NASWA Journal Columns

Website Updates

Hello – we’re in the process of updating the NASWA website, and we ask for your patience as old information is retired and new information is added.

In the meantime, if you have any questions on the club, please e-mail Publisher / Business Manager Richard Cuff at the email address hq [at] naswa [dot] net, or at the postal address of NASWA, PO Box 3292, Allentown, PA  18106, USA.

Here are the columns regularly appearing in the NASWA Journal along with their editors and e-mail addresses, along with those who produce the Journal each month.  Please contact them directly with specific questions.

Cover: John Herkimer, jherkimer [at] rochester [dot] rr [dot] com
Musings: Jerry Alice Lineback, jalinebk [at] gmail [dot] com
Listening Review: Alan Roe , alan-roe-swl [at] randa33 [dot] co [dot] uk
Pirate Radio Report: Brian Penney, swradio [at] comcast [dot] net
Shortwave Center: John Figliozzi, jfigio1 [at] nycap [dot] rr [dot] com
QSL Report: Sam Barto
Scoreboard: Gary Neal, grneal [at] earthlink [dot] net
Kim’s Column: Kim Andrew Elliott, kimweb [at] verizon [dot] net
Log Report: Dave Turnick, david.turnick [at] gmail [dot] com
Publishers Corner: Rich Cuff, hq [at] naswa [dot] net
On the Shortwaves: Jerry Berg, jsberg [at] rcn [dot] com
Listeners Notebook: Rich D’Angelo, rdangelo3 [at] aol [dot] com
NASWA Notes: Rich D’Angelo, rdangelo3 [at] aol [dot] com Publisher: Rich Cuff, hq [at] naswa [dot] net
Desktop Publishing/Graphics: Richard Murphy, rm271828 [at] gmail [dot] com E-group at Dan Ferguson, k4voa [at] zerobeat [dot] org
Facebook: Richard Murphy, rm271828 [at] gmail [dot] com
Flashsheet: Mark Taylor, markokpik [at] gmail [dot] com

Links to other updated pages will be posted here as they are developed.

See other Website Updates columns.

Kim’s Column, February 2020

International broadcasting and events in Iraq and Iran

The big international affairs event in January was the killing of Qasem Soleimani, Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and, commander of its Quds Force, in a targeted US drone strike in Iraq, January 3. That was followed by Iranian missile attacks on US bases in Iraq on January 7.

How did US international broadcasting under the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), respond to these events? Like US international broadcasting itself, it’s complicated. Besides the United States, two countries were primarily involved: Iran and Iraq. For Iran, broadcasts in Persian (Farsi) originate from two USAGM entities: VOA Persian (TV and online) and Radio Farda (radio, TV and online), part of Prague-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc. The extent to which these two Persian-language USAGM entities cooperate is a good question that I can’t answer.

For Iraq, all of USAGM’s Arabic-language efforts come under its Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN) Inc, consisting of Alhurra television and Radio Sawa, plus their online presences.

On the day of Soleimani’s death, RFE/RL’s Radio Farda published an analysis in English (and presumably in Persian, as well) by Mehrzad Boroujerdi, director of the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech University. His frank assessment: “By reducing the complexity of Iraqi politics to Iranian manipulations, the Americans have surely made a grave analytical mistake. They may have physically eliminated a number of nemesis while handing Iran, on a silver platter, a major political victory in Iraq.” (

The same day (January 3), RFE/RL issued an advisory press release ( with comments by Seyed Mehdi Parpanchi, Director of RFE/RL’s Iranian Service, Radio Farda, about the killing of Soleimani: “There is a small minority that is condemning this attack and saying that what the U.S. did is terrorism, but a majority of the people that we see on social media, especially on Twitter, on Instagram are kind of happy that this has happened.”

This contrasts with mainstream media reaction, which was that the drone attack against Qasem Soleimani and his confederates would unite Iranian and Iraqi public opinion against the United States. But the revisionist assessment popped up in other elements of US international broadcasting.

Baking cakes to thank @realDonaldTrump

Fox News, which would want to counter the conclusion that the drone attack on Solemani and company was a public diplomacy disaster, cited three tweets by Alhurra reporter Steven Nabil @thestevennabil, including “Some Iraqis are baking cakes thanking @realDonaldTrump Trump for taking out Qassim Suleimani.”

Meanwhile, Masih Alinejad, a contractor who hosts the hosts the Tablet talk show on VOA Persian, wrote a commentary ( in the Washington Post website.  She maintained that the Iranian protests of Soleimani’s death were largely orchestrated.  “I have more than 4 million followers on various social media networks, and I have received thousands of messages, voice mails and videos from Iranians in cities such as Shiraz, Isfahan, Tehran and even Ahvaz, who are happy about Soleimani’s death. Some complain of the pressure to attend services for him.” Alinejad also tweeted ( a video of a demonstrator in Iran calling for her execution.

Eli Clifton of the Quincy Institute took exception to the message conveyed by Alinejad. ( “[O]ne frequently cited Iranian voice in the mainstream media, Masih Alinejad, has been repeatedly echoing the administration’s claims that Iranians, despite all visible evidence, were welcoming Trump’s potential act of war against Iran.

“Fox News for example presented Alinejad …as an ‘Iranian journalist’ or ‘Iranian journalist and activist,’ missing a key detail about her biography: she’s paid by the U.S. government. CNN, and New York Times columnist Bret Stephens also quoted her without acknowledging her government funding.

