Media Network Vintage Vault 2014-2015 (Media Network Archives)
Re-live international shortwave radio between 1980-2000 through a radio show that pioneered producing narratives with its listeners. Over 400 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 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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This programme has a strong Latin American flavour starting with the news of test transmissions from Radio For Peace International in Costa Rica. Sky Channel in the UK is not making money yet but has no intention of stopping. Some broadcasters are experimenting with AM stereo. Don Rhodes in Australia reports that Deutsche Welle is going to start testing the new 22 metre shortwave band. A special shortwave broadcast is on the air from a station in Syria during the Mediterraean Games. 

We then announced the Radio Netherlands SSB Feeder Challenged. RNW has to bridge a four-week gap in the satellite feed to Madagascar. A special SSB transmitter was hired at a transmitter site at Ruislede, Belgium.

The first edition of Passport to World Band Radio is reviewed with Harry Kliphuis. 

Christian Zettl from Austria is travelling in Central America and has been investigating some strange political clandestine radio stations in Guatemala, including one with a connection to a recording by Nat King Cole.

Direct download: MN.25.09.1987.Guatemala.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:48 PM
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Jonathan gets a tube of "on-air" radio toothpaste. China is being relayed by Swiss Radio International, some transmissions being well heard. We started to spot strong signals from Radio Beijing but not coming from Europe. Dave Rosenthal explains Electrometeors and why lightning can make shortwave radios suddenly insensitive. Carefully tuned outdoor antennas can "blow-up" the front end of a portable radio. In fact, the Sony ICF2001D was particularly suspectible. A lightning arrestor is a bit of a misnomer.

We review the RFB40L shortwave portable from Panasonic.

We also report on superconductor research displayed at Telecom 87 in Geneva by AT&T.

Direct download: MN.06.10.1987.superconductors.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:46 PM
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A New Year has dawned but without the expected reduction in Soviet jamming of Western broadcasters. West German television airs the wrong new year speech from Chancellor Kohl. The Dutch have been measuring devices for radio interference levels, banning two devices because of poor shielding. We also talk to the UK engineers who had to shield a football stadium in Saudi Arabia, because of a nearby 1.2 Megawatt mediumwave transmission tower. Solar specialist Mike Bird reviews 1986 from a radio reception point of view.

Out in the Iraqi desert, French transmitter manufacturer Thomson is to build 16 high power transmitters. We look at satellite radio with the BBC's Jonathan Stott.

On 6009 kHz a clandestine radio station in Libya has been making some mistakes. Radio Truth, a clandestine in South Africa targeting Zimbabwe, has made a clever frequency change. Radio West in The Hague, a station of 18 people, has just started operations. Willem Bos has been testing a special device for scanner enthusiasts.   

Direct download: MN.08.01.1987.riyadh.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:30 PM
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We start this programme with news of a two-in-one RS-10 and RS-11 amateur radio satellite launched by the Russians. Pat Gowan reports. Radio Moscow has started a summer programme for the tourists to the capital. Radio Danubius in Budapest is doing something similar. Poland objects to a new Israeli relay station for VOA (never built). India is upgrading its time signal station. Philips says its solved the problem of poor resolution on LCD displays. We also discuss radio broadcast radiation and it's danger to humans. Wim van Amstel explains. 

We also discuss clandestine broadcasting to Iran, using transmitters in Iraq. We solve the mystery of the number station contest, and Anne Blair Gould reviews the Guide to Broadcasting Stations by Philip Darrington.

The programme concludes with Arthur Cushen's DX report including a very clear recording of Radio Luxembourg signing off in English on 49 metres. 

Direct download: MN.02.07.1987.Monster.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:18 PM
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We're postponing a series of features until the satellite link with Madagascar is resorted after maintenance.

Europe-1, a commercial network in France, has been heard on a Radio Caribbean on 1210 kHz 05 UTC. It seems it's the start of a major expansion plan.

