Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Clear embarrassment in DW Radio's last broadcasts

Sines relay station: closed

The embarrassment of Deutsche Welle Radio’s staff became evident in the last broadcasts on October, 29. In the last edition of the program Newslink, from the English Service, it’s possible feel the sadness in the air, with the loss of jobs from colleagues and the absence of consistent reasons to abandon the medium radio. Former moderator of Newslink, Rick Demarest, wrote, in July, that for less than 500 thousand  euro/year it could be possible keep the English audience in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and USA, where radio networks like NPR used DWs content. Read the article.

Listen to the end of last Newslink broadcast:

The sadness is also clear in the special show Contrast, from Portuguese Service for Africa, about the closing of the Sines relay station. In an honest text from reporter João Carlos, and edition of Johannes Beck, DW speaks with some of the workers that lost their jobs and don’t agree with the decision of the top board.

Listen to the story of Sines (in Portuguese) or read the text in DWs site.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The silence of Deutsche Welle Radio: last broadcast in German

Trincomalee relay station: turned off

Internet streaming recording made at 0h UTC, October, 29.

Shortwave recording  from USA (Cypress Creek) in 17.820 khz, at 22h UTC.

That was the last broadcast of Deutsche Welle Radio in German. The end of an era, as the former German radio broadcaster self described it.

This last and very nice broadcast, with important moments in history of the broadcaster, is a proof of the courage of the top management of DW (to interrupt such an important service), that doesn’t see the strategic role that the radio plays.

It’s a contradiction in face of the increasing competition between international broadcasters, as alleged by the direction of DW for cutting services, giving up a loyal audience won over nearly six decades of hard, serious and competent work from a highly qualified team. So, of course, DW’s director general, Erik Bettermann didn’t convince in this last broadcast, when he told that he likes radio even more than TV. He's giving on a plate large audience to the competition. China Radio International is probably saying ‘’thank you very much”.

Beyond nostalgia, this historic program has also important information in Bettermann’s speech: after many years of heavy investment, DW has decreed, officially, the end of Digital Shortwave (DRM).

And I, probably, will try to listen to some more broadcasts in other languages, preceded by Fidelio’s Interval Signal, till, probably in not that long time, DW Radio will be completely in silence.

Below DW's notice informing that the game is over.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New paths and farewell

With the euphemism “new paths”, Deustsche Welle is, finally, announcing clearly to the listeners of the German radio service, since last Sunday, that the broadcast on October 29 will be the last of its history. Important moments from the station, founded in 1953, will be remembered in this last broadcast, as you can hear on the following excerpt from the end of the program “DW Das Magazin”, from Monday, October, 24. DW’s director general, Erik Bettermann (below in the official picture) will have a speech in the program. Could he convince you?

Bettermann: convincing?

Friday, October 21, 2011

The story of Sines Transmitter Park

(read more about)

To mark the end of the activities of the Sines transmitter park, in Portugal, Deutsche Welle presents next October, 29, a special edition of its Portuguese program “Contraste”, telling the story of the German transmitting station in the Iberic Peninsula. It has been informed by the chief of the Portuguese redaction, Johannes Beck, during the night broadcast of DW in Portuguese for Africa, last Saturday. As you can hear in the recording below, Beck was telling about the changes for listeners in Africa with the closure of the transmitters in Sines and Trincomalee (Sri Lanka). The Sines picture above is in a discussion forum in the internet (link).

The recording of this night program of DW in Portuguese goes to my archive of shortwave, since was broadcasted from Trincomalee, with pretty good reception in Brazil, at 19h30 UTC, in 15.640 khz. I think that a special program about the Asian station would be a good idea too. A curiosity: before beginning the Portuguese program, Trincomalee keeps using the classical “Pausezeichen” of DW.

The new scheme of transmission in Portuguese for Africa, from October 30 on, just from Kigali, Ruanda, is in DW’s site and reproduced below:

- Morning Edition - 05h30-06h UTC: 9.800 kHz (250 kW) and 12.045 kHz
- Night Edition - 19h30-20h UTC - 6.145 kHz (250 kW) and 9.735 kHz (250 kW)

And, as we’re talking about closure of transmission parks, there is an interesting
 article from Victor Goonetilleke in the blog DX Asia, defending it would be technically better broadcast for Africa from Trincomalee than from Kigali. Goonetilleke writes also about the growing up of China Radio International in the vacuum from the spaces abandoned by the big occidental stations.

