Media Network Vintage Vault 2015 - 2016 (Media Network Archives)
Re-live international shortwave radio between 1980-2000 through a radio show that pioneered producing narratives with its listeners. Over 470 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.

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: 8:50 PM
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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: 8:37 PM
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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: 3:54 PM
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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: 9:42 PM
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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: 9:41 PM
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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: 9:39 PM
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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: 9:38 PM
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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: 9:35 PM
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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: 9:15 PM
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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: 9:13 PM
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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: 5:53 PM
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The programme starts with the voice of the late Paul Holmes, a New Zealand broadcaster who worked at RNW in 1980. I did shifts with him.

International broadcasters usually have friends all over the world, but few in their own country. That's because they don't target their own people - and politicians are often clueless as to what their role is, relying on hearsay. During its life as a broadcaster, Radio Nederland Wereldomroep would regularly become the subject of commissions. One of the most important reports was put together by the Mediaraad (Media Council) in 1992, and triggered a major reorganisation of the station in 1994. 

Trans World Radio has hired airtime from Radio Tirana Albania..unthinkable a few years before. WRTH reports that Radio Czechoslovakia International may shortly change its name again as the country splits in 1993. Marcel Rommerts has problems hearing BBC Radio 1 on 1053 kHz. Russian separatists are jamming a station. Andy Sennitt makes me a cup of tea. Lou Josephs says the new transmitter in Costa Rica from Spanish Foreign Radio is difficult to hear. John Catlett of Radio Luxembourg announces the descision to end the English language programming. 

The programme concludes with an interview with Pat Gowan, G3IOR, who's fascinated by reception of satellites on the wrong side of the Earth. 

Direct download: MN.15.10.1992.mediaraad.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:29 PM
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There are rumours in Holland about the start of a second TV service from RTL, to be called RTL-5. Vasily Strelnikov reports from Moscow about the start of the Voice of Russia, and its plans to serve the Russian speakers living in the Ukraine (sic- compare 1992 to 2014).

There was an extensive WARC report from Malaga, Spain. Some important issues remain deadlocked on future expansion on shortwave broadcast bands. Victor Goonetilleke reports that SLBC has started a service to North America. 

Direct download: MN.27.02.1992.WARCMoscow.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:24 PM
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We're trying to work out why listeners have not received the latest Radio Netherlands programme schedule On Target from Costa Rica. Typhoon Brian hit Guam but didn't do any damage to station KSDA. Jeff White reports from Bogota profiling Caracol and RCN and their use of international broadcasters. Ken MacHarg reports on other areas where they plan to establish relay facilities. Listeners in Asia are hearing National Unity Radio in Sudan. Richard Measham reports on why it was set up - to counteract the clandestine Radio SPLA. Entrepreneur Lex Harding says he will start Radio 538 before the end of the year. Andy Sennitt of the WRTH has news from the Balkans about transmitters for hire.

Direct download: MN.15.10.1992.Caracol.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:22 PM
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This programme starts with a link to Bill Whitacre who reports on the start of a VOA Kurdish language radio service. Bill also explains that VOA has started relays of its programmes from a transmitter in Armenia - something that would have been unthinkable just a few year ago. Marcel Rommerts can hear Spanish Foreign Radio on a new out of band channel. 

The Asian Broadcasting Institute reports on the current war of words between North and South Korea. It includes several recordings. Lou Josephs reports on the financial woes of the Christian Science Monitor. Spanish programmes have suddenly disappeared. 

The programme includes a test of the Grundig Satelliet 700. The set is manufacturerd in Portugal. The set comes with a 32 page instruction manual. It sells at 540 US dollars.

Direct download: MN.07.05.1992.VOAKorea.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:21 PM
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Another listener driven programme. Kanwarjit Sandhu spots a station called the Voice of Free Kashmir. It seems to be a separate station from Azad Kashmir Radio. Victor Goonetilleke reports on his observations from Sri Lanka. He can hear Baghdad on 3980 kHz at 1800 GMT. And terrorists have planted a bomb outside the VOA transmitting station in the Philippines. Richard Measham of BBC Montoring reports that Mother of Battles Radio hasn't been heard since 4th of February. Pete Myers looks at the coverage by CNN of the Gulf War. EBU is worried. It later led to the establishment of Euronews.