We tell the story of Atlantic 252, which apparently was an idea from Luxembourg. More than 4 million pounds has been invested in the project. Radio Tara was the project name.

We explain the Stickers on the Move contest.  Radio Nacional Venezuela is being heard more regularly.

Paris KISS-FM has started a station Tahiti. We were clearly intrigued at how the signal got to the Pacific. Radio Finland has started using a new higher power transmitter on 963 kHz. 

Japanese cordless phones are being monitored on shortwave radios in India because they are so poorly made. We take the situation to its illogical conclusions. Ben Kobb explains that Citizens Band radio didn't start on 27 MHz but infact began in 1947 in 460 MHz. 

Direct download: MN.02.10.1987.europe1.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:10 PM
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This edition of the programme discusses how the US Emergency Broadcast System works. This was a predecessor to what is now called the Emergency Alert System. Benn Kobb elaborates and Frank Lucia explains how President Truman gave the go-ahead for the development of the CONELRAD system. Gary Burgeois also explains what could go wrong at 9.33 every Saturday morning. It sounds like stations then were better prepared than today. 

The programme also discusses changes to the domestic shortwave service in Australia. Andy Sennitt explains that Nigeria has discontinued some of its shortwave services and the location of Radio Sovereign. Bob Tomalski (known as Roger Tate in those days) reports on DAT digital recorders. 

The tape of this programme didn't survive as well as others, which explains the slightly higher level of hiss than other editions at the start of the programme. But it quickly gets better. 

Direct download: MN.04.09.1987.emergency.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:09 AM
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Vanuatu has been counting the cost of a major cyclone to hit this Pacific island chain. They’ve asked Radio Australia to help out while repairs are made to Radio Vanuatu. We also discuss progress 10 days into the WARC 1987 conference in Geneva. Jim Vastenhoud reports about the technical decisions being made. Single Sideband raises its head again. Of course SSB never happened.

 

Willem Bos looks at decoders to receive and decode “telex over radio”. At that time there was a large group of enthusiasts monitoring utility stations. We also review a new book about Radio Wave Propagation written by antenna specialist Fred Judd

Direct download: MN.12.02.1987.vanuatu.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:49 AM
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This news edition of the programme starts with a major raid by Amsterdam police on the four largest pirate radio stations in the Dutch capital. We solved the mystery of very strong signals from Radio Beijing (now China Radio International) beamed to North America from a new relay station in Africa. It turned out this was a new project in Mali.

There were other news headlines: Ariane launches TVSat1, which later turned out to be one of the most expensive launch failures. The D2MAC TV standard is having development challenges in Germany. Ralf Carlson of KUSW explains his plans. The Ross Revenge antenna has collapsed. We announced the results of the Radio Netherlands SSB Find-the-Feeder Challenge.

The programme also looked at the challenges of pollution from batteries. That was 100 million in 1987. (Wonder what it is now?) I talked with Lucas Reinders about what’s been agreed to reduce the amount of mercury in alkaline batteries.

 

Richard Dearborn of the Christian Science Monitor in Boston explains what they’re planning to do with the rock station KYOI on Saipan which they purchased. Victor Goonetilleke closes out the programme with tuning suggestions including a clandestine station targeting listeners in Iran.

Direct download: MN.27.09.1987.mali.beijing.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:31 PM
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I remember this edition of Media Network broadcast in August 1987. At that time digital recording was only just becoming possible, using a PCM adaptor connected to a Umatic video tape recorder. The late Joop Zuidam was a music producer at Radio Netherlands and he told me he was heading to Breda to record another in his series about carillons, the set of bells in church towers. Radio Netherlands had been using an ancient recording of the carillon in Den Bosch, but the tape had been copied so many times that it sounded awful, especially when played back on a cartridge. So I asked Joop if he could arrange for Jacque Maasens, the carillon player of the Great Church of Breda, to record a new version of the interval signal played at the start of each broadcast from Radio Netherlands on shortwave. It seems there is an interview with Jacques in Dutch on Youtube, also taken in the same tower. I will always remember the view (pictured). And we also recorded a few jokes, including Yankee Doodle, the theme used by the VOA at the time.