Part of the program of DW in Portuguese for Africa, on the October, 15

Monday, October 17, 2011

The end of Deutsche Welle Radio: a bad decision

Read more and listen to the last broadcas here.

Close to complete 60 years, Deutsche Welle is, step by step, closing the operation in radio, which it began in 1953. One of the most important movement in this sad strategy will be given at the end of this Month, with the closure of most of shortwave broadcasts, except targeting Africa, and the closing of the relay station in Sines (Portugal) and Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), as announced in May. I commented about it in this post and think that, although precipitated, it is a understandable step, if you consider the technical evolution and the pragmatism that characterizes the Germans and the recent decisions from DW’s board.

What I can’t understand is that DW is giving up not just the shortwaves, but the medium radio. The image at the top of this post is in the goodbye e-mail sent to listeners of the German Service, on September, 27. There, one of most traditional international radios explains that even the linear live streaming will disappear from its web site, keeping only podcasts and some programs in audio on demand. The same text is on the site (
click to read – in German).

Who follows DW’s programs in TV perceive that the German international broadcaster has a relevant investment to produce high quality programs from Berlin. Of course, investing in TV and internet is completely reasonable nowadays. But, considering the very low costs of the streaming in internet, and the big volume of content generated at DW’s quartier in Bonn, closing the offer through this medium is really a strange decision. For pessimists, this movement could give reasons to ask if it is logic to keep DW’s big structure in Bonn. The complete absence of emotion (to say the least) in the last decisions, gives fear from the answer for this question.

Above are two recordings that I’ve rescued from old reel tapes, from the times in that DW had budget to send programs worldwide to radio stations in magnetic media. “Schlagercocktail”, in German, featured the so called “Schlager”, popular songs in Germany. The edition above is from 1993. “Música de interlúdio”, was the Brazilian version of the German "Promenadenkonzert”. The recording is from 1996 and hosted by Arno Rochol, who worked long time in the Brazilian Service and then went to DW Akademie.


Música de Interlúdio

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Don't set your watch according Austrian Radio in shortwave

It’s almost nothing, but Austria still has some international shortwave broadcasts. Nothing comparable with the old Radio Austria International, that used to broadcast in many languages, including Spanish for Latin America. ORF 1, a station with national coverage in Austria, has a shortwave broadcast for South America of its news program Abendjournal, in German. The reception is quite reasonable in South of Brazil.

The transmission is a bit strange. The station doesn’t identifies itself on the beginning, simply turns on the transmitter and begins broadcasting. The end is as drastic as the beginning of the emission. If you are going to listen to this broadcast in shortwave, attention: don’t set your watch following it. ORF simply records the Abendjournal at 18h Austrian local time and plays it later in shortwave.

Above, I edited the end of a recording made
 on September 8, at 1h UTC, in the frequency of 9.820 khz. After 25 minutes, the news program goes to the end with information about a 2 billion euro Siemens contract in Russia for regional trains, and announces the weather forecast, and then is abruptly interrupted, as you can hear.

Monday, October 10, 2011

IRIB’s listener kit has even the Iranian flag

While moneyfor the occidental public broadcast companies is falling fast, it looks like the reality is different in Iran. Although the budget numbers of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) aren’t published in the site of the giant state-owned company, it is estimated that the annual budget is around US$ 900 million, according to an article in the site of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), which says also that IRIB has 46 thousand employees for its radio and TV networks targeting the internal and external public. It is not that much if compared with German ARD, which has a budget of 6.3 billion of euros and 23 thousand employees or BBC (US$ 5.4 billion), but is a big number considering Iran’s GDP (US$ 385 billion in 2008).

The kit sent to IRIB’s listeners also suggests that the lean times in the international stations aren’t affecting Ahmadinejad’s broadcaster. I sent a reception report to the Spanish Service of IRIB, about a transmission from May, 27 (you can listen to a part of the broadcast in this
link). Beyond the Khaju Brigdge QSL card I received a CD with the Magazin “Miscelánea Persa”, the printed Magazin “El Panorama Islámico” and a flag from Iran.