The feature today is a look at broadcasting from Andorra. AWR Andorra is off the air and there's a dispute in the courts. Andorra wants to restart its plans for satellite TV broadcasting. Richard Langley reports on plans to cut RCI funds again. Richard Measham reports on Radio Rossi.   

Direct download: MN.07.02.1992.iraqandorra.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:19 PM
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We start with receiver news. Yaesu Musen announces a new FRG-800, which is supposed to have better dynamic range than the FRG-8800. Radio Free Europe, TV Marti and Radio Free Asia are under fire from the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Tom Korologos chairs the commission and spoke with us.

It's trash week on Radio Netherlands. So we played a few bloopers from the recording sessions which haven't been aired before.

Tony Barrett has heard a special transmission from HCJB in Quito, Ecuador. 

 

Direct download: MN.06.08.1992.RadioFreeAsia.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:17 PM
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This programme starts with an interval signal contest with a difference. We played 3 signals at the same time, and one of them was backwards. Can you still get them right? Swiss Radio International announced a major change to its transmitter usage - realising that its transmitters inside Switzerland had limited range. This was a significant change for a neutral country. Tim Hendel believes we should rely more Radio Caroline is being rebroadcast by Radio Fax on 6205 kHz, but they are from the archives. 

BBC closes its Daventry SW transmitting station at the end of March 1992. Ham radio operators have an idea. They have gained permission for a celebration station on April 4th and 11th. GB67XX. Bryan Clarke reports on a station in Bougainville on 3880 kHz.

As of the 8th of February, NOS has started D2MAC test transmissions as Bart Kuperus reports. Victor Goonetilleke closes out the programme with tuning tips from Asia.

Direct download: MN.05.02.1992.DXnightmaresri.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:15 PM
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The tape of this programme has not survived well, so I have only included part of this programme. I think it's interesting because it explains the plans the US had to expand the number of relay stations for Voice of America. It involved major investments in several countries to strengthen America's voice abroad. Remember this is November 1988, more than a decade before the Internet was even a remote possibility as a way of getting audio around the planet. Willis Conover (pictured) was broadcasting jazz programmes from the Voice of America.

Direct download: MN.04.11.1988Voafeature.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:12 PM
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Media Network was putting the bang back into WorldBand Radio. We begin with news about QSL cards, which I made myself in the Keukenhof. We also look at the challenges some stations have in making a station identifcation. In the UK and Netherlands, many stations started by pushing their mediumwave wavelength. Lou Josephs has been travelling in the Caribbean, where he encountered many satellite fed music stations. Is the culture of the region being affected by all these US music feeds. There is also a clip from Radio Free Grenada which operated on the 19 metre band, set up to relay cricket commentaries to the UK. We also explain the story of Radio Antilles, originally set up by Deutsche Welle. BBC's Caribbean service was very popular in those days - discontinued in 2011.

Direct download: MN.04.06.1992.Caribbean.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:11 PM
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We started with news about Radio Tirana, VOA Liberia, Spectrum Radio in London has a problem with interference from Radio Caroline. BBC is changing its focus, cancelling Japanese but expanding to Europe.

Part of this programme was recorded in Washington DC at a time when Voice of America broadcast to Brazil and was looking at ways to replace shortwave. SW audiences in Brazil were never large (except in the Amazon) - it's always been dominated by TV. Niels Linquist headed the VOA Brazilian Branch. He believed in finding radio talent rather translators with a written language skill. 

We also talked with Lou Josephs who has been reading a new book about pirate radio in the USA. And we reviewed the DAK Industries MR101 portable radio, which was one of the first cheaper portable digitally-tuned receivers.

