Media Network Vintage Vault 2014-2015
Re-live international shortwave radio between 1980-2000 through a radio show that pioneered producing narratives with its listeners. Over 400 complete programmes are posted here to enjoy all over again. This is a non-commercial service to media historians done at the initiative of host, Jonathan Marks.
It is April 30th as this entry is published. Its a national holiday to celebrate the Queen's Birthday, although Beatrix is not actually having a birthday today. Her late mother was born on April 30th and this is a better time of year than the queen's official birthday on 31st January (1938). So when she was inaugurated in 1980, Queens Day didn't move. The programme attached to this entry is also from Queens Day, but as broadcast on Thursday 30th April 1987....23 years ago. In this show we learn that VOA Europe goes stereo and will also carry commercials, through a barter arrangement with Westwood One We hear the plans for satellite scrambling in MAC mode. AWR Guam signs on. There's also a feature on Audience research - Tom Fikkert of Radio Netherlands and Graham Mytton who was Head of the International Broadcasting Audience Research department at BBC World Service. I find it fascinating to hear how shortwave was declining back then. Finally, clandestine radio expert John Campbell reports on some fascinating books he discovered at book fairs across the North-West Europe.
Direct download: MN.30.04.1987Queens.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:34 AM
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This was one of the later Media Network shows which originated from Auckland, New Zealand in January 2000. The local members of the NZ Radio DX League did us proud by welcoming us - and showing us all the radio sites. New Zealand is also home to the great radio heritage foundation.

I can recommend them both. I especially remember the visit to George FM (easy to find on any web radio) which has one of the most efficient antennas on the planet. They need it, because they only have a few microwatts of transmission power. They have brilliant ideas - like their current holiday offer to Ibiza.

Direct download: MN.06.01.2000NZ.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:47 PM
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The first half of the programme is devoted to an interview with the developer of secret radio transmitters used by the agents working for the Special Operations Executive during WW 2. The sets were remarkably crude because the budget was a pittance. We then cross to southern Germany at the command centre for the European Space Agency. Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels was aboard SpaceLab 1 at the time. Those were the days when any space mission got ample coverage.
Direct download: MN.07.11.1985.SOE.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:08 PM
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This show, broadcast on 14th November 1985 has an in-depth feature on the offshore station Laser 558 being escorted by a sister ship hired by the UK DTI authorities. Lack of power forced the station to ask for assistance. Interview with station representative John Catlett and former owner of the ship, the Guardline Seeker. We also caught up with Bob Horvitz, at that time running the Woodpecker Project, which involved watching the Russian Over The Horizon Radar. There is also a visit to VOA Europe in Munich, African Media News with Richard Ginbey and the Propagation Report from Mike Bird. I remember I had the flu that Thursday, so excuse the croaky voice.

Direct download: MN.14.11.1985.laser.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:37 PM
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Seeing that Thailand is in the news as I write this, I picked this programme broadcast from Bangkok on 4th December 1987. This includes an interview with Richard Jackson who was working for many of the stations there at the time and who was instrumental in bringing the show together. We looked at the 60 years celebration of Thai King's Birthday and noted the poor quality of AM transmitters. NBT runs two services. including HSK-9, Radio Thailand's external service. VOA also has a special service called Voice of Free Asia. There were clandestine stations from Communist Party of Thailand via Beijing. Thanks to telmo32 on flickr for sharing the photo under Creative Commons. http://www.flickr.com/people/telmo32/
Direct download: MN.04.12.1987.Thailand.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:02 AM
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You will hear contributions from Wolf Harranth in some of the Media Network archive programmes. You might like to know that I interviewed him on camera for my video blog and that both parts of that tour are now on line. Wolf leads a team that has built the the world's largest documentation archive for radio. This reportage will definitely interest anyone who remembers or collected broadcast station QSL cards. In fact the millions of QSL cards, magazines, books and unique government records tell the story of communication across international borders. They survive on help from volunteers and I hope that this second video will help to explain why they are so passionate about preserving the golden age of international radio. It reminds me of an early version of Facebook. This site doesn't like embedded video. So more details here: Part One:http://vimeo.com/10320815 Part Two: http://vimeo.com/11129204
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:35 PM
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This week we're going back to May 23rd 1985 when I was fortunate to visit Sri Lanka for the first time, as part of a stop-over on Air Lanka to Tokyo. Actually it was great to spend some time with two long time friends of the Media Network programme, Victor Goonetilleke (pictured) and Sarath Weerakoon. This was just before a new round of hostilities broke out in the North and East of the country. I travelled with Adrian Petersen to see the Deutsche Welle Trincomalee relay station - a trip of almost 8 hours. We stayed in the Moonlight Bay hotel, which I found out later was blown up a few weeks later. On our return, Victor had organised a meeting of Radio Netherlands' listeners and I was amazed to discover that some people had travelled over two days just to say hello and express their appreciation for Media Network and Pete Myers show at the time called Mainstream Asia. Again, important to realise this is 10 years before Internet had mass appeal, only a few satellite TV channels requiring 11 metre dishes and the only way for ordinary folk to follow events was with a shortwave radio. Enjoy this one. I personally love the story about how SLBC got its transmitting station from the British.
Direct download: MN.23.05.85srilanka.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:18 AM
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In August 1992, Lou Josephs took me in his car to a poison-ivy infested ruin on a hill over looking the Atlantic Ocean. It was from this point in Scituate, Massachussets that WRUL, WNYW and WYFR broadcast programmes for several decades. Lou was working then for WROR in Boston, but in earlier years he had a Saturday job working in the New York City offices of WNYW. Luckily he also owned one of the first cassette recorders (so new they didn't know how to pronounce it on DXing Worldwide). I always thought that at its peak in the late 60's the station radiated remarkable energy. Perhaps it was because distance still had magic. More recollections from Lou are still floating around the Interwebs. Check http://www.northernstar.no/wnyw.htm. Thanks to Jim Cutler for the photo of the old WNYW site.

Lou tells me that Larry Yount hass passed away earlier this year. He was a versatile news anchor in New York City in the 1960s and 1970s, working at stations that included WVNJ, WRFM (and its sister shortwave station, WNYW) and WQXR. Yount died August 25 2011 in Hickory, N.C.; he was 77.  Larry was Program Director for 3 years or so at WNYW and voiced Dxing WorldWide  He is the host of the media network clip..yeah the guy with the "k set" problem.

Direct download: MN.20.08.1992.WNYW.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:40 PM
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In the early hours of Thursday August 2nd 1990, Iraq launched an invasion on Kuwait. Initially, Iraqi forces managed to capture the studios of Kuwait Radio & Television at the Ministry of Information building. But after a period of silence, people running the shortwave transmitter of Radio Kuwait succeeded in getting the station back on the air with an announcement on all Radio Kuwait's frequencies. In this edition of Media Network we examined the media aspects of the Iraq-Kuwait conflict and some rumours that started to lead a life of their own. The show is an example of how important shortwve external broadcasting was during that era in trying to follow all aspects of a story. Remember this is well before the influence of Internet or satellite television in the region. The show is also a good example of how the audience took part in sharing their observations alongside the "official" sources. I was always amazed at peoples' willingness to contribute, especially when making an international phone call was a big deal.
Direct download: MN.09.08.1990.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:12 PM
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