Talking to “Miscelánea”, the director of the Spanish Service, Nader Edalatmanesh, says that there are no indications of a drop in the audience of shortwave in Latin America, despite new technologies like internet streaming. He says that in the long term IRIB wants to reach credibility for its programs, considering that listeners make an evaluation of the broadcasts and of the international scene. “For example, in the 22 days War in Gaza, we propagate the selvage image of the Zionist regime and his crimes against innocent Palestinians, while the occidental media tried to benumb the emission of this kind of news”, says.

In its material, the station defines itself as “designed to face the occidental media and the information imperialism in the word, which tries to restrict the public opinion”.

Unfortunately, I didn’t follow the coverage (or the lack of) of IRIB from the protests against Ahmadinejad and the charges of fraud in the elections that kept him in power.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BBC targeting Africa, but with good reception in South of Brazil

Like most of international broadcasters, BBC has reduced the shortwave transmissions in the last decade. As the station explains in its site, although there is a loyal group of listeners in the contries that have been cut from the shortwave target areas, the audience in this places doesn’t justify the high costs of the broadcasts. So, the transmissions to North America ended in 2001, to South America in 2005 and to Central America, Caribe and Europe in February 2008.

But, at least till now, BBC keeps broadcasting in shortwave to Africa, Middle East and Asia, where an important part of the population doesn’t access the new forms of content distribution, such as satellite, internet, cable or partnerships with local stations.

As the BBCs broadcasts targeting Africa usually has good reception in South of Brazil, I listened part of the transmission of the last 11 of September, when, of course, the ten years of the terrorist attacks in the USA were the central issue in the news.

In this day, something in my house was disturbing the reception. Note that in the second recording, when I took the radio and the recorder to the garden, the rumble disappears because the reception is at “open air”. Because of this kind of problem shortwave radio is losing listeners. But I keep finding fun in listening to the transmissions.

Frequency of 15.400 khz, at 18h UTC, on September 11 of 2011

parte 1

parte 2

Saturday, September 10, 2011

RNW’s team with crossed fingers, but realistic

Some time ago I’ve found the interesting podcast Euro Hit 40, in Portuguese, from Radio Netherlands, a monthly program that plays the songs that make success in Europe. I also found the English version of the program, which has a differential: a competition about music with prizes for the listeners.

I couldn’t resist and, I’ve to confess, after researching the answer for the July question on Google, participate in the quiz. Tim Fisher, the host of the program, asked the Language of Veronica Maggio’s  song “Jag Kommer”., Although for me it sounded like Dutch, it’s Swedish. Last week I received a mail informing that I was the winner. Lucky guy, don’t you think? When the prize arrives in Brazil, I’ll take a picture and publish on the blog.

 took the opportunity to question Fisher about the future of the program, considering the announcement about drastic cuts on RNW’s budget. He gave me an honest answer: “No news on the future of the Euro Hit 40 show as yet. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed, but remaining realistic too. Hope you’ll go on enjoying the show for as long as it lasts!”

In this video I’ve recorded the beginning of the program and the part in which I’m announced as the winner of the competition.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A congratulation letter to Fidel Castro generates controversy in Germany

I’ve listened this news, extracted from DW’s Das Magazin, on August 23, through live streaming with my mobile phone, while going to work. I was caught by the beginning of the text, explaining that Erich Honecker, the German Democratic Republic’s Comunist Party General Secretary until 1989, wouldn’t write in a different way a letter to congratulate Fidel Castro for his Birthday. The news is about a letter written by the Left Party of Germany to Castro. The polemic is because of the uncritical tone of the text. Later I downloaded the program from Deutsche Welle’s media center.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Radio Bulgaria with the listeners’ letters and the impacts of solar activity on broadcasting

As I can’t resist to a radio mail program, I’m posting the recording of the program from Radio Bulgaria International, in Spanish, broadcasted last Sunday (August, 21). The transmission has reasonable reception in the South of Brazil and brigs letters from listeners in Germany, Spain, New Jersey, Norway, Britain, France, Russia, Greece, Japan and even Brazil. The listener from Norway praises the stile from Radio Bulgaria, because of the musical programming. As I agree, I left a piece of the music in the recording above.

The second recording in this post is about the impacts of solar activity on the broadcasting services, especially shortwave, which are transmitted against the ionosphere and, because of it, depends of its conditions. It’s a conversation for shortwave fans.This part of the broadcast was transmitted before the listeners’ letters, but I’m not concerned about the chronology in this blog.