This edition also includes news that the BBC is to start transmitting from Hong Kong on shortwave and Pirate radio sovereign has been broadcasting again. We look at the pirate radio scene on FM in Paris. Arthur Cushen has a bumper crop of tuning suggestions from his listening post in the Pacific.

Direct download: MN.06.08.1987.HongKongBreda.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:29 PM
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Great to hear the voices of John Brannigan, a Scottish radio propagation specialist, who was the perfect interviewee. He really knew his field and could explain things in non-technical language. The other guest in this programme is BBC World Service Chief Engineer Keith Edwards. He was one of the first top managers to turn up at shortwave listener gathering and explain what they were trying to do at the transmitting end. He also anticipated home satellite radio and TV reception several years before it took off in hobby circles. Remember this is well before the launch of Sky Satellite Television.

Direct download: MN.04.04.1985BranniganEdwards.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:58 PM
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One of a series of Media Network programmes that originated from the 1985 Expo in Tsuba, just North of Tokyo. I used the visit to the expo to visit Akihabara, called Electric Town, even then. The Sony ICF2001D has just gone on sale, and I remember picking one up for considerably less than in Europe. Just had to make do with a Japanese only instruction booklet. We also look at the domestic shortwave radio station Radio Tampa. This was one of the first Media Network safaris, exploring media in other countries. Remember it is nearly 30 years old!  

Direct download: MN.04.07.1985.JapanExpo2.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:24 PM
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Radio Netherlands won't be getting access to 747 kHz. Things are going to plan for PA6FLD ham radio station operating from the new Flevoland transmitter site. I also did a marathon edition of SW Feedback live from the transmitter site.

Radio Jackie gets raided again in South West London. Bob Tomalski, later a contributor to Media Network, looks at whether they were a community station or just in it for the money. In the Netherlands, Broadcast minister Elco Brinkman says that pirate radio stations will not get access to extended FM bands. Roger Tidy in London has started a new monitoring magazine. 

Direct download: MN.07.02.1985.RadioJackie.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:08 PM
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In 1985, we didn't know much about a new station that had gone on the air in Costa Rica, but was clearly targeting listeners in neighbouring Nicaragua. As Don Moore wrote in 1992, Radio Impacto did little to hide its Contra connection. On its staff were an official spokesperson for the FDN, some announcers from former Somoza radio stations in Managua, and several former staffers for La Prensa, the the primary anti-Sandinista newspaper in Nicaragua. Elsewhere, Impacto's Tegucigalpa correspondent actually doubled as the FDN's local spokesman. The strongest evidence for the contra connection came from Edgar Chamorro, former director of communications for the FDN, who told the World Court that Impacto was a CIA operation. 

 

Direct download: MN.12.09.1985.radioimpacto.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:52 AM
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I remember going on a trip to the BASF chemical factory in Ludwigshafen, Germany. We went to see why Chrome Dioxide cassette tape was such a superior recording medium. At that time, there were stories in the scientific press that audio and data could be stored in "bubble memory". BASF said that this was a long way off. In this programme the prediction was that solid state memory with a capacity of 650MB might be around by 2014. It shows how difficult it is to predict the rapid advance of techology, since some of the high end iPads now have 128 GB of solid-state storage. The machine I'm using for this entry has 256 GB. 

Direct download: MN.13.06.1985.BASF.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:11 PM
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We delve into the Media Network archives to look back at the early days of commercial shortwave broadcasting from the United States. On October 15, 1927, Walter Lemmon, a radio inventor, was granted the first shortwave radio license in the United States and began experimental shortwave station W1XAL in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1935, the station began transmitting non-commercial, educational, and cultural programs. Supported by charitable institutions it was a not run for profit. The broadcasts came from a transmitter site in Scituate, Massachussets.

