues will be revisited at a later time.

Another subcommittee presently is studying the possibility of restructuring the format of the NASWA Country List (while neither adding nor subtracting countries in doing so). Among the possible changes in format could be the inclusion of additional supplemental data and historical notes for the countries listed. In the past, the NASWA list did include more explanatory notes for each entry. Over the years, though, much of this was deleted in the interest of making the list more compact and concise. However, some have suggested that more supporting data be included again. There are both pros and cons, and the subcommittee is studying them. Based on its eventual report, the full committee will consider this question late in the year.

Yet another format issue under consideration is whether to change the traditional, and current, way of listing each country entry in the list. Presently, each entry begins with the country name as it was in 1945, the “starting point” of our list. This is followed, parenthetically, with the name or names subsequently used, the current name being last. Example: Moldavian S.S.R. (Pridnestrovie).

An alternative way might be to list the currently used name first, followed parenthetically by previous country names. Example: Pridnestrovie (Moldavian S.S.R.). Again there are pros and cons to consider. The present system means the entire list does not have to be realphabetized each time a country changes its name (E.g. Burma to Myanmar). The alternate under consideration might help users not familiar with the history of country name changes, who might find the list easier to use since the presumably more familiar current name would be listed first.

If you would like to comment on these matters, you may address them to Don Jensen, NASWA Country List Committee Chairman, 5204 70th Street, Kenosha WI 53142; e-mail: dnjkenosha@acronet.net. Your comments will be made available to all committee members to consider. Once the format issues are resolved, probably early in 1997, the committee will begin work on an updated, revised Country List edition, which probably will be available later next year.

Read more Country List Committee Report columns.

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