Frequency of 9.400 khz. Recording made on Sunday, Augusto, 21, at 20h19 UTC. SINPO 44433.

Listeners program

Solar activity

Protest against hydroelectric plant in Amazonia Forest is News in China

While last Sunday (August, 21) international radios were focusing the events in Tripoli, where the rebels were beginning the end of the Kadafi era in Libya, China Radio International found time to inform about protests against a hydroelectric plant in the “Amazon Rain Forest”, in Brazil. The station reported that around one thousand protesters in São Paulo, including indigenous people, claimed that the project of Belo Monte, with a budget of US$ 11 billion for a plant of 11 thousand MW, will accelerate the deforestation. The Brazilian government says that this renewable energy project is essential for the economic growth of Brazil. It is the 3rd greatest hydroelectric plant of the world.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

China Radio International QSL card

I can’t be classified as a big dxr, like the ones that have a huge collection of QSL cards from stations from all around the world. But, recently I sent some reception reports and, this weak I was pleased by receiving an envelope from China Radio International, with a QSL card (reproduced here), two nice bookmarks (one of them on the bottom of this post) and the magazine The Messenger.

The QSL card confirmed the reception of a broadcast from July, 24, in 7.295khz. The recording of part of the transmission was posted in the blog and you can hear it in this link.

Voice of America and Chaves international reserves

If the end of the Cold War, helped by the technological evolution, is one of the reasons for the end of the shortwave broadcasts, it looks like Latin America could continue to be a relevant target for the broadcasts in Spanish for some time more, given the many countries with leftwing governments. On one hand, Radio Havana Cuba has a big range of programs with the “revolutionary ideology”. On the other hand, Voice of America (VOA) transmissions can be very well tuned in in the evening,talking about the other side of the coin.

In this post you can hear a recording I’ve made from VOA at 0:00 UTC, in 9.885 khz. Usually I don’t have good shortwave reception inside my house, but this one, made in my office, is pretty good.

Note that the news about Venezuela talks about the concern from an opposition congressman about Hugo Chaves’s intention of moving Venezuela’s international reserves from Europe and USA to countries like China, Russia and Brazil. I would be worried too. The next news is about an indigenous protest against Evo Morales, the Chaves’s friend president of Bolívia.

Like in the shortwave’s good old times, the clash between ideologies is well and alive.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Reduced to Swissinfo, Radio Switzerland International keeps shrinking

At the end of June, Swissinfo, multimedia page that followed Radio Switzerland International (RSI), announced that it will face a repositioning. As always happens in such cases, it will mean a budget reduction. In 2004, RSI was one of the pioneers between the big international shortwave stations in turning off the shortwave transmitters.

RSI, or better meaning, the internet site which replaced the station, shows that a budget that already was cut is always threatened to be cut again, when the issue is communication. For it, the content – or its quality – is always reduced. What is happening with what once was one of the most traditional international stations remembers the history of the man who, trying to teach his horse to eat less, reduced each day a bit more the food, till the animal died. Swissinfo will suppress 40 of its 126 work  positions. You can read the text with the announcement in this link. At least the Portuguese service didn’t censor my “protest” on the foot of the text with the bad news.

Although I still have fun with the shortwave, I think that the substitution from the broadcasts against the ionosphere by digital technology is a normal step. But the quality of content will always be expensive and need good professionals to be produced, independent of the means used to make its distribution. Unfortunately the big international stations are also pointing its scissors in this direction.

For people who have had the opportunity to listen to RSI make a flashback, or for the ones that didn’t  hear the station, I picked up in the site intervalsignals two recordings from the station’s “old good times”
In English

In German

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mundofonías – an excellent option if you like “World music”

Last Sunday was really musical on my shortwave radio. A while after listening to VOA transmitting jazz and blues I found the program Mundofonías, from the international radio of Spain (Radio Exterior de Espanha), with a very nice “World music” programming.

On the end of this post you can hear a piece of the recording I’ve made in shortwave, but it’s possible to listen to the program’s podcast in this link. Interesting is that the station looks not to be hysteric about copyright stuff, neurosis which limits musical podcasts worldwide.

