MN.05.01.1995 News Update

This news edition of the programme kicks off the new year 1995 with a range of new items. This was a good example of a news show without a particular theme, based on a "crowd sourced" pile of news items. Victor Goonetilleke is hearing a new station from Ethiopia Radio Fanaa,  DW has announced the old Radio Berlin International transmitter site in Nauen is to be upgraded. Voice of America announces major expansion and record audiences. Pete Costello has launched a catalogue of hypertext links. All the mediumwave stations in Austria have signed off for the last time. 

Direct download: MN.05.01.1995.Newsupdate.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:50pm CEST
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MN.11.04.1985 Micromuf and Yaesu FRG-8800

This early Media Network is more than 30 years old, so be gentle when listening to it. Lou Josephs reports from Boston on how radio stations across the US have united to play the USA for Africa single, we are the world. Voice of America is expanding both its output and audience according to VOA Director designate Gene Pell. A VOA relay station is being planned for Belize. We discuss the use of a computer interfaces to control a shortwave radio. The TROS has published plans for the Sinclair ZX-80. Rainer Lichte has published plans to connect to a Apple IIe to a shortwave radio.

The 10th West Coast computer fair has just closed. Our reporter talked to computer critic John C. Dvorak, now a host on the popular No Agenda Show podcast and on the TWIT network. John actually had some interesting thoughts about why the home computer was never going to make it. Richard Ginbey had several interesting clips from the airwaves in his African Media report. John Campbell also has clandestine radio news, including a follow-up to the book Secret Warfare.  

Direct download: MN.11.04.1985.micromuf.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:37pm CEST
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MN.03.04.1997. Receiver Market Changes

This edition looks at the changes to the receiver market in the 400-700 US dollar price range. Gilfer Shortwave and 47th Street Photo have both gone out of business. Rick Lansing in Colorado has a problem with a time signal station in Caracas, Venezuela. There is a mystery on 1440 kHz. DXers in Finland have been hearing a station on 1440 when RTL closes down. It seems to be broadcasting in Swahili and may be coming from Tanzania. There are major changes to broadcasts from Radio Tirana, Albania. Voice of Mongolia has started using e-mail! Voice of Hope has started broadcasting from Tbilisi. If you want to see new cars being tested, look at the models driving by VOA Greenville, North Carolina transmitter site. Tim Hendel has comments about local radio in the US and the possible threat from satellite radio. Lou Josephs has a survey of changes to international broadcast websites. BBC World Service has cut back on the number of streams and has issues with viewing their site in some browsers. Victor Goonetilleke has news about TWR broadcasting in English on 882 kHz. He is also hearing Angola on 4950 kHz. Radio For Peace International in Costa Rica is making it into South Asia. The first tests from the HAARP facilty have been heard in Europe. Trevor Brook, owner of Radio Fax broadcasting from Ireland, says he is going to the European Court of Law to fight for private shortwave licences in the UK.  

Direct download: MN.03.04.1997._Receiver_Slumps_African_Safari.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:54pm CEST
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MN.29.07.1992. Vriezen on Caroline

For many years, Media Network had a shorter version sent to around 150 foreign radio stations for rebroadcast on FM. That worked better than crackly shortwave, although the fading and static added to the magic of distance in different ways. This transcription edition of Media Network features an interview with Radio Netherlands Dutch Service presenter Wim Vriezen, someone who became one of the leading voices on the programme Newsline Europe. One of the best all-round news presenters in the Netherlands.

Direct download: MN.29.07.1992.RadioCarolineVriezen.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:42pm CEST
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MN.21.10.1993. Changes DLF & RFE

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet revolution are starting to have an affect on stations serving Eastern Europe. This programme looked at the major changes announced to Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty with budget cuts to staff numbers from 1540 to 705 people. In 1993 the Munich based station had a budget of US$200 million dollars. Services to Afghanistan, were stopped! Melisse Fleming explained they were moving eastwards. Olrich Cip, (in photo), frequency manager at Radio Prague explains the implications of the recent split of the Czechoslovak republic. Wolfgang Pleines at DW has news of changes to Deutschlandfunk. Hans Bakhuizen explains DAB tests about to start in Hilversum and why they are important. Lou Josephs reports that DAB tests are to happen in the US but with their own system. There are problems with the current audio algorhythms. Radio Australia is testing two transmitters from its new facility in Darwin. 

Direct download: MN.21.10.1993.DLF.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:41pm CEST
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MN.10.03.1993.Transcription Changes

This transcription version of Media Network was sent to about 150 stations who subscribed to a condensed version of the show. Obviously propagation reports were not relevant, and we were concious that the items had to be less time sensitive. This edition looks at the rise of rebroadcasting activities and distribution challenges facing BBC World Service, Radio Finland, RFE/RL, Radio Netherlands and Radio Austria International. Interesting to listen to this programme 20 years later, and realise that many of the fears expressed by the international stations actually came true. The rise of the gatekeeper has always been the biggest hurdle to the international broadcasters. If only FM radio could travel over the horizon, the scene would have been different. And this is before the convenience and lower costs of digital satellite television made it into a much more effective medium for many countries. 

Direct download: MN.10.03.1993.Transcription.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:39pm CEST
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MN.09.10.1997. Stanford Visit to Archimedes

By the mid-nineties, the Internet was starting to interest many people in the communications business. We made trips to Silicon Valley to figure out what was going on and the role played by Stanford University. This is one of those on-location safaris. Diana Janssen and I spent some fascinating days talking to Netscape and various audio companies working on early mp3 players. We also visited Neil G Scott, who was building the Archimedes project on the campus of Stanford University. He later moved everything to Hawaii. He was busy working out alternative interfaces to the mouse. Remember this is two years before Google went public and speech recognition was in very early stages. 

