NASWA Journal Columns · Kim’s Column

Dr. Kim Andrew Elliott • 5001 25th Street North • Arlington, VA 22207 kimelli◊

Kim’s Column, September 2008

Radio Netherlands’ rapidly-fading shortwave signal

Of particular importance to us in the the North American Shortwave Association is Radio Netherlands’ decision to quit English-language shortwave broadcasts to North America.

This is a big one, following the BBC and Deutsche Welle abandonments of shortwave English to North America, as well as similar moves by Kol Israel, HCJB, Radio Vlaanderen International, RAI, Swiss Radio International, etc. German shortwave expert Kai Ludwig wrote: “This marks the end of shortwave as a relevant broadcast medium in the USA and Canada. The programming still transmitted on shortwave in and into North America should be of interest to very small niche audiences only. In some cases it may even damage the reputation of the medium further.”

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Kim’s Column, September 2006

Editor’s note: This column arrived too late for our print issue. We present it here on the site for the benefit of our members and others.

Internet radios in our future?

The FCC has pretty much signed on to Broadband Over Power Line (BPL). And there are all sorts of noises from new devices creeping into the shortwave frequencies. My Verizon FIOS fiber optic broadband access seems to be one of the culprits. It’s not the fiber lines, but the Cat-5 cables between the Verizon box outside my house and the various RJ-45 jacks in rooms throughout my house.

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Kim’s Column, January 2006

[Editor’s note: We were unable to run this column in the January NASWA Journal due to space limitations. We present it here on the NASWA web site to prevent it from going unread.]

Best quote of the month

“Is it arrogance or honesty that drives Mr. Chirac to indicate that his ‘news’ channel (CFII) will be the de facto voice of the French republic? Or is it simply blindness to the idea that world over, what most people want from their news is simply the facts and to be left free to make up their own minds?”

And that really is the essence of successful international broadcasting. Report simply the facts and let the audience make up its own mind. If the broadcasting country’s policies are wise and virtuous, the audience will tend to make up its mind in a manner satisfactory to the broadcasting country. The alternative is propaganda, a naïve form of international broadcasting. The audience immediately recognizes it for what it is.

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Kim’s Column, September 2005

Shortwave as the failsafe

First, the government of Cote d’Ivoire evicted Radio France International was evicted from its FM frequencies because of its reporting of domestic Ivorian news. Then it managed to “interrupt” RFI on the Canal Satellite Horizons DTH service, which is received in about 25,000 households in the country. And, so, RFI has decided to increase–actually, to restore–its shortwave output to Africa.

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