Ok, but you wouldn’t think I could finish a post without talk about shortwave, would you? If the protests against the crisis in Spain won’t change the analysis, it’s possible to have some hope that the radio won’t finish it’s shortwave broadcast that soon. This is not just because of the impressing volume of transmissions maintained, but also because the site says that two out of three listeners use the shortwave radio to listen to the station. The listeners also use internet, mainly in Spain.

I tuned in the radio with good signal in the frequency of 17.715 khz, but simultaneously the same program was being transmitted in 17.755 khz, 17.850 khz, and 15.110 khz. However the reception conditions weren’t good.

Peace of the recording made on July 24, at 20h05 in 17.715 khz. SINPO code 45433.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jazz and blues from Voice of America, transmitting in French

Last Sunday, July 24, I was tuning in my Grundig, and randomly found a good American song, with a pretty good reception. I decided to keep the station tuned in in order to discover who was transmitting. At the end of the song, there was someone speaking in French. I didn’t understand anything. But, as the song was good, I decided stay and, after two songs more, my question was answered. It was The Voice Of America transmitting from Washington in French, probably to Africa, one of the few places where shortwave probably will play an important role for some time more. Then, the program, which played also jazz, announced a Rolling Stones song. Well, the name of this band, of the radio, and of the program are understandable even for people, like me, that doesn’t speak French.
Listen to a part of the recording made at 20h UTC, in the frequency of 17.530 khz. SINPO code 45444.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Radio Havana Cuba and Dilma Roussef’s care and concern for Chaves

Fidel Castro’s shortwave station has usually very good reception in Brazil. It uses its transmitters to transmit its leftist vision of reality, in which Latin American countries are all brothers in the socialism, which is the redemption of the world, although the Wall of Berlin has fallen more than 20 years ago. Well, and at this time, this picture of Latin America isn’t completely wrong, although these friendships haven’t always the intensity described in the public pronouncements of the authorities.

In this recording, the news program of Radio Havana Cuba, in Spanish, announces that the Brazilian president, Dilma Roussef, called his partner Hugo Chaves, of Venezuela, transmitting him care and concern about his health problems. The news brings also reports about plans from the socialist candidate to the government of Spain, about the pressure of the “occidental potencies” against the Iranian nuclear program and about the friendship between the armies of Cuba and Bolivia.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The bizarre David Miranda: you should know he exists

He is really a bizarre presence, polluting the dial in Brazil! And loves shortwave stations, to make his vociferation be heard far away, although the technical department of his stations is not famous for its accuracy. He bought a few stations in the last years and uses them to scream the whole day, in a terrible Portuguese. Not even the name of its own Church he pronounces correctly (instead “Igrejas Pentecostais Deus é Amor” he says, with match mistake, “Igrejas  Pentecostal”).

What’s he doing in this blog dedicated to international stations? Well, first, his radios can be heard out of Brazilian borders. And, second, there is something that can be worse than David Miranda’s Portuguese: he trying to speak Spanish. And you should listen to him (just some instants, of course) shouting with simultaneous translation to Spanish. I don’t know what is more “interesting”.  Ohhhhh Lord!

On this first recording he makes what this kind of “priest” does better: asks for money. Record made in the frequency of 6.060khz on July 2, at 15h24 UTC.

Here his freakish talk with simultaneous translation. Record made in the frequency of 6.120 khz on  July 2, at 20h04 UTC.

Monday, July 4, 2011

DW gives up the shortwave. Wrong decision?

October 31, 2011. This date is on my agenda. At 22h UTC I’ll will be with my shortwave radio tuned in in the frequency of 17.820 khz to listen to the last broadcast of Deutsche Welle in German for my region, in the South of Brazil. After reducing to half the daily transmission time in its mother tongue in the current Summer program, the international German broadcaster will abandon completely the broadcasts in shortwave in German on next Winter program, from November 1.

As the DWs press release explains, “on November 1, 2011, DW will be discontinuing the shortwave broadcast for German, Russian, Farsi and Indonesian. For English, the shortwave broadcast will be limited to Africa. The broadcasting times for Chinese programming will be reduced from 120 minutes to 60 minutes”. The daily broadcasting time will be reduced from the current 260 hours to just 55. The relay station from Sines (Portugal) and Trincomale (Sri Lanka) will be closed. The services from other broadcasters won’t be demanded anymore, and all transmissions will be originated by the Kigali (Rwanda) relay station. The saved resources, promises DW, will be reinvested in the new strategy: offer more tv channels and make partnerships to offer content in FM. You can read the press release in this link.