I found some recordings of the station in the audio section of the US Library of Congress for this programme. And Lou Josephs got me the recordings from a later stage in the station's history when it was WNYW, Radio New York World Wide. He used to work there as a Saturday job in the 1970's, and made some great studio recordings which I haven't heard elsewhere. 

Direct download: MN.18.07.1985.wrul.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:57 PM
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This was my first visit to Copenhagen when the radio and television production were in two separate houses in the downtown area of the city. Radiohuset (literally "Radio House") was located on Rosenørns Allé in FrederiksbergCopenhagen. Vacated by DR when DR Byen was inaugurated in 2006, the buildings now house the Royal Danish Academy of Music as well as the Museum of Music. 

On my visit to DR we went to a tiny room where a Revox tape-recorder on a time-switch was playing out the shortwave service of Radio Denmark. But there had been grander times. I also heard the story of DX Window, one of the world's first DX programmes which had more of a style of the off shore pirate stations. There was talk of working together with the Norwegians to make a Scandinavian external service. But when this was recorded, it was simply an idea. 

Direct download: MN.19.09.1985.denmark.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:45 PM
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Radio Caroline is back from the North Sea, complete with sounds of the generators. And we talk to Ruud Hendriks, producer of the media show on Veronica Radio which translated as the Enormous Confusion. Ruud is now a presenter on Business News Radio. Some would say that 32 years later, it is even more confused in Hilversum.

Direct download: MN.25.08.1983.EnormousConfusion.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:05 PM
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Africa Number One is still around, although unless you're in Libreville, Gabon, you'll need to listen online. Mind you, the station's audio quality via TuneIn is superb which is more than could be said for the shortwave signal in the 1980's.

This edition of Media Network discusses the thorny problem of jamming of Western broadcasters. NHK Radio Japan is testing via the new shortwave transmitter site in Moyabi, Gabon. FIBS in the Falklands has switched its frequency of 2380 kHz. (Those bumps on the line with Andy were the counting system that worked out the cost of the call). We reviewed the new book by Ellic Howe called The Black Game. We later returned to the subject in the editions entitled Wartime Deception. Professor John Campbell reports strange broadcasting on 3345 kHz. Sometimes its Radio Mayak. The radio situation is Chad is confusing with at least two stations operating. Radio Bardai is being heard on 2009 kHz. The programme also contains a comparison of the NRD515, ICR70, and the Drake R7A. Michael Schaay has tested all three.  

 

Direct download: MN..07.07.1983.NHK.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:04 PM
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A news edition of the programme, most of it triggered by listeners.

Norman Scott reports that Dr Gene Scott is planning major expansion of his shortwave ministry. Andy Sennitt reports changes to WJCR, Voice of Vietnam, the rumour about Country Nights, a special station on RTL 1440. Richard Measham reports on the radio of the Bosnian Serbs, on 9720 and 6100 kHz. BBC resumes broadcasts in Albanian after a break of 26 years. Uganda changes their media law. Radio Hope in Somalia. Radio Ala, the station of the Bards, has disappeared. Voice of Iranian Kurdistan is being heard in the UK. James Robinson, Birkenhead has been monitoring Quality Country Music on satellite. Nick Meanwell reports on new shortwave radios. Grundig Yacht Boy 222 isn't as good as the Grundig Yacht Boy 206. We look at the difficulty of operating some shortwave receivers if you are visually disabled. And Bill Whitacre updates up on Chinese jamming of US broadcasts relayed via transmitters in the former Soviet Union.

