Featured Broadcaster – Voice of America

Over the years, I have received VOA broadcasts on Shortwave many times, and still do to this day. They have an incredible regional output and a wide and varied range of interesting programs. They also embrace the new forms of output such as digital media.

Potted History

It all started in 1941 as the U.S. Foreign Information Service (FIS), which became the Voice of America the following year. Within a year it had added The Amoy, Cantonese, Portuguese-to-Latin America, Spanish-to-Latin America, Tagalog, and Manderin services. During the war years, they added many more languages to their output. Unfortunately, during the post-war years up to the 1950’s, output was severely cut, with many debates about the continuing need for such a service (sounds familiar!). However, with the advent of the Cold War period, broadcasting was ramped up, as the U.S. Government saw the role it could fulfill as a powerful exponent of democracy.

In 1959, VOA inaugurated “Special English” – slow-paced, simplified English broadcasts — to facilitate comprehension for millions of listeners. Special English programs quickly became some of the most popular on VOA, and they retain that status today.

During the 60’s and 70’s, the VOA covered many areas of conflict and world events via their news services. The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the first steps of Neil Armstrong on the Moon to name but two.

VOA Today

In more recent times, VOA has gone through some turmoil regarding funding and the need to keep some of the services, including those on Shortwave. As with many international broadcasters over the last few years, a lot of content has shifted to digital as it is much easier and cheaper to produce and distribute. However, with the situation in Ukraine, it would appear that some of those decisions have been reversed, and new funding streams found to support Shortwave output. There has been a realisation that not everyone will have access to the internet, or if they do, access can be easily removed by Government bodies.

Programs

As I mentioned before, VOA has an extensive output covering many subjects. News, Sport (both US and regional), Culture, Politics etc. At some point during the day I reckon that whatever language you speak, you would be able to find a VOA broadcast to suit your tastes.

Here in the UK, I find their relays from Sao Tome, Botswana and Thailand to name but a few are easily received, even with modest equipment. I usually find the 31m band gives me the most favourable reception.

Schedules

The following shows the current A14 schedules.

VOA Broadcast Frequency Schedules

Effective 30 March 2014 through 25 October 2014/  (Updated 10 April, 2014)
All times and dates are Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), same as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).Frequencies are in kiloHertz (kHz). 1 MegaHertz (MHz) is equal to 1000 kHz. Conversion to meter bands: Meters=300000/frequency in kHz. e.g.: 17705 kHz –> 16.9 meters

Abbreviations: All programs/frequencies are on daily unless noted otherwise.
* – Monday through Friday
# – Tuesday through Saturday
> – Friday and Saturday
$ – Saturday and Sunday
^ – Sunday through Thursday

English to Africa

0300-0400 UTC    909  1530  4930  6080 15580
0400-0430 UTC    909  1530  4930  4960  6080 15580
0430-0500 UTC    909  4930  4960  6080 15580
0500-0600 UTC    909  4930  6080 15580
0600-0700 UTC    909  1530  6080 15580
1400-1500 UTC    4930  6080 15580
1500-1600 UTC    4930  6080 15580 17895
1600-1700 UTC    909  1530  4930  6080 15580
1700-1800 UTC    6080 11845 15580 17895
1800-1830 UTC    6080 15580 17895
1800-1830 UTC$  909  4930
1830-1900 UTC    4930  6080 15580
1830-1900 UTC$  909
1900-2000 UTC    909  4930  6080 15580
2000-2100 UTC    909  1530  4930  6080 15580
2030-2100 UTC$  4940
2100-2200 UTC    1530  6080 15580South Sudan – English    
1630-1700 UTC* 11620 13870 15180

English to Far East Asia, South Asia and Oceania

0100-0200 UTC    7430  9780 15205
1100-1200 UTC$  1575
1200-1300 UTC    7575  9510 12075 12150
1300-1400 UTC$   7575  9510 12075 12150
1400-1500 UTC*  7575 12110 15490
1500-1600 UTC    7575 12110 15490
2200-2300 UTC^  5895  5915  7480  7575 12150
2230-2400 UTC>  1575
2300-2400 UTC    5895  7480  7575 12150

Learning English

0030-0100 UTC   1575  7430  9790 12015 12150 15290 17820
0130-0200 UTC#  9825
1500-1600 UTC    6140  7540  9400
1600-1700 UTC   11915 13570 17895
1900-2000 UTC   7485
2230-2400 UTC   7460  9570 11840

For further info (and a more detailed history etc) see: http://www.voanews.com/ and http://www.insidevoa.com/

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s