It’s not exactly a simple issue, at least for lovers of shortwave. But no other branch is facing such a revolution in terms of technology and habits of customers as is communication. Although I really enjoy the emotion of tuning in a shortwave broadcast, imagining the long travel of the waves, I also have an internet radio, which provides me a very good experience. Who don’t like sound quality in stereo? But, I was thinking shortwave, internet streaming, as well as the podcasts, could coexist for some time more.

In fact, I’m much more worried about the reduction of content produced by the big traditional international stations. Good quality content is expensive, probably more than the energy for the shortwave transmitters. When the German content produced daily by DW was reduced to half, very good programs were discontinued. So, I’m not very optimistic about DWs promise of reinvesting the money saved by abandoning shortwave. It really doesn’t look like there will be more production of content for tv by DW, although the intention of greater synergy between ARD and ZDF is logical and, probably, positive.

I’ll finish this post with a recording from DW Radio in German, broadcasted from
 Cypress Creek, in South Carolina (USA). It has proportioned for years the best reception of the German programs here in the South of Brazil. The broadcast begins with the identification of World Harvest Radio, which relays the program for DW.

Record made
 on June 4, from 21h59, in the frequency of 17.820 khz.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Radio France International in Portuguese: much to say in just half an hour

On Friday, June 24, I was zapping on my shortwave radio and faced a dynamic transmission in Portuguese, looking like as it was aimed to Africa. The speaker had much to say – including an Interview about a new drugs reports from UNO –,  and not that much time. At least, I had this sensation. Then, between around 19h20nUTC and 19h30 there was no identification of the broadcaster, neither at the end of the transmission. As the news made mentions to Le Figaro, I deduced it would be Radio France International. However, RFI’s site didn’t mention the frequency I had tuned in. Anyway, on Saturday, a while before 19h I was ready with my radio tuned in at the same 13.675 khz. Yes, this time I could confirm that was RFI. The broadcast in Portuguese is very informative and well made.

The Fridays transmission was a bit better (SINPO code 45544), as you can listen here.

The Saturdays transmission was not so good (SINPO 45323), but could be perfectly listened to, as you can confirm on the recording below.

And if you want to compare the sound of the internet for the same broadcast from Saturday, here is a peace.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sign the petition trying to save Radio Netherlands

Sometimes I have the sensation that this blog, in fact, will be transformed in an obituary of the international radio era. After BBC, RFI, RTP and Deutsche Welle, now it is time for radical cuts in RNW. But, while the scissors in BBC and RFI is around 25%, the government of the Netherlands has much worse intentions, showing that hasn’t idea about the capital that this traditional station represents. The euphemism is always the same: new focus. As RNW noticed on June, 24, “the figures announced today show that from 2013 Radio Netherlands Worldwide's budget will be reduced by 70 percent, from 46 million euros to 14 million euros a year”. Read the article in this link.

At this rate, in a few years, we probably can listen, between the traditional international stations, only to Radio China, Radio Havana Cuba and Ahmadinejad’s IRIB.

As the Dutch’s government decision has to be approved by the Parliament, you can sign the petition for support from RNWs staff in this link. I, of course, already signed.

Inbox: listeners of Deutsche Welle loose his voice on the radio

Some time ago, I wrote a post abou Inbox. Now I'm coming back to the issue.

After giving a tip that she was going to retire in the program from the week before, in this weekend’s Inbox program, DW’s Margot Forbes didn’t just confirm the news. She had much worse news to the listeners of the Deutsche Welle English Service: after years of integration of listeners from all around the world, the program Inbox has had last weekend its last broadcast. Definitely, a surprising and sad information for all listeners.
2011 will be remembered as a year of bad news by Deutsche Welle. After reducing the German program to half, one of the last “light” programs of the English service is being discontinued. Worse just if in a few time the English Service will be reduced to one hour each day, as the German program. DW has now a much more frowning face. It’s really a shame!
Lots of listeners wrote to Margot for her last transmission, lamenting her absence, but wishing her good times in her merited retirement. What nobody could imagine was that the whole program would disappear, as you can listen above, on the recording I made from the final broadcast of Inbox, a bit melancholic program, in my opinion.
In these sad times of radical budged cuts in the international stations, this will probably not be the last bad news by DW. It’s disappointing that the bureaucrats of Europe are killing his traditional international stations, instead of reinventing and giving them a new impulse, using the new technologies.