Direct download: MN.25.02.1993._RadiofortheBlind.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:50 AM
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I have only made it once to the Dayton Hamvention, the largest meetup of amateur radio operators anywhere on the planet. My trip was in April 1990, and I remember that Lou Josephs was invaluable in helping me to connect with the KLM flight connection at Boston Logan Airport. Lou warned me that the "Useless Air" flight from Dayton to Logan was always late. And sure enough it was. He gave me a lift from the wrong side of Logan to the right side for transatlantic departures. Made it with seconds to spare.

Oh, and please enjoy the reportage from Dayton Ohio. It was immense fun. Also recall running in to George Wood of Radio Sweden. 

Direct download: MN.03.05.1990.DaytonHamvention.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:10 AM
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This programme from 1990 profiles the Russian Forces Radio station Radio Volga set up in the GDR. We also look at how synchronous detection works on the Grundig Satelliet 7000 receiver, including some examples of how it improved reception.

I remember recording this edition of Media Network with Mark Eylers on a boiling hot evening in Radio Netherlands Studio 11 studio. For some reason the airconditioning wasn't working that well, so the decision to do a just outside broadcast really happened. The studio was just below my office in those days, as the photo shows. 

Direct download: MN.14.05.1990.radiovolgarussia.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:55 AM
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This edition of the programme in 1992 came together out of the blue. I suddenly got a tape from Taiwan from David Monson, a presenter on BRT Brussels who I knew in the 1990's. He was now in Taiwan and offered me a story about who is behind the Sangean shortwave radio company. The result in the second half of this show. (Sadly we learned that David Monson passed away in 2010). 

We discuss the international distribution of the Lowe HF150, DAK Industries new shortwave DM3000 is difficult to get hold of. Marcel Rommerts has news about Radio Galaxy from Moscow. Victor Goonetilleke has been hearing a strong station from Myanmar on 5973 kHz, aimed at the internal security forces. There's a new book called The Setmakers about the history of British radio receivers from the BREMA association. This includes the story about how Philips took over the Mullard valve company. 

Direct download: MN.23.04.1992.sangean.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:55 PM
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Long before Putin there was a different type of media in Moscow. It was just gradually breaking free of the old Communist era, experimenting with all kinds of different formats. In this editon of Media Network recorded in 1992, Vasily Strelnikov (who some now call the Russian Podfather) scans the dial for us. We look at the newly launched Radio-7 commercial station.

This news edition of the programme also contains news of the Democratic Voice of Burma which has has challenges reaching Rangoon, and the French company of TDF has made a new type of shortwave transmitter, where each sender has its own curtain array on top. And we review the latest edition of Shortwave Navigator from Jim Frimmel.

 

 

Direct download: MN.23.07.1992.MoscowRadio7.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:27 PM
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We live in troubled times (again). Bumped into a Media Network programme recorded in December 1989. We were reporting on the media surrounding the US intervention into Panama to capture Manuel Noriega. Listener Al Quagleri tipped us off after monitoring airforce communications from Albrook Airforce Base in Panama. Lou Josephs helped us unravel the media plan, which revealed the involvement of Pentagon backed Radio Impacto as well as extended broadcasts from the Spanish service of Voice of America. We also looked at the serious situation developing in Romania and the involvement of Radio Free Europe and the plans to build a 34 million dollar shortwave facility in Israel. Note the comment that people in Europe no longer listen to shortwave, so that FM was important. We called KNLS in, Anchor Point, Alaska and talked to Dave Stuart about the volcano that's been erupting. Arthur Cushen sent in Christmas greetings. And there are changes to report at Radio Australia. They were celebrating 50 years of their existence. Andy Sennitt was celebrating the new office in Amsterdam.

I think this is a good example of a listener-driven media show, about 6 years before the Internet started appearing in peoples' homes. This was the era when radio was the Internet.

Direct download: MN.21.12.1989.Panama.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:03 PM
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Interesting programme which revealed that Radio Vilnius, Lithuania was no longer using material sent to the station from Radio Moscow. We also profiled the early days of Voice of America transmitting station in Bethany, Ohio which recently closed down. 