Direct download: MN.11.07.1990.VOABrazil.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:04 PM
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This programme had good news about Radio Canada International. Andrew Simon was also investigating commercials on RCI. Radio Denmark is closing its shortwave site, hiring airtime out of Norway instead. Dutch radio is going to make more radio plays. Booklist Edition 12 is out. We find out more about Radio Clarin. Jeff White says the SW transmitter on 11700 kHz is coming back. We also discuss some of the stations targeting Cuba. Professor John Campbell explains why listening in the Pacific is often better in Europe. He notes the end of many Indonesian broadcasters on shortwave. Victor Goonetilleke has been hearing AIR’s new Banglore transmitting station just in time for the elections. He also has news about clandestine stations targeting Burma. Listener Kauto Huopio also helped us make a profile of Finnish Local Radio. And DXers have been looking at South Korean clandestine stations broadcasting towards Pyongyang

Direct download: MN.26.12.1991.finland.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:33 PM
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A very technical edition of the programme. After announcing some frequency changes, we look at the possible use of single sideband (SSB) for shortwave broadcasters. in theory, 2015 should have been the point at which AM could be switched off. In the end that's probably true, except that it wasn't replaced by SSB. This was before anyone saw the opportunities of the Internet. Trevor Brook of Radio Fax was completely sceptical. Peter Senger of DW was also realistic. It was all about the availablity of receiving equipment. We did an indepth on-air review of the Drake R8, and spoke with John Bryant, one the authors of Proceedings 91. This was an excellent collection of indepth technical articles. A great read if you can find a copy!

Direct download: MN.19.09.1991.DrakeR8.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:32 PM
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This programme was recorded on location at the HAM-FEST in Friedrichshaven, Southern Germany. We talked to Uwe Bräutigam of the German clubc ADDX about the German BC scene. We’ve seen some stations cease broadcasting in the German language. They heard from many people during the Gulf War. VOA has also resumed a new half hour programme in Germany. We also looked at the various English language services coming out of Yugoslavia. Radio Slovene also appeared with its side of the story. The Receiver NewsDesk. 8 radios are being seen here in Europe for the first time. In the case of Sony ICF-SW55 and the ICFSW-77. The Sony car radio XRU882 also had shortwave coverage. DW was also working on a system to add an inaudible label via medium or shortwave. Peter Senger explains how the system could work. There is also a total eclipse of the sun o July 11th. Dave Rosenthal has been checking into what might happen to shortwave propagation. 

Direct download: MN.04.07.1991.sonycarradio.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:17 PM
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This news edition covers media developments in Yugoslavia and a group in Canada supporting Croatian independence. Radio Libertas has been using WHRI. Radio For Peace International has a new transmitter on the air on 15030 kHz. Austrian SW Panorama is returning to air after a short hiatus. ELBC is back on the air in Liberia with English news at 0700 on 7275 kHz. Radio Netherlands announces expanded services to the Pacific, adding 0830 UTC. 0930 UTC is also new. Arthur Cushen is dismantling antennas at Shepparton, so European beams will become a thing of the past. Radio Bras carrying the programmes of Radio Beijing has also been logged by Arthur. Satellite dish owners in Latin America have noticed that CNN is scrambling its signal. It turns out the signal was being pirated. They are also experimenting with more Spanish language material from Atlanta. A new cassette with off-air recordings of Brazilian radio stations has been produced. Lou Josephs adds a note about US ham radio operators in space.

Direct download: MN.04.04.1991.pacificexpansion.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:14 PM
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This was a news edition of the programme which starts with a short survey of English programmes coming out of the Baltic States and the Soviet Union. Radio Vilnius is still being relayed by Russian transmitters. Radio Riga, Latvia is on the air at 2130. Each Monday, Radio Tallinn Estonia is also heard at 2130 UTC on 5925. English programmes have also appeared from Kazakhstan, Radio Alma Ata.

Radio4 International RTBF says they are going off the air. We also tell the story of how Belgian international broadcasting began in Zaire.

Philips and Thomson are cross that high definition standard D2MAC has not got the support of satellite broadcasters like Astra.

A private transmitter called Radio Centrus is operating in Lithuania. The 1991 Soviet Radio tour is being organized by ANARC. Spend a week in Moscow and Leningrad! Wolf Harranth reports that Radio Tirana in Albania is suddenly cutting back.

 

We look at satellite radio regulations and the story of Intelsat and Tongasat, in what was a Polynesian power play. BBC reports that Radio Kuwait is back on the air. Radio Baghdad has also returned to the air. Gulf Voice Radio is also being heard. Radio Monte Carlo is also being heard in French. The programme ends with the propagation survey from Mike Bird.