I can only wish to Margot a good ride on her bicycle, since she told listeners that cycling would be one of her occupations after retiring, and hope that the next bad news will not arrive that fast.

Here are Margot and her partner, Rita Oliver, in a picture from DWs site.

Listen here the tip of Margot that she would retire in the Inbox from June, 19

Listen here the last Inbox, from June, 25

The power of China, also on shortwave 2: broadcast in English tuned in in Brazil

The recording below is a complement to the previous post, whit a part of the transmission in English of China Radio International. The broadcast, whit good quality, brings the end of the program Beijing Hour, which is broadcasted twice a day, at 7h UTC and 19h UTC, from Mondays to Fridays.
June, 24
19h48 UTC
7.295 khz
SINPO code 55533

The power of China, also on shortwave: broadcast in German tuned in in Brazil

It’s very impressing the presence of China on shortwave. Looks like the Dragon is an exception in the international scene, where most of broadcasters are reducing dramatically or finishing the transmissions in shortwave.  In the South of Brazil, it is possible to listen to the same program of China Radio International (CRI) at the same time in different frequencies, and also different programs in different languages at same time.

In this recording, for example, I’ve received in good conditions the broadcast in German, in which the radio, during the Chinese course, explains, for example, that in this Country the soup is served at the end of the meal. In the program CRI Panorama, listeners from Düsseldorf and Obersdorf are greeted for their birthdays. After a song, which I’ve cut off of the recording, the program talks about the German colonization of Tsigtau, in China, at the end of the XIX century, where it is possible to see nowadays good conserved German style constructions.
Irony: CRI has 2 hours of German program each day. Deutsche Welle, just one!

June, 24
11.650 khz
SINPO  code 45333

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sex on BBC: maybe now the audience of my blog will increase

After Radio Vaticano talking about noble causes like the dealing with Aids in Africa, it’s time to a radical change of subject. Well, not so radical, indeed. This report from BBC's Global News podcast from June, 1, brings an interesting story about the debate about the use of condoms in porn movies. Made in Los Angeles, the report interviews even Hustler’s Larry Flint (do you remember the movie “The people against Larry Flint?), who, of course, is against the idea. But porn movies producers are under pressure, because people are sure that it is a public health question.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The drama of AIDS in Africa, in an interview by Radio Vaticano

While big international public radio stations are reducing their transmission time, religious programs are increasingly occupying this space in shortwave worldwide. But Radio Vaticano can’t be classified in this same group. The Pope’s radio has a long tradition on shortwave.

The transmission schedule in Portuguese for Brazil has been reduced recently, but I’ve recorded, with a good signal, an interesting program targeting Africa, in which the first lady of Mozambique talks about the fight against AIDS.

Did you know that because of this disease lots of 10 year old children are householders ins Mozambique? Keeping them in school is one of the challenges that government and NGOs have to deal with.

Record made in May 29, at 18:10 UTC, on 15.570 khz.

Location: -27.700962, -48.503506

DW in portuguese: compare shortwave and internet streaming

OK, Brazil is not the target of this Portuguese transmission of DW, actually aimed, to Africa. But sometimes I insist trying to tune it in. At weekends it’s a good probability to listen to, presenting the news, the Brazilian journalist Francis França, who studied and worked here in Florianópolis till some years ago. In the Northern Hemisphere’s Winter time I used to have a good reception of the Portuguese program through Trincomale (Sri Lanka) relay station, but in this moment the reception uses not to be good.

In this case shortwave really can’t face the dispute (if we really can say there is a competition) with the internet streaming transmission, as you can compare below.

This is a piece of the recording from the transmission in 17.610 khz, through Sines (Portugal) relay station, on June, 12, at 19:30 UTC.

And this is a piece of the podcast of the same program, downloaded from DWs Portuguese home page.