Direct download: MN.12.10.1989vilnius.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:24 PM
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This is a very early Media Network from the summer of 1983. Yes, the presentation is dated and it has nothing like the pace of later programmes in the series. But it is interesting none the less. I recall the indepth interview about what HCJB was building in Pifo, near Quito Ecuador. The photo shows the studio buildings in downtown Quito which I remember visiting years later in 1995. And Professor John Campbell had some excellent insights into the clandestine radio scene in North Africa. Enjoy.

Direct download: MN.02.06.1983.HCJB.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:46 PM
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On July 17th 2014, a commercial aircraft from Malaysian Airlines, flight MH17, was shot down over Ukraine. The exact details of who was responsible are still be determined. But 298 passengers were killed, many of them Dutch nationals.

But this reminds me of an incident on September 1st 1983, when the Soviet government shot down a Korean airliner, flight 007. All 269 passengers and crew aboard the Korean airliner were killed, The aircraft was en route from Anchorage to Seoul when it flew through prohibited Soviet airspace around the time of a U.S. reconnaissance mission. In this edition of the Media Network programme as broadcast in September 1983, we hear how Radio Moscow, the voice of the Soviet government reacted. Remember this is before the Internet...it took several days before an official reaction was forthcoming.

 

Direct download: MN.15.09.1983korean007.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:17 PM
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This edition of the programme reports on a raid on Radio Bophutatswana. We also profiled Radio RIAS in West Berlin, which has announced TV broadcasts to East Berlin. The US government paid for the transmission costs. Cable systems in Holland have been cleared to carry Worldnet and CNN. Radio 10 has run into problems. STAD Radio in Amsterdam will be expanded to include the rest of Noord Holland. Philips have developed a new laser - which was later used to DVD. MV Communicator, home of Laser 558, has gone into Harwich, UK. Don Otis, announces plans to broadcast from Palau. NOS Hobbyscoop is still broadcasting Basicode transmissions. We interview producer Hans G. Janssen. Arthur Cushen has tuning tips from Invercargill, New Zealand. 

Direct download: MN.11.02.1988.RadioBop.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:50 PM
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We all sound rather young and hesitant in this early edition of Media Network, except Pete Myers. This was a regular edition of the programme with a lot of tuning tips, plus a short feature on the opening of the Netherlands Broadcasting Museum in Hilversum. Curator Cor van Driel explains that the Netherlands claims to have started the first regular series of broadcasts. Entrepreneur Hanso Schotanus à Steringa Idzerda not only broadcast from the Hague in 1919, he tried to make his own receivers to sell to the public. He also discovered the signals were crossing the Atlantic and even got sponsorship from the Daily Mail Newspaper for an English language programme. 

This edition also contains a report by Stig Harvig Nielsen from Copenhagen about new legislation for local radio and TV stations. There have been pirate radio stations on the air complaining that the law is taking too long. This included a spoof takeover on the DR P4 network. Radio Enoch, a right wing pirate has returned from Coventry. Lady Jane Birdwood was one of the presenters. Simon Spanswick explains about the EDXC Conference in London. The Receiver Shopping List Edition 6 is now out. Dan Robinson in Washington has been hearing Radio 15th of September and La Voz de Sandino. And the results of one of the very early DX quizzes.

Direct download: MN.17.02.1983.contest.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:00 PM
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In 1989, satellite television was in its infancy. I remember watching events in China unfold on CNN, which had only just been added to the cable system in Holland. Then in the early hours of June 4th, shortwave listeners in North America started calling the Radio Netherlands answerline with an off air recording of Radio Beijing. Apparently an announcer at the English Service of Radio Beijing had spliced a short but very clear message onto the front of the transmission tape. A very courageous thing to do. When he'd finished, the programme continued with the usual political commentary. We rebroadcast out this clip. I've reprocessed it again for clarity.