“Alinejad works as an ‘anchor, writer, reporter for [Voice of America] Persian Service,’ a U.S. government owned television network broadcasting to Iranians, according to a publicly available description of her federal contract reviewed by Responsible Statecraft.  She received more than $305,000 in contracts for her work at Voice of America (VOA) Persia between May, 2015 and September 10, 2019, the date of her most recent contract.

“That crucial context was missing in her television appearances and other media citations in which she appeared to closely echo the Trump administration’s line that the Soleimani assassination was welcomed in the region even when there is little evidence to support the assertion.”

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) took up the Quincy Institute article, berating US media for not stating that Alinejad is a US government contractor. Alinejad answered Omar in a “10-tweet blast,” noting that Omar has not helped her in speaking out against Iranian human rights abuses. (

VOA Editorial weighs in, none too soon

Back at the Voice of America, VOA has for several decades broadcast editorials “reflecting the views of the United States government.” These editorials are now relegated to slots on VOA’s television channel, which has very little distribution, and on the VOA Editorials web page Interestingly, unless I am missing it, I cannot find a link to Editorials anywhere at  You will have to find it by way of a Google or your favorite search.

When Soleimani was killed, I searched out VOA Editorials, wondering how they would explain the event on behalf of the US government. I was not surprised to see no comment, given that there can be lag time between events and VOA Editorials. But the VOA Editorial about the death of Qassem Soleimani on January 3 was not published until January 15 – twelve days after the event. “U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, declared that Soleimani was plotting further imminent attacks on American diplomats and military personnel.” (

The process with VOA Editorials is like this: The policy office at VOA or one of its parent bureaucracies will draft an editorial that they believe reflects the views of the US government. That draft is sent to the State Department. It (not usually a high priority) is eventually sent back with suggested or required revisions. Those revisions are incorporated and returned to the State Department. The next revised draft is sent back, and so on, and so forth. The twelve-day delay is therefore not surprising. Meanwhile, the Policy staff, whiling away the days, is paid more than I ever was at VOA.

See other Kim’s Column columns.

NASWA Notes, March 2019

As we go to press, the 32nd annual Winter SWL Festival is about to commence at the Doubletree Suites Philadelphia West, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. The event runs from February 28th through March 2nd 2019. Co-FESTmeisters Rich Cuff and John Figliozzi have assembled another outstanding group of speakers to host our forum sessions. Another good group of attendees is expected at this important radio event. We will have a complete report in next month’s Journal recapping the event’s of #32.

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See other NASWA Notes columns.

Pirate Radio Report, October, 2010

Welcome to the October Pirate Report! It is hard to believe that the summer of 2010 is over. But, better propagation is on the way! We are starting to see some indications of this now. Several Euro-pirates have been heard well inland in North America on 15 and 48 meter bands. US pirate activity has had its peaks and valleys during September with the general average being low to moderate and well below the July activity level which has been the most active month thus far in 2010.

This month I thought I would provide some pirate radio related web sites for our readers. The internet is a fabulous resource for just about anything you can think of and of course pirate radio is no exception. Please note that all sites in this column were all found on the internet via goggle or were posted as links on publicly accessible web sites. If you are interested in the listed URL’s I can send them to you via email if you cannot type them in for some reason.

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See other Pirate Radio Report columns.

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.”

Read the rest of this entry »

See other Kim’s Column columns.

Country List Committee Report, September 2008

Country List Questions

NASWA’s Country List Committee periodically gets questions regarding the use of the list which the committee is mandated to maintain. As the CLC’s chairman, I try to answer these questions in this occasional column.

Here are several questions received recently:

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See other Country List Committee Report columns.

Pirate Radio Report, May 2008

Hello and welcome to the May 2008 edition of the Pirate Radio Report.

Springtime conditions have arrived and static is on the rise. The good news is that the longer days are causing pirate signals to be heard longer in the evening before dropping MUFs cause fade-outs. Lots of activity during the past few weeks as well, including replays of Radio Metallica and UPMB.

Read the rest of this entry »

See other Pirate Radio Report columns.

Equipment Reviews, May 2008

Microtelecom Perseus Software Defined Receiver

A sea change has occurred with receiver technology. Over the past three decades, digital technology has gradually supplemented and then replaced analog circuitry in modern radios. At first, microprocessors were put into radios for tuning and function switching and external computers were used to control receivers. The next transition was the replacement of hardware by software (digital signal processing). Now, we have reached the point where the computer (with the addition of a couple of outboard intergrated circuits) is the radio. Not only has the internal hardware of the receiver been eliminated, but the control hardware of knobs and switches has been replaced by a computer mouse.

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See other Equipment Reviews columns.

Flashsheet #295, September 23, 2007

Next Deadline: Sunday, Sept. 30, 2007 at 1700 UTC (1300 EST/1200 CST/1100 MST/1000 PST).

All loggings to be sent to Mark Taylor at: and Rich D’Angelo at .

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See other Flashsheet columns.

Flashsheet #269, March 28, 2007

Next Deadline: Sunday, Apr. 1, 2007 at 1700 UTC (1300 EDT/1200 CDT/1100 MDT/1000 PDT).

All loggings to be sent to Mark Taylor aand Rich D’Angelo.

Thanks to all who contributed this week!

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