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 posted here to enjoy all over again. This is a non-commercial service to media historians done at the initiative of host, Jonathan Marks.
In 1986 I attended an ANARC convention and gave a slide show about European and Asian radio. I dragged two Kodak Caroussel projectors across the Atlantic and a device that synchronised them with an audio from a cassette. I must have been mad. I remember having to take two suitcases. In fact, the tape lasted longer than the projectors. It is really radio with pictures, a sort of early Slideshare I'd say. Give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world, or at least the world as we saw it in 1986. Never broadcast as far as I can remember. Mike Bird free.
Direct download: MN.EarlySlideshare.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:04 AM
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This programme covers three media wars going on in the middle of 1999. One was in Kosovo, there was increased tension in the Koreas (nothing has changed) and problems in the Solomon Islands.There's also an interview with Jerry Berg who wrote an excellent book on the early days of shortwave broadcasting. In June 1999, one of the Radio Netherlands transmitters began carrying a daily programme of just under 2 hours produced by the journalists of Radio 21. If you've been following our coverage of the media situation in Kosovo, you may recall that Radio 21 was a Web-only radio station based in Pristina, serving the Albanian community. In the disputed waters off the coast of Korea, north and south Korean naval vessels became involved in yet another incident in which two North Korean ships were sunk. The political tension between north and South Korea has of course been high ever since the Korean war, and the airwaves of that region are full of propaganda from both sides. Jerry Berg is a well-known and highly respected short wave listener. He is on the Executive Council of the North American Shortwave Association and is chairperson of the Committee to Preserve Radio Verifications. He is also the author of a new case-bound book called On The Shortwaves 1923-1945. It tells the story of shortwave broadcasting from the earliest days up to the end of World War II. It’s surprising that nobody has tackled this subject in depth before. Probably the reason is the difficulty of finding relevant material. But researching information must be second nature to Jerry Berg, as he's an attorney by profession. Photo by unnamed Radio Netherlands reporter who reported from there in 2004.
Direct download: MN.17.06.1999.PrestinaBerg.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:30 AM
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In 1998 I had the chance to go to Shanghai to take part in an Asian Broadcasting Union meeting. Frankly, the topics for discussion were mind numbing - political more than practical. But it gave me a great opportunity to tour some of the radio stations in the city and keep a kind of audio diary. We experimented with sending files over the web - and it didn't sound too bad. Certainly good enough for shortwave. Remember that China is roughly the same size as the United States, except it has 5 times the population. ABU meetings have a reputation of doing things on a grand scale, in-fact a scale of grandeur that has long since died out in Europe. And because many of the stations have government connections, including this year's hosts, the Radio and TV of the Peoples' Republic of China, there's an official reception desk waiting behind passport control. A young girl in a white jacket spots my briefcase with the Radio Netherlands sticker. Yes, I am Mr Marks, but for the next few days, I'm better known as delegate 157 - please hang this large name badge around you neck. Just in time, I remember to hand out my business card with two hands, English characters face side up, but with a hopefully accurate Chinese translation on the back.
Direct download: MN.26.11.1998.shanghai.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:00 AM
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Looking back through old radio magazines of about 25 years ago, you see some very strange articles. Speakers at international radio conferences like ANARC and the European DX Council proudly talked about short-wave turning to single-sideband by the year 2015 and that satellites would not play a significant role before the end of the century. They seemed to have totally misjudged the competition from commercial TV broadcasters like CNN, or the growing demand from the consumer for better quality audio and more choice. Another denial, this time from BBC World Service. They were reacting to an article in the Sunday Times of London which claimed on the 26th September that BBC’s external service is about to shut some language services. (history is repeating itself in 2010). BBC’s German service, which has just celebrated 60 years on the air, was supposedly to close together with transmissions to Nepal, Portuguese speaking Africa, Slovakia and Hungary. BBC told us that a decision on how to bridge a 5.7 million pound shortfall had not been taken. We also spoke with former RNW programme Director Frans Suasso, who had just returned from a trip to Kazakhstan to examine the media scene there.