At the time, the story in Western Media (and later in publications) was that the voice you hear in this clip belonged to Li Dan, then Head of the English Service at Radio Beijing. He disappeared for a time, but did return later as on-air 

Keith Perron, now living in Taiwan, supplies this version. Impossible for me to verify, but sounds more plausible.

"Li Dan like other heads of department at Radio Beijing were sent to what the Chinese call Communist School for a bit, but then returned to RB. 

The two who did the story. The writer being the deputy director of the English Service Wu Xiaoyong who was also the news editor on duty was placed under house arrest for many years. When he did manage to leave China a few years later. He moved to Hong Kong and became one of the key people at Phoenix Television. Wu Xiaoyong was only placed under house arrest, because his father was a high ranking government official. 


The guy who read that announcement on air Yuan Neng didn't fare so well. He was sentenced for 14 years in a prison labor camp and was banned from ever working in media in China.


After Li Dan returned from Communist School he resumed his position the new deputy director was Xu Huazhen who was a nobody in the English Service in 1989. But she had reported to the officials who in Radio Beijing was a supporter of the students. Not long after she became the deputy director she was promoted again to the party secretary of the English Service. Around 1994/95 Li Dan was promoted to one of the vice-president positions around the time the station changed its name from Radio Beijing to China Radio International. a few years later he became the president of CRI and in 2003 was promoted to CCTV as a vice president."

Direct download: RadioBeijingJune3rd1989.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:40 PM
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We got several hundred reactions after publicity on the BBC Radio 4 programme In Touch.

This edition looks at launch of Ariane 6. Roger Broadbent reports from Noordwijk. Pat Gowen reports that one of the satellites on board, Oscar 10, was built by amateur radio operators. We also try to understand what ESA is doing with its ECS experiments.

Radio Luxembourg's Benny Brown talks about the Earthlink programme. He tells a great anecdote about the great 208 (on 1440 kHz) from a flight engineer. And Rob Jones explains a new English language TV programme called "Before Our Next Programme". The programme concludes with a report from Andy Sennitt of the WRTH.

Direct download: MN.16.06.1983.satellitesluxy.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:14 PM
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This edition has African Media News from Richard Ginbey. Mediumwave is expanding in Southern Africa. Parakou in Benin is being heard (later went to the transmitter site). We test a new automatic notch filter made by DATONG with a rather extensive demo. Grundig has announced the Yacht Boy 300. 

The major part of the programme is an interview with propagation specialist John Brannigan based in Scotland. He was active in the amateur satellite sector. One of the few interviews I have ever conducted where there was virtually no editing. This is fascinating story about what we know and still don't know about the way the ionosphere works. Every heard of a equitorial aurora? Africa Number 1 in Gabon had problems with flutter fading which no-one expected. John explores what mother nature is teaching us. 

Direct download: MN.12.05.1983.Branningan.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:54 AM
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This news edition of the programme starts with the news that Radio Al Quds from Lebanon is taking a far more active role. Pete Myers reports on a new use for the Crowborough transmitter site which has now been dismantled and moved to Orfordness. We look at broadcasts to Cuba by the US, by a radio station called Radio Marti. An investigation has been launched into starting a TV Marti. Is Radio Marti thinking about FM? Ginger da Silva reports on a scientific expedition going between Russia and Canada. And we ended the show with a cryptic quiz using a number station and the news that TWR's has put away its musical box. Pat Gowen in the UK has a theory about CFC's and the ozone layer.    

Direct download: MN.29.01.1988.aspidistra.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:20 PM
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A news edition of the programme. TROS, AVRO and Veronica are thinking of going commercial in the Netherlands, TV-SAT is given up for lost, Deutsche Welle is experimenting with rebroadcasting its programmes via Radio Bras, and an intriguing arrangement with Radio Veritas. DW's service to Russia and Afghanistan are still jammed. Radio Caroline has gone back on shortwave on 6210 kHz. SW Radios have changed. We bemoaned the fact that many major manufacturers like Panasonic and Sony have now a confusing range of radios on the market. We link up with Nashville TN to found out why they are building a 100 kW shortwave transmitter, WWCR. Christian Zettl shares developments about broadcasting in Guatemala and we find out why Capital Radio is being heard on a subcarrier of a US satellite.