Direct download: MN.07.03.1991.VRT.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:11 PM
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Try our national anthem contest, although the closing date was in 1991. Radio Vilnius, Lithuania is calling members of the public to help defend broadcasting house. Radio Riga International, Latvia has now expanded its English language output, twice a week. Peter Walsh in Australia has a question of the Icom ICR-1. Kim Andrew Elliott sends in a bizarre recording of Radio Beijing New Year Staff party. We visit Radio Free Europe, in those days based in Munich, and talked to William Marsh.  He explains how the audiences to shortwave are going down. BBC is now being heard on FM in Czechslovak republic. Peter Herman explains how the RFE’s audience survey’s worked. Interesting that the slogan in those days was "Crusade for Freedom". That has very different overtones now.

Direct download: MN.17.01.1991RFE.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:05 PM
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This edition includes tuning suggestions from Arthur Cushen – Caribbean Beacon is trying a shortwave relay. Bob Tomalski is delighted that a universal video recorder NVW-1 that will handle PAL and NTSC. But at £2000 it is expensive. Paul Ballster in London has spotted two VOA Europe programmes. So which is the real one? Eric Beauchemin researched a piece on a planned radio station from RTL-4, the new commercial network that grew out of RTL Veronique. Iceland is being heard on shortwave as a result of b ad weather. We also talked to a listening group in Vilnius about the serious situation in Lithuania and why Russia is still relaying programmes. RCI’s funding is still up in the air. Jeff White says that the budget estimates are between 10-13 million Canadian dollars. Atlantic 252 has won a court case about its mast in the Irish country side. And ABC has been criticized for its coverage of the Gulf War. 

Direct download: MN.21.02.1991.RTL4.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:00 PM
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This programme looks at the private initiatives beaming into mainland China as a result of events at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Now, two years later, the June the 4th Production company has been active from Chicago. We also hear that WYFR is reducing its broadcasts because of a funding challenges. Radio Austria International is resuming transmission of its SW Panorama programme. Sarath Weerakoon reports on what happened as a result of the military coup in Thailand.  

Direct download: MN.28.02.1991.freechina.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:53 AM
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The programme starts with the news that Irelands only commercial radio network Century FM has closed. We analysed why. Herbert Visser called with news that Radio Caroline has not sunk as reported by some mainstream media, but it did lose its anchor and drifted. A special ham radio event is being held in India. Domestic public broadcasting is reacting to a report that no-one is listening to Radio 5 on mediumwave. What has happened to Radio Vilnius in Lithuania? Queensland Australia is being heard in Europe. Andy Sennitt reports that Radio Surinam International has signed off. We do a follow-up on Radio Polonia and recent changes to its focus. And Mark Deutsch says the BBC has time on 17 stations in Poland. 

Direct download: MN.21.11.1991.carolinesinks.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:44 AM
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This was a news programme in which we looked at DX programmes to replace RCI's DX Digest which has ceased transmission. World of Radio from Glenn Hauser runs via WWCR. And Radio Havana Cuba's Arnie Coro reported his station was doing tests with compatible single sideband. Western media this week have speculated that a new clandestine station called Voice of Free Iraq coming out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is actually backed by the CIA. Richard Measham of BBC Monitoring has details of clandestine stations operating out of Kurdistan. Sarath Weerakoon in Sri Lanka is hearing a new service out of Radio Baghdad which also seems to be aimed at Kurdistan. We hear about a new FM station in Jaffna run by the Tamil Tigers. That part of Sri Lanka at the moment is going through very difficult times, with batteries being banned and no mains electricity being available. BRTN Teletekst reports that Libya has started broadcasts to Eastern Europe with German and Russian being monitored so far. And the Francophone part of Belgium wants to revamp its international radio service in French with a new name. 

Direct download: MN.18.04.1991.srilanka.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:42 AM
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This was a news edition of the programme. Kol Israel is planning to cut its shortwave broadcasts in half. We also aired the impossible context presented by voiceover artist Jim Cutler (pictured). The 10th anniversary contest promo later won a gold medal at the New York Radio Awards. We had a barrage of listener complaints - which subsided when we aired a proper contest a few weeks later. Victor Goonetilleke reports a successful convention for DXers in India. The Radio 5 Africa project, a joint project of several Francophone countries, appears to be building momentum. 