Direct download: MN.01.10.1998.Kazakhstan.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:00 AM
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I remember this edition of Media Network because it had a superb story from China as part of the Memory of the Millennium. The author explained how radio had been a friend and foe in his life, especially to his father. It is only when you visit other countries where listening to foreign radio stations is discouraged that you realise the risks people took in the past, and (in some countries like Burma) risks that they still take today. This edition also contains a chat with the late Bob Tomalski on recordable DVD's (what a standards mess that was) and we hear from a listener in the UK who believes the BBC is trying to do too much. This edition was recorded at a time when BBC German was amongst a number of language sections threatened with closure. We also did film reviews: Henry Stokes writes from Green Bay Wisconsin. I remember in the dim distant past, Media Network ran a series of features about Motion Picture musings, a sort of film review section where the idea was to spotlight films that somehow involved radio in their plot. It seems incredible that films such as Good Morning Vietnam are now well over a decade old. Since then a few James Bond films have had a radio connection with fights on radio telescopes for instance, but these days’ secret agents are sent abroad to blow up satellite TV stations not clandestine radio transmitters. I live in an area with quite a lot of people from Polish origin and there has been some considerable discussion about a new film by Robin Williams called Jakob the Liar. It is actually a remake of an East German film from 1974 with the same name, although the new version gets more treatment from Hollywood special effects. This is a holocaust drama about a Jewish concentration camp. The critics have panned it because of the rather forced Polish accents by the American actors, especially Allen Arkin. It also disappeared from the cinema circuits here very quickly and I’m not sure whether it has been released yet in Europe, I doubt it. My reason for bringing it up is that it the star of the film, Jakob, is a lonely widower in 1945 who starts to become popular when he listens to allied broadcasts from the BBC and then relays the information to the others in the Polish concentration camp. Excited by the news that the Russians are on their way, he gives a lot of people hope in the midst of their despair. But since the news isn’t always want they want to hear, he starts embellishing. He also claims to own a transmitter so he can get secret news in and out. I enjoyed the way they portrayed short-wave broadcasting at the time. The rest of the film was only fair. The photo was taken at the entrance to the Shanghai metro in the days when being asked not to take explosives onto the metro was really quite funny. How times have changed.
Direct download: MN.11.11.1999.LettersChina.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:27 PM
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Diana Janssen sent the following postcard on her holiday which we published on the web, asking you to identify where she'd been. I thought it was Albania. Others suggested Ukraine. No-one got this one right. But there was some more offshore news as Radio 10 celebrated an anniversary and Merlin Communications started to broadcast other programmes than the BBC out of Orfordness, Suffolk. We also spoke with Mike Kelly, who had refitted VOA's Master Control and had now started a satellite business. BVN-TV was later broadcast to North America through Kelly's system.
Direct download: MN.03.09.1998.OffshoreRadio10.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:26 PM
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A news programme reporting on a remarkable number of closedowns and mysteries. You can see that several stations are starting to play with the web, though no-one is really sure about what they are doing. Radio Netherlands tests 7130 from an undisclosed location, the Nozema Christmas Tree, Radio Luxemburg ends shortwave analogue broadcasts, Victor Goonetilleke reports on protests to VOA transmitter site in Chilaw, Ethiopia being heard again, RIAS switched off shortwave, DW expands Nauen near Berlin, Austria pulls the plug on medium, Pete Costello launches a links lists. The URL's were so new we thought http:// was important enough to mention on the air :-). REE joins the web, alongside RTE in Ireland. Bethany gets a new life in Ohio. Chris Greenway at BBC Monitoring, reports on a longwave transmitter from Oslo remains on the air. Estonian radio puts mediumwave back on the air and Georgia has LW plans too. The show closes with Mike Bird’s propagation survey.

Direct download: MN.05.01.1995.AustriaMW.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:09 PM
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Today’s radio feature says bravo for bakelite, an early form of plastic which brought radio to the people. When radios were first manufactured in the first twenty years of this century, they looked more like an experiment in a physics laboratory than something which was designed to entertain. Then some firms started using a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin for their cases, formed from an elimination reaction of phenol with formaldehyde, usually with a wood flour filler. It was developed in 1907–1909 by Belgian chemist Dr. Leo Baekeland. Wikipedia has more here. In this programme, broadcast on the Queens Day holiday in 1998, we visit the home of Willem Bos who has scoured the flea markets in the Netherlands is search of his passion for bakelite. Thanks too to Scott MacLeod Liddle for his terrific photo on Flickr.
Direct download: MN.wk.18.1998.bakelite.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:38 AM
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First broadcast in 1984, this programme looks in some detail at a mystery that took decades to solve. Light and radio waves travel 7 times around the world in one second. So how can you explain some echoes noted on early shortwave broadcasts from PCJ, sometimes of several seconds? Did the ionosphere have a memory? Was the sun part of the equation? Unashamedly specialist this one. But we got good response from those interested in the technical aspects of shortwave radio.

Direct download: MN.28.06.1984.Longdelayed.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:29 AM
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