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 1991 and the Russian radio monopoly is being broken by all kinds of stations, including Radio Roks. Jeff White investigates the return of Radio Impacto, or at least the old transmitters of the station which had targeted Nicaragua in the 1980's as part of a US-backed clandestine media operation. And we hear from the late Dave Rosenthal on what Dxers have been up to in Eastern Canada as part of the Ontario DX Association Summer Camp.
Direct download: MN.27.06.1991RoksRussia.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:59 PM
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This programme dates back exactly ten years ago to June 23rd 2000. What fascinates me in that how little has changed. England was exiting a football tournament, DAB was still trying to get adopted (to be fair its doing better in the UK and Denmark these days) and Worldspace still pumping out claims that they were going to be the platform of choice for the developing world. Ten years on Worldspace is no more, although I keep hearing of rescue attempts, cause the satellites are still up there. Does anyone believe the idea is not broken beyond repair?
Direct download: MN.23.06.2000.worldspace.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:23 PM
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This show went out at the start of November 1999, following on from a programme already up on this site that I made in Auckland New Zealand. I attended a meeting of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union at a hotel in Sydney. But I must confess I escaped some of the dry "working groups" to explore some of the stations, including the SBS and ABC.

Mike Bird, (pictured) our propagation man in Melbourne took the one hour flight to Sydney and we walked around the harbour recalling how media was changing at the start of a new century. I am amazed that SBS still broadcasts in Dutch - I would have thought the audience had really dwindled away to nothing by now.

Direct download: MN.Nov.1999.sydney.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:41 AM
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More mysteries solved. In May of 2000 Diana Janssen and I rounded off our memories of the Millennium by recalling some of the magic that has gone into Media Network from its start in 1981 until the 1000 edition. That included the incident with George Wood and why people arrived outside my house at the start of the first Gulf War. We ended the show with a review of the (currently) defunct Worldspace system, concluding then that this was a very expensive way to listen to international broadcasting. Although I hear stories of all kinds of rescue plans in 2010, I think the window of opportunity has closed on the Worldspace system. To illustrate this podcast, a photo of us both taken around the same period. It was a case of the bald and the beautiful, although on that photo it is the other way round.

Direct download: MN.04.05.2000.insiders.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:08 AM
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I don't deny I had a lot of fun making this programme. It is March 1989 and I realise there is nothing in the RNW archive about the great work that goes on at the relay stations and the story of how the satellite changed an entire industry.

I combined it with reportages on the other ABC islands. Curacao was nice, but the beauty on Bonaire, especially under the water, was spectacular. I remember meeting a great Aruban engineer working at the station who actually swam to work.

This programme was made before the admin building in Kralendijk was closed and the building expanded for the DRM capable transmitters.

In November 2012, the transmitter towers were blown up as part of the closedown of the facilities on the island. An era has closed.

Direct download: MN.23.03.1989Bonaire.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:35 PM
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The date is August 13th 1981. Time to launch an expedition to the Radio Netherlands transmitter site at Lopik. It has been there since 1957 when it took over from the low power site in Huizen. But the 100 kW and 10 kW units are wearing out and plans are afoot for a new transmission centre somewhere on the Flevo polder. A visit to the Bonaire transmitter site in 1989 is the next programme in this mini series.
Direct download: MN.13.08.1981Lopik.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:04 AM
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In this programme we tell the fascinating story of the Kootwijk transmitter built in the centre of the Netherlands on the heathland. In the early 1920's the main goal of the station was to maintain contact with Indonesia, then called the Dutch East Indies. It was pretty amazing bearing in mind they were using the wrong frequency band because the existence of short-wave radio was as yet unknown. The listening site in Eemnes mentioned in the programme is still there, although I believe the station is part of the monitoring network used by the military. The original airing of this programme was on March 3rd 1988. We went back at the end of the Millennium for the close of the station - those shows have yet to be re-released. It was a great story to make, even though its about a "utility" station not a broadcaster. In fact, the same place was used for a short period after the Second World War for longwave broadcasts.
Direct download: MN.kootwijk.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:45 PM
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