Direct download: MN.16.05.1991.anncontest.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:40 AM
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There are terrible shortwave conditions at the moment because of solar flares. We looked at new stations, including Radio Northern, the Voice of Oro in Papua New Guinea which is now on the air, as Gordon Darling reports. The BBC has announced that the Daventry transmitter site is to close in 1992. VNG Time signal services will change frequencies. Icelandic National Broadcasting Service has started a new English news broadcast via the phone! The main feature looks at the last 10 years of commercial shortwave broadcasting in the USA. WWCR has sold all of its airtime. Jeff White helped us with the interview with George McClintock of WWCR (transmitter site picture is their current facility). The programme also includes clips from the various stations broadcasting to Cuba. 

Direct download: MN.13.06.1991.USprivate.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:37 AM
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Radio Tirana has stopped using the Internationale and announced some curious changes to its transmissions, including taking adverts! Vasily Strelnikov on Radio Moscow says hallo to Radio Netherlands and wants a programme schedule! Radio Moscow is running syndicated programmes from Australia and has also made some drastic cutbacks to its English service. There has been a 10% cutback last year. BBC Monitoring has spotted a new station called Voice of Free Iraq. It mimics the real Radio Baghdad in its use of music. Paraguay is being heard on 11945 kHz with just 500 watts. Richard Ginbey reports that test transmissions have started from BBC's Lesotho site. Namibia Broadcasting Corporation has new station Idents, and to go on shortwave. Radio Truth targeting Zimbabwe has closed down. Rudy Van Dalen, reports hearing the Lincolnshire Poacher numbers station out of Cyprus. Clandestine station Agent 847 is also jammed. An anti-Sudanese clandestine station is also being blocked with a very old fashioned jamming sound. Radio France Internationale has been given the go ahead for a major transmitter upgrade. BFBS Middle East has started shortwave broadcasts plus operating an FM station out of al-jubail, a city in Northern-Eastern Saudi Arabia. NHK has started a morning broadcast in Urdu via Ekala, Sri Lanka. The BBC may have to close it's Hong Kong relay station. It is 41 degrees in Melbourne, where Mike Bird has the propagation news. 

Direct download: MN.10.01.1991.bfbstogulf.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:27 AM
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A listener-powered edition of the programme, with a range of updates from the shortwave bands. What power is being used by Radio Luxembourg on 15 MHz? The answer is 10 kW. Julius Hermans has been listening to Radio Ala, and Radio Dublin is back on 6910 kHz. There is a shortage of books about HF propagation. Dave Rosenthal has been reviewing what's available. Radio Netherlands English broadcasts are expanding to the Pacific. So why isn't QSL and DX in the Oxford English Dictionary. Victor Goonetilleke has been following broadcasts from Kashmir. A Purple Hair story from Hungary. In 1995 experiments with digital radio experiments (DAB) are due to start in the Netherlands. Arthur Cushen has media news updates from Tonga. The shortwave transmitter on 5030 kHz has been moved to a new building. Radio Free Bougainville is verifying reports via Sam Voron. 

Direct download: MN.05.03.1992.schedule.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:24 AM
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This was one of the few broadcasts to originate from a train. I was on my way back from London after meeting Richard Astbury, of British Forces Broadcasting Service based at that time in studios next to Paddington Station. He explained why they had started shortwave broacasts to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf. Andy Sennitt was trying to get a FIDO bulletin board working in Amsterdam and a company in Bussum wanted to use broadcast networks in Holland for scrambled distribution of programmes in the middle of the night. Bert Steinkamp and Andrew Taussig explain what international broadcasters are trying to do to improve coverage of their own continent. Trevor Brook of Surrey Electronics has critical remarks about Dynamic Amplitude Modulation. 

