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