Direct download: MN.26.02.1988.guatemala.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:56 PM
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A collection of short news items in this edition of the show. Roy Neal reports on ham radio plans from Skylab with astronaut Owen Garriott. Pete Myers reports on satellite relay piracy. BBC broadcasts a documentary on Electromania. Andy Sennitt reports on changes at Vatican Radio. The Hungarian service of Radio Free Europe carries pop music in English.

 

Richard Ginbey made a feature on broadcasting in what later became Zimbabwe. (Some rather rare off-air recordings of broadcasting from Northern and Southern Rhodesia). Roger Tidy has items on China. Jim Vastenhoud explains whats going on in Geneva to regulate the shortwave broadcasting bands. Victor Gonnetilleke has his regular Asian Media News report.

Direct download: MN.15.05.1983.Zimbabwe.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:01 PM
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The Ampies Broadcasting Corporation started in Paramaribo, Surinam in 1975. "It was a new station with influence in a new republic", said the founder André Kamperveen. But on 8th December 1982, André Kamperveen and a fellow journalist Frank Wijngaarde were among 15 people murdered by the military government which then ruled Surinam. Two stations, one of them the ABC, were torched and set alight. We spoke to one of André sons, Johnny Kamperveen (pictured) in September 1983, just before they went back on the air with a new station on December 6th 1983. Johnny passed away in 2003 at the young age of 56 from a bacterial infection. More history, in Dutch, on ABC's website.

 

Direct download: MN.22.09.1983.suriname.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:31 AM
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Media Network was a radio programme on Radio Netherlands. We had no travel budget. But we did have enthusiastic contributors who were travelling around. Like Jeff White, who found himself on the island of Montserrat well before the volcano caused devastation to this Caribbean holiday destination. Radio Antilles was subsidized by Deutsche Welle, then in Cologne. And Radio Canada International also planned to use. Radio Earth has to move from the Netherlands Antilles to Florida. We also had news about US astronaut Owen Garriott, one of the crew on board Space Shuttle STS-9. They were using 145.55 MHz. This edition also has shortwave receiver news including on a voice chip to announce the frequency that you're tuned to. Richard Ginbey explains how Radio Botswana explains its shortwave schedule. Dan Robinson is now in Nairobi, Kenya and reports on what he can here. Sony 2001 costs 450 Dollars on the local market.  

Direct download: MN.13.10.1983.Montserrat.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:46 AM
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In 1983, the UK pop group Orchestral Manoevers in the Dark released an album called Dazzle Ships.  OMD, then at their peak of popularity, opted for a major departure in sound on the record, using shortwave effects and off-air clips from Radio Prague. It was interesting to discover much later that Radio Prague announcers didn't know about it, but were actually quite flattered. We called up OMD to find out more - those analogue lines from London were ropey!

Direct download: MN.14.04.1983OMD.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:22 AM
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I believe that 1983 was probably one of the best years for listening to shortwave. All kinds of stations were popping up between 3 and 30 MHz on the radio dial. With the help of Bob Horvitz and Alfonso Montealegre, I compiled an overview of the political clandestine radio stations that were beamed into Latin America for a variety of reasons. Remember that this research was based purely on what had been monitored off the air. There was no Wikipedia. And many wirelesses still got hot!

Direct download: MN.24.02.1983.LA.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:19 AM
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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: 12:35 PM
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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: 12:05 PM
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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: 6:57 PM
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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: 8:32 PM
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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: 8:16 PM
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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: 8:45 PM
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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: 8:30 PM
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