Mar 11, 2018
Today is Sunday March 11 2018 as we record this, I’m Jonathan Marks, the producer and presenter of a programme called Media Network. Early on Saturday morning March 10th, I got a tip off from Rocus de Joode, a colleague who used to work in RNW frequency bureau. He told me to get in the car and drive to see what is left of the Flevoland shortwave transmitter site. There were reports a few months ago that the new owner, the Dutch Ministry of Defence, wanted to take down the towers. It was going to take a couple of months. So I packed a camera and headed for the Juttepeerlaan in Zeewolde, only to discover that everything except the transmitter building has gone. It’s as though the giant antenna masts never existed.
Now I remember that group of us ham radio operators were looking rather jealously at those curtain arrays. And on February 16 and 17th 1985, when the station was doing its first test transmissions, a group of us got permission to misuse the facility for that weekend. I decided to try my hand at live broadcasting for the first time, and so we did all the Saturday transmissions in English live from the new transmitter site. I kept two tapes and if you promise to remember that this is 33 years ago, when there is no mobile phone, no Internet, and no skype. Each show was actually broadcast over the old Lopik facilities. I’ll come back at the end to tell you how you can get in touch with us and we gradually relaunch the programme.