As 2015 closes, thoughts turn to what 2016 may hold radio-wise. I hope that no more of the international broadcasters decide to pull any more of their broadcast outlets. The last few years has seen VOA, the BBC, DW and others reduce their output and this to me is a mistake in a very uncertain world. As conflict and despotism increases in parts of the world, ordinary people need up to date, uncensored information. And this can only be provided by shortwave as many cannot afford the internet, and the means for censoring is not as easy. As we have learnt about China, millions of people have access to the internet but the government blocks a lot of available information. Yes China does employ jamming on short wave, but this is much more expensive.
I also can see more regional short wave stations starting up, either funded by external organisations or the countries themselves. Although many short wave stations in South America since the hey days of the ’70’s, they are still numerous, serving their local communities with up to date news, sport and other programs of interest. Many of them are religious based and supported by external religious groups. I can see this model of getting information to ordinary people being extended to Africa and S.E. Asia. This will not only improve the lives of people in these areas by providing cheap-to-get information and education, but make the short wave bands much more interesting for us listeners.
Whilst on the subject of providing cheap access to information and education via radio, it’s worth mentioning the charity Ears To Our World, run by Tomas Witherspoon of SWLing Post fame. The charity provides radios (usually of the wind up variety) to poor communities around the world. It’s worth having a read on what they are about and if you feel so moved, send ’em a donation. I have no connection with ETOW but I do think they are a really worthwhile organisation.
Finally, I should like to extend a very Happy New Year to all who have happened upon this blog over the last year and hope that 2016 is good for you both personally and on the radio. On my part, I shall try and make more time for posting articles and items of interest. That’s as far as I go for resolutions!
See you all on the other side. 73’s and Good Listening!