Direct download: MN.09.10.1997.archimedes.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:38pm CEST
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MN.09.06.1988 WLW and Asian Ambitions

This edition of the programme starts with an interview with Jim Vastenhoud. He was one of the authors of a fact finding survey to Asia where Radio Netherlands examined possibilities to build a new relay facility in the region and boost it's signal. Vastenhoud explains the reasons for narrowing down the options.

NDXE says it has approached Voice of America in order to hire airtime on a mothballed SW radio facility in Dixon, California. That reminded me of station WLW in Mason, Ohio which was hired by VOA at the outbreak of war. Its famous diamond-shaped antenna mast is still there.

In other news, Sky channel announces a major expansion plan when the Astra satellite launches later this year. Alan Sugar says he will deliver the dish sets for 199 pounds. A US listener travelling in Europe has heard a strange sound which turns out to be a national paging system. Arthur Cushen has been hearing distant stations on mediumwave from a listening post in New Zealand. 

Direct download: MN.09.06.1988.WLW.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:35pm CEST
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MN.03.09.1992. Norway & Garden Antennas

This programme carries the news about the launch of Classic FM in the UK and several stations having been recovering from storm damage. Jonathan Marks does a just outside broadcast from his garden, putting several commercial antennas side by side with some off-air examples of what they bring in. (Actually those antennas are still standing 20 years later!) We cross to Oslo Norway to find out the extent of the cutbacks announced at Radio Norway International. There are some rather spectacular videos on YouTube showing the dismantling of the antennas described in this programme. This happened much later. 

Direct download: MN.03.09.1992.NorwayAntennas.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:15pm CEST
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MN.03.07.1996. Sony SW600 & Listener Calls

We had just installed a new answerline recorder. Listeners want to know about the Sony SW600, the existance of a portable MP3 player, frequency changes for RNW, Victor has been hearing Radio Miami International - a rare catch in Asia. Voice of the Tamil Tiger being jammed by Sri Lankan authorities. Michel Schmidt wants to know about DAB in Germany and the Netherlands. 1997 will be the year of introduction. We followed the launch of Radio-E, set up to demonstrate digital radio. Radio Netherlands launches a daily email newsletter. The NOS Gender monitoring unit has been closed down.  The Dutch seem to be rather traditional. Only 18% of all experts on TV are women. We got a lot of reaction to our contest. Arthur Cushen recalls a record frost - and excellent mediumwave reception in Invercargill New Zealand.  

Direct download: MN.03.07.1996.Women.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:13pm CEST
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Welcome. I'm Jonathan Marks. Glad you dropped by! Thanks for making April a record month for downloads - we had just over 45,600 downloads. Recent remarks on Facebook and Linked-in have generated all kinds of reactions.

This site is a project started nearly five and a half years ago in early February 2010 - an experiment which is so far working well. It is simply a place to listen to vintage editions of the Media Network programme as broadcast on short-wave by Radio Netherlands in the period 1981-2000.

It is near 35 years since the Media Network was launched as the name of the media show on Radio Netherlands, building on the rich heritage of programmes that went before it. We ran on the wireless from May 7th 1981 until October 2000 with more than 1000 editions. Many of the features are gradually making their way onto this website as a celebration of international broadcasting's second Golden Age. Radio Netherlands no longer exists as a radio station in English as we knew it. (They closed at the end of June 2012 as documented on this site). The RN Classical Music station was around for a short while after, but that too had been yanked from the Interwebs.

Join me in raising a glass to the great days of analogue adventures! Yes, you may have seen this page earlier. I keep moving it up the list because otherwise newcomers can't find it. I release between 6 and 8 vintage Media Network's a month, as time permits.  We have now reached more than 283,000 downloads, numbers being boosted by interest in the programmes about Aspidistra, connected with the ending of BBC transmissions via 648 kHz at Orfordness in March 2011.

Media Network was one of the first international communications magazines of its time. I hosted and produced the programme, but a lot of the content was made by a network of volunteer monitors, reporters and researchers located all over the globe. I kept copies of most of the programmes, especially those that dealt with specific issues or were connected to current events in that period. Since leaving Radio Netherlands in 2003, I have been slowly digitizing the tapes as part of my research into international broadcasting and where it might go after shortwave. Personally, I find it amazing to relive this era, especially as most of it was pre-Web, pre-Skype, pre-YouTube, pre-email, when most people thought twice about picking up the phone to call a radio station in another country. There is also a lot to be learned from what worked and what failed. Too many recent media ventures could have learned a lot from those who went before them.

I am always interested in your reactions, especially from people who may be discovering this material for the first time. It will encourage me to post more. Looking at the site stats, it would seem that around 13% of the subscribers are downloading via iTunes. The rest do so directly from the site. Please tell friends about this site and encourage them to subscribe. There are also radio related videos which I made more recently over on my video vault. This podcast publishing system archives editions on a monthly basis, showing only the latest editions on the home page.

Finding a show

If you want to see what has been put up since February 2010, click on the Media Network Archives orange button on the left and all the editions will be listed. You can also subscribe in iTunes by searching for "Media Network Vintage". As each "new" edition is published, it will download automatically to your MP3-player. The statistics show that most people download the shows through this site directly or through Facebook.

As of the end of April 2015, the most popular programmes have been those on wartime deception, Radio London (offshore station and the train), the MN Jingle collection and the RNI Libya programme. Note that programmes are now archived under the months in which they were published. I know some of the material here is niche stuff - but I also know that people interested in international communications and broadcasting are very passionate people. Because of the politics, it provided a constant wave of stories. I also believe that we developed one of the first collaborative formats on international radio, where individuals could do some detective work, report their results, and share experiences with those with a similar passion.

Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:53pm CEST
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