MN.27.12.1984 - What time is it?

In the 1980's you could find time signal stations quietly ticking away on the shortwave dial. WWVH from Hawaii, CHU from Canada, VNG from Australia. They were a useful beacon to tell you whether signals were coming in from a particular part of the world. In 1984 I compiled a feature with examples, mainly made by writing to the stations concerned and sending them a cassette. There was no Internet and phone lines sounded pretty terrible. We also included an interview with VOA who were busy building a new mediumwave radio station to improve the audibilty of their Spanish service in Nicaragua. And Victor Goonetilleke supplied us with news from his listening post in Colombo, Sri Lanka. His cassette machine was coming to the end of its life! By todays standards, this programme sounds incredibly slow. And it took ages to write on a typewriter with carbon copy in between. But the time signal recordings bring back memories.

Direct download: MN.27.12.1984.Timesignals.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:35pm CEST
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MN.22.10.1987. Time Signals and Listeners Letters

This vintage Media Network programme looked at changes to the Time Signal Station  VNG in Lyndhurst Australia and we compiled a feature looking at how international broadcasters like VOA, Radio Australia, Radio Netherlands and BBC World Service handle the hundreds of thousands of letters that each was receiving. Most, in fact, were having a hard time. In fact if you wrote to the BBC or VOA you were not very likely to get a reply, except perhaps a programme schedule. Remember this five years before anyone thought of using the Internet for correspondence to a radio station in another country.

Direct download: MN.22.10.1987.Time__Letters.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:05pm CEST
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MN.03.03.1994 World Radio Network London

This edition of Media Network is just over 20 years old. I found myself in London and decided to visit the facilities of World Radio Network who had the idea of bundling international broadcasters by language rather than country. Karl Miosga (pictured) showed me round. I think the concept worked in the days before the Internet rather destroyed the business model of satellite delivered radio. Its so difficult to do on-demand. Which is obviously what you are doing now.

Direct download: MN.03.03.1994.WRN.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:57pm CEST
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MN.24.12.1981. Polish Martial Law on the radio

A very early Media Network covering what we could hear about the worrying developments in Warsaw. On December 12–13 1981, the Polish regime declared martial law, under which the army and ZOMO riot police were used to crush the Solidarity movement. The Soviet leaders insisted that Jaruzelski pacify the opposition with the forces at his disposal, without direct Soviet involvement or backup. Virtually all Solidarity leaders and many affiliated intellectuals were arrested or detained. The United States and other Western countries responded by imposing economic sanctions against Poland and the Soviet Union. With no Twitter, or even Internet at the time, one of the few ways of monitoring developments was to listen to Polish radio. 

Direct download: MN.24.12.1981.Poland.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:32pm CEST
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MN.04.10.1990 Inside Radio Berlin International

This is the edition of Media Network where we looked at the future of Radio Berlin International, the Voice of the GDR. We had visited the broadcast centre on Nalepastrasse on the banks of the River Spree. RBI was part of the much larger domestic operation, Stimme DDR. Many people don't know that the studios in Nalepastrasse 18-30 are now a cultural centre, often used by musicians for rehearsals. We also phoned the owners of ELWA in Monrovia, Liberia to find out what was next for the station. We also had an update from Radio St Helena's Tony Leo, one of the rarest catches from the South Atlantic Ocean. 

Direct download: MN.04.10.1990.RBIELWA.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:16pm CEST
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MN.21.09.2000 DRM Test Results & Bombshell announcement

I note some recent discussions about the future of DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale - not digital rights management). The current discussion makes it sound like DRM is new. In fact, the tests go back to 1996. This programme in September 2000 was probably the most comprehensive programme we did, letting people hear the difference between analogue and digital shortwave. I personally believe that the window of opportunity closed shortly afterwards. Of course, putting it back on shortwave defeated the object, but we knew that there might be opportunities later (though we didn't foresee podcasting). This was also the programme where I announced that Media Network was to end as a radio show. Got some immediate reaction via e-mail that it sounded like a bombshell. I recall about 1500 reactions in total. Co-host Diana Janssen had left Radio Netherlands for a career with Forrester Research and I could see the international sound broadcasting business was fading fast. We decided it was better to end the radio show on a high note.   

Direct download: MN.21.09.2000_DRM.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:45pm CEST
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MN.18.05.2000 Being in two places at once London/Hilversum

The first part of this programme comes from Earls Court, from what used to be called the Cable & Satellite convention. We explain why broadband DSL is going to revolutionize the Internet experience. Victor Goonetilleke joins us in the second part of an indepth interview, this time looking at Internet access in South Asia. 

Direct download: MN.18.05.2000.London.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:30pm CEST
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