Direct download: MN.03.05.1991.BFBSLondon.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:21 AM
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We covered developments at RTL Luxembourg several times towards the end of the 1980's as RTL phased out several mediumwave services (like the great 208) and invested in a station in Ireland (Atlantic 252). In this programme there's an extensive update of the scene in 1989, and we ponder on the problem of explaining wavelengths and frequencies to listeners. With the arrival of satellite, tuning information was becoming ever more complex. 

Direct download: MN.13.04.1989.luxembourgSES.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:02 PM
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This edition of the programme includes the news that the American Forces Radio relay in Berlin is to sign-off. We also reported on the death of North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, as reported by Radio Pyongyang. BBC Caversham reports that Rwanda may be returning to shortwave, which we assumed was the transmitter site built by Deutsche Welle in Kigali. VOA is looking to expand their FM distribution in Africa. 

Direct download: MN.12.07.1994.AFNBerlin.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:52 PM
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At one time, Radio Netherlands was planning to build a third relay station to improve its shortwave radio coverage into South Asia and China. the late Bert Steinkamp and Jim Vastenhoud went on a fact finding mission to look at possible sites. Jim Vastenhoud came into the Media Network studio to explain the findings. In the end, the BBC found the money to build a station in Thailand - and Radio Netherlands did not.

Direct download: MN.09.06.1988.TransmitterThailand.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:40 PM
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Twenty years ago, I was part of a Radio Netherlands delegation to a conference in Quito, Ecuador on the future of radio, especially community radio. At that time many local radio stations were finding it difficult to compete with the new giant (international) music networks delivering slickly presented music programmes via satellite. They were buying up local FM licenses across the continent. Most of this programme was recorded in Quito and includes several off-air montages of stations broadcasting at that time. Enjoy.

Direct download: MN.30.11.1995.quito.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:33 PM
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This was the first of several visits we made to the VERON amateur radio news station, which operated at that time out of a tower in the Sikkens (now AKZO) paint factory in Sassenheim. You could see the antennas as you passed by the factory on the A44 motorway. The news service from the VERON still exists, and can also be followed on line via Youtube. Again, remember this is all 10 years before the Internet was invented. So the only way to exchange news about ham radio was by radio or in a printed bulletin. The VERON did both. 

Direct download: MN.20.01.1983.PAOAA.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:31 PM
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Here we are 32 years after this programme was made and some people still hope that AM stereo is going to work. Of course, AM Stereo was analogue technology. In the meantime, several attempts have been made to digitize the AM broadcast dial with technologies like HDRadio and DRM. Frankly, I think the conclusions we drew in 1983 apply now. It isn't going to happen. But it is still fun to discuss why. Enjoy this vintage edition of Media Network. 

Direct download: MN.29.09.1983.AMSTEREO.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:29 PM
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I remember Malta on my radio map because Deutsche Welle built a relay station for North Africa on the island, which was later nationalised. Malta started getting closer to both Algeria and Libyan. In this programme we interviewed the new station manager of the "Radio Mediterranean". The aim was to give Malta a voice in the world.

In the official story of the Broadcasting Authority of Malta, there's a passage indicating that these government agreements for stations like DW and Radio Mediterranean were set up directly by the Maltese government. 

Although the contractual relationship that existed between the Broadcasting Authority and the Rediffusion were also operative with the Telemalta Corporation (when the latter became responsible through its broadcasting division, Xandir Malta) the same cannot be said for those stations which operated under direct licence from the Government.  At the start of 1979 these included the Central Mediterranean Relay Station; the British Forces Broadcasting Service; the Deutsche Welle Relay Station; TiveMalta Ltd.; the Voice of Friendship and Solidarity (later Voice of the Mediterranean operating under joint management provided by the Maltese and Libyan Governments); and Radio Mediterranean (a joint venture between the Maltese and Algerian Governments) – all these were not contracted by the Authority

Thanks to Mario J Cachi for the photo of Valetta. Never been to Malta myself , but one day...

Direct download: MN.13.01.1983.MALTA.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:25 PM
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This is a very early Media Network magazine documentary about broadcasting in Southern Africa, when apartheid South Africa had stations operating from the various "homelands". We had no internet, only cassettes - and the link to the late Frits Greveling who had presented and produced the previous DX show to this one, DX Juke Box. He returned to Johannesburg to work for several South African radio stations. Although the style is totally out of date, the information about broadcasting in Southern Africa in the early 1980's remains fascinating. 