Radio Bulgaria in Spanish

Some days ago I posted an audio from Radio Bulgaria in Spanish talking about its own history. Here is another recording, which I started instants before the beginning of the program. The program has as target South Europe. It’s nice that you can listen to the interval signal of the station and the facts about the shortwave broadcasts. After a good beginning, the reception became worse. I had the impression that an amateur were transmitting very close to me, and so interfering in my reception, because all frequencies in 31 meters near were affected.

The transmission began with news about issues like discussions about a new penal code and the participation of a Bulgarian tennis player in an international tournament in Madrid.In the next few days I’ll try to record a transmission from Radio Bulgaria aimed to South America, which, as I listened some weeks ago, came here in pretty good conditions.

Day: June, 12
Time: 21:00 UTC
Frequency 9.400 khz
SINPO 32443
Equipment: Grundig Yacht Boy 80, with its respective antenna
Location: -27.700962, -48.503506

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The classic DW’s interval signal is alive

Some months ago I had a very pleasant surprise while searching Deutsche Welle transmissions. After a long time, I was able to hear, in some transmissions originated from the relay stations from Kigali (Ruanda) and Trincomalee (Sri Lanka) the classic interval signal of the station before of the beginning of the broadcast. A travel in time for me.

This post is
 illustrated with the picture of the old General Electric  All Wave 8 (made in Brazil in the beginning of the decade of 1970) because it was with this radio I used to help my grandma to tune in Deutsche Welle in the middle of the decade of 1980. I just took the radio back from the repair and is still working.

This record was made on May 29, 2011, with the Grunding Yacht Boy 80, in 9.735 Khz, and brings the News report, in English, from 19h UTC. SINPO Code 34433. The transmission came from Sri Lanka. In some days I’ve tuned in in better conditions than the ones of this record. In others conditions are worse. But I think it’s a good reception, considering I’m in the South of Brazil.

Deutsche Welle’s Inbox: the listeners can speak

As I wrote in another post, days ago, I really like listeners feedback programs in international shortwave stations. It’s something like a travel around the world. And listeners feel they really are important. The one I hear most is Inbox, from Deutsche Welle’s English service, presented by the kind Margot Forbes and by Rita Oliver. It’s broadcasted on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.

Two years ago, in Inbox, I discovered that I won from Deutsche Welle the
 Grundig radio I use nowadays for my shortwave receptions. It’s the one on the picture of the blog. For it I answered a quiz from the program Newslink. More than the monetary value of the radio (which can’t be neglected) it had a special meaning for me, and rekindled my interest in shortwave.

On this record, it is shown my e-mail exchange with the program. It was broadcasted in the weekend from April, 16, 2011. The record was made through internet

Negative reaction to the end of transmissions from RTP in Portuguese

International transmissions in Portuguese are becoming really rare on shortwave. This time is Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) which turned off its shortwave transmissions in Portuguese. Sarmento Campos, one of Brazil’s most known dxers, is really pissed off, as you can see in his Blog. There you can watch him in his car listening to the transmission from Portugal in movement. It’s really a shame. RTPs signal was very strong and usually received with classification SINPO 55555 in the South of Brazil during the day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

History of radio in Bulgaria – in Spanish

In this transmission in Spanish, which I’ve recorded on May 29, Radio Bulgaria makes a review of its history and the history of the radio in the Country, which began with the first broadcasts in 1929, with a modest studio. The program reports about the evolution of the radio, about the moment in which the station became completely state owned and about the bombing of the studios during the World War II, when the Radio Bulgaria was known as Radio Sofia and had to use a backup studio.

Transmission from May 29, 16:45 UTC, in 15.700khz
SINPO Code35323
Reception Location: -27.700962, -48.503506

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

No, the Cold war hasn’t finished on shortwave: IRIBs listeners feedback program

With the greeting “in the name of God”, the Spanish service of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) begins his weekly program “Talking with the listeners”. One of my preferred sort of programs in shortwave is this, in which the stations show feedback from different parts of the World. And it is very interesting to observe that even in such situations it is possible to perceive an ideological content. In this recording pay attention on the letter from a Cuban IRIB listener who mentions news “bad intended and malicious from some networks”, in a clear intention to contrast with what he means is a reliable work: IRIBs news.

Caught my attention that two letters came from Brazil – from Sarandi and Santos. The good reception of the transmission from Tehran is probably one of the causes of it.

I’ve made the recording on May, 27 at 2h UTC, in 9.905 khz.