Monday, September 26, 2011

Chris Freitas: The Battle Over Shortwave Radio, Internet Broadcasting, and How It Shapes Listening Habits

All of you out here take note: A fellow radio professional and colleague has some rather important things to say about the ever changing world of radio. Chris Freitas runs the "Yellow Badge Of Cowardice" over at Wordpress. Chris also holds a B.A. degree in Communications and is an intern at "The Look 24.7", an internet radio station. In his education and his internship, Chris has an inside track on various types of radio broadcasting, and radio communications in general.

Chris was featured on "The Maple Leaf Mailbag" at Radio Canada International on Sept. 25th 2011. You can hear that interview here.

Before going to college, Chris was and still is an avid SWL. There are those of you out here who have seen Chris' radio reviews, and other radio related insights. Many of you may have had a chance to have conversation with Chris. Here is where Chris is different than your average SWL: he doesn't "chase" DX or QSL cards as many others do, though he does send in reception reports; Chris pays attention to content.

So many people just spin the VFO, receive a station for a few seconds, and document whatever details you can and then go back to spinning that VFO. The technical details and behavior of a station is always a relevant item to be interested in, but how many people stop to pay attention to the content? This author has always been interested in both the technical details, propagation, AND CONTENT!

Shortwave stations don't just broadcast so they can receive a ton of e-mailed / snail mail signal reports in this new age of technology. Stations are always glad to be noticed, they are always glad to get reports that tell them where they are being heard and how often because it gives them at least some idea about their listenership, but they are each unique for the focus of their content...what they present for the enjoyment or education of the listening public.

Without any more banter from this publication, let us present you with Chris Freitas' informed article on "Shortwave Radio, Internet Broadcasting, and WHY SWL's Should Use BOTH" This article talks quite poignantly about how all of this comes together to shape listening habits, and the importance of CONTENT.


Anonymous said...

Here is the gist of my thoughts on this, when media is broadcast we're all hearing the same thing. We can stand around the watercooler discussing "Gilligans Island" or "World News".
When we pick podcasts we reinforce our own opinions and predjudices. I think one has to be vigilant in keeping a wide view. On that note, I'll keep looking to SWA to direct me toward the best content.
Very best regards, Tom AB9NZ,

Chris Freitas said...

I hear on that Tom! We all have our biases and preferences. In regards to listening to both podcasts and shortwave, to get a wider view we must be willing to accept information multiple sources and not just one. Both shortwave and the web hold a vast wealth of information, although the quantity depends on the region. Fewer SW broadcasters target North America as opposed to North Africa, but we have greater access to the web than most African countries. But greater exposure to many sources helps keep a well-informed audience regardless on how the content is accessed. Above all, content is key.