I note that there's a site dedicated to the memory of Capital 604 Transkei. You can find most of the jingles they used here.

You may also find the video interview with David Smith to be interesting. He also had adventures with Capital Radio which can be found here.  

Direct download: AfricanSafari1981Part2.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:21 PM
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In 1983, Media Network broadcast a series of features on forces broadcasting. At the time, the Dutch were part of a UN peace keeping mission in Lebanon. It was also the era of FM pirate radio stations in many cities in the Netherlands. So, infact, Dutch forces radio had its origins as a pirate radio station. Infact the story of the Dutch forces is now brilliantly told at the new Dutch National Military Museum, which opened on December 13th 2014 on the grounds of the former American Air Force base in Soesterberg. 

Direct download: MN.06.01.1983UNIFIL.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:55 PM
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In 1983, Media Network ran a series of thematic features on Forces Broadcasting. This was the final part, which featured the British Forces Broadcasting Service. Apart from an FM transmitter in the South of the Netherlands, BFBS was heard widely on the cable radio systems in many cities across the Netherlands. FM signals could be picked up from neighbouring Germany by the aerials on the top of the cable head ends. But propagation was not reliable enough to hear FM signals from the UK. So, no BBC Radio 4. Remember this is 5 years before we saw the launch of SKY television. The photo is of BFBS in Hamburg in 1946, which is referred to in the interview. 

Direct download: MN.05.05.1983.BFBS.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:51 PM
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This was a new edition of the programme covering the strange move by President Reagan to use clandestine Radio Liberation broadcasting from El Salvador. VOA Spanish is much better received in the target area of Nicaragua. We also learned that Radio France Internationale has decided against putting a relay station in Sri Lanka, looking at the island of Reunion instead (later dropped when they discovered the island is prone to very high winds). Mark Deutsch at BBC World Service explains their expansion plans for satellite coverage of Europe. People are not watching the new Superchannel service because there are no subtitles on the programmes. Radio Lebanon has been off the air because of a heat wave in Beirut. We also covered the Berlin Audio and Video Fair. Sony has launched a radio with a fax receiver built in SR6768. We learn about EuroMac and why Philips believes DAT will not take off as a consumer tape standard. Wolf Harranth reports on an Italian station broadcasting to Slovenia. Enthusiasts in the Netherlands have discovered a way to make free international calls via Denmark.

Direct download: MN.26.08.1987.NicaraguaSuperchannel.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:14 PM
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A nice summer edition of Media Network in which Diana and I looked at a revival of Radio Caroline in the Netherlands, organised by Sietse Brouwer from Harlingen. Land-based pirate stations have been meeting in London. Bob Tomalski reports on one of the biggest booze-ups in 35 years. Bob laments that the old passion has gone. Audio quality is not what it used be. Bryan Clark reports from New Zealand on the reappearance of American Forces stations on shortwave. And that includes Diego Garcia. We also looked at the future of radio design, highlighting some work going on at the University of Twente.

Direct download: MN.23.08.2000.Pirates.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:48 AM
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This was a documentary I made about Indonesian radio broadcasting, based on a holiday trip I took in 1988. I recall taking an ICF2001D and a Walkman Professional so as to capture sound effects of the train journey. 

The tape of this documentary did not survive well - some print through because the tape was in poor condition and not complete. But I have processed it so it probably sounds better than it did on shortwave back then. The sounds of RRI in English, especially on the local stations was something out of a living radio museum. 

 

Direct download: MN.08.04.1988.Indonesiarepaired.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:00 PM
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This was an early attempt to do longer investigative features. We start the programme looking at the challenges facing the satellite broadcast industry (remember this is well before the launch of SKY television). Richard Ginbey also did a marathon overview of the history of broadcasting in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. I think the off-air recordings are rather unique - not sure that much has survived. He put this togther using cassette tape recorders - must have taken ages. And the programme ends with tuning suggestions from Andy Sennitt and Arthur Cushen. 

Direct download: MN.01.09.1983.Zimbabwe.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:33 PM
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