Saturday, March 13, 2010

Review of the Year 2009 on Shortwave

by Rumen Pankov and Ivo Ivanov of Radio Bulgaria, via Yimber Gaviria in Colombia

In 2009 a large number of stations cut part of their shortwave programming, and other transmitters went off the air. New stations came on the air and other old stations resumed their transmissions after a long interruption. On January 1st, 2010 a new public radio station, Radio Vidin, began operating in northeastern Bulgaria.

On shortwave, Irish radio began to broadcast again for an hour each day, and on Vanuatu in the Pacific, a shortwave transmitter came back on the air. A station called Super Radio Dios del Amor began to be heard. This station was the successor to Radio Tupi in Curitiba. Despite comments by the management of the Voice of America and the BBC that broadcasts on shortwave were not necessary, the two stations created new programs for the Caucusus, and Radio Liberty began a special program called "The Eco of the Caucuses."

Almost all international stations abandoned the new spectrum assigned to radio amateurs from 7100 to 7200 kHz, in which two exotic transmitters from Guinea and Somalia began to operate on 7125 and 7145 kHz, respectively. In July of 2009 the BBC carried out experimental transmissions to Antarctica. On Nov. 14 the traditional annual broadcast of Radio Saint Helena took place in the Atlantic. The program was heard by few listeners due to low solar activity.

A new Christian station from the United States, WJHR, began experimental transmissions on shortwave. In April 2009 to mark the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the KBC broadcast from the Netherlands a special series of musical programs. The 25th of April was officially proclaimed for U.S. stations Willis Conover Day, the presenter and host of a program dedicated to world jazz in the 20th Century [on the VOA]. Another legendary radio program, "Happy Station," broadcast from 1925 to 1995, interrupted during the Second World War years, via Radio Netherlands, was re-established and began to broadcast on shortwave from Radio Miami in the U.S.

In 2009 a large number of political programs came on the air destined for countries like Zimbabwe, North Korea, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Madagascar, and broadcast by transmitters located in Germany, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, among other countries. The year 2009 will be remembered also for the strikes at two important radio organizations, one in France and other in India. The events at Radio France International began at the start of 2009 after it was learned that authorities planned to shut down some of the overseas broadcasts.

During the solar eclipse of April 26th, anomalies in shortwave broadcasting were noted, typical for that phenomenon. The year 2009 will also be remembered for the closure of Radio Vilnius and Radio Ratia in Lithuania, Radio Center in Latvia, Radio Peace for Afghanistan, Radio Star from Liberia, the Radio Reading Service of New Zealand and Radio Vlaanderen in Belgium. Dec. 31, 2009 was the last day of transmission on shortwave for Radio Austria and the Radio of the French-speaking Community of Belgium.

(NASB Newsletter, March 2010)

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