Introduction

Welcome. I'm Jonathan Marks. If this is the first time you've visited this blog, then I'm glad you dropped by! As you may know, I currently work with all kinds of high-tech scale-ups in many parts of Europe, but especially in the Eindhoven region. I'm particularly fascinated because this region is where international broadcasting started in Europe and where the long-range properties of shortwave radio were first discovered in 1926/1927.


Reliving Mainstream broadcast heritage

Nearly seven years ago, in early February 2010, I began an on-line experiment with podcasting to understand how the distribution system works and see whether we could rebuild an audience. We wanted to recreate 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 over 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 shortwave wireless from May 7th 1981 until the end of October 2000 with more than 1000 editions of the show. Many of the features are gradually making their way onto the website as a celebration of international broadcasting's second Golden Age.

Radio Netherlands no longer exists as a radio station in English in the way that we knew it. (They signed off 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!

I release between 6 and 8 vintage Media Network's a month, as time permits. We have now reached more than 538,845 downloads, numbers being boosted by interest in the programmes about China and several documentaries about propaganda, during the Second World War and later.

First of its kind

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. Diana Janssen also joined me as co-host during the last 5 years of the programme. She made a considerable contribution to the programme. 

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 gradually digitized 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 or using 3rd party apps. Please tell friends about the vault and encourage them to subscribe. 

There are also radio related videos which I made more recently over on my video vault.

Finding a show 

If you want to see what has been put up since February 2010, click on the Media Network Archives  blue button on the right and all the editions will be listed. Clicking on a particular month shows the editions uploaded that month. 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 of choice. I personally find the Downcast app to be the best for IOS. 

Listening Figures

As of December 21st 2016, 652,306 episodes have been downloaded from this site. The statistics show that most people download the shows through this site directly or through Facebook. As of the end of December 2016, the most popular programmes have been those on Wartime Deception, Radio London (offshore station and the train), WNYW Tribute, the Giant 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 to many broadcasters - 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: 11:49am CEST
Comments[1]

MN.06.12.2016

Hello, this is Jonathan Marks. Welcome to a Media Network prequel. Yes, it’s true while Donald Trump heads for the white house, we’ll be resuming the wireless show about the wireless in 2017, mixing comments about a post-truth media world with regular trips to the vintage radio wireless archives which we saved from the shredders. Our collection has lasted longer than the station it was first broadcast on.

I found a great cassette sent to me by Africa media correspondent Richard Ginbey in 1989. Richard was a music presenter, first in South Africa, later moving to Windhoek. But I guess his passion was listening to his shortwave radio. And with nothing more than a cassette recorder he put together some fascinating portraits of broadcasting history as observed from a listeners’ perspective. Richard also made features which traced the history of broadcasting in Africa, making some recordings which track the path to independence for many countries. I’m pretty sure many of these bandscans from the 1980’s and before have long since disappeared from official archives. So, here’s a chance to listen again to Richard Ginbey’s media view. I’ve put together several episodes back to back. Enjoy. There is over 70 minutes of unique material here. Pretty amazed at the quality too. The cassettes have lasted better than some of the reel to reel recordings.

Direct download: MN.06.12.2016.RichardGinbey_Special.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:53pm CEST
Comments[0]

MN.16.12.1999

With the news that Radio Australia is planning to cease all shortwave transmissions as from January 31st 2017, I searched through some old cardboard boxes and discovered a lost programme which was never uploaded. It was first broadcast in December 1999 which explains the references to Y2K. This programme features an extended conversation with Mike Bird, and ABC's Radio former acting general manager - Arthur Wyndom who I met at several radio conferences in the 1990's. Dame Edna also puts in an appearance, alongside Andy Sennitt. 

Direct download: MN.16.12.1999.Australia.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:48pm CEST
Comments[0]

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