Friday, December 21, 2012

Remember Sandy Hook Elementary

All names and photographs are courtesy of ABC 7 Television. Those not shown here are listed in the victim list above the photos. Shortwave America wishes to pass on deep condolences to everyone in Newtown, Connecticut. You will not be forgotten. Your lives mattered. Those who survived this horrible tragedy will forever be scarred, but know you have the support of caring and loving people around the world. Shortwave America will be participating in the moment of silence today, December 21st, 2012. 

We, the loving and compassionate members of society around the world will do our part to ensure that everything that can be done IS done to forever stop the loss of our innocent. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Shortwave America Status - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

For all of those who frequent Shortwave America, you have noticed a lack of things happening here. That absence of activity has to do with a combination of health issues, business decision making, technical issues, and really, just a lack of anything truly newsworthy that would normally be presented here.The health, business, and technical issues are being worked towards a resolve.

There was supposed to be a Thanksgiving show for all of you, but, health concerns interfered once again. With any luck, a Christmas show will be posted here for all of you if things go right. Behind the scenes, Shortwave America is slowly but surely working on the new categories of shows mentioned earlier on. One new show that is also being written for future use here is a reflection going back twenty years on the music and influence of Mark Heard, who passed away in 1992 after performing what would be his final show in southern Illinois.

This show will take us back to Mark's death, and will explore how Mark's memory lives on to this day, how his work continues to influence his peers and fans, and what Mark's life still means to everyone who knew him.

In the meantime, the holidays are coming quickly. Shortwave America wishes everyone a happy, safe, memorable, Christmas and New Years!

Please enjoy the Christmas greeting video posted below, compliments of PCJ Radio and Shortwave America.


Massive World-Wide Internet Disruption

Venturebeat is reporting that Facebook has encountered what looks like a massive failure of their DNS. This has resulted in Facebook being unavailable for millions or more people world-wide, and along with this, GMail, and X-Box have also been affected by some unknown massive failure that some are speculating could also be DNS related, but no one yet knows for sure.

At this time, some rumors are going around blaming Anonymous, and Anonymous has not yet taken credit for any of this. Anonymous has stated on Twitter that they have not had anything to do with this massive outage of the named internet sites.

Twitter user, "Roastydog" had this to say: "Facebook is down? Haha losers, your silly social networking site died hahaha -says everyone on a social networking site"

As of 1747 hours CDT, Anonymous has reported that Facebook seems to be slowly recovering from this disaster involving their DNS.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Marnie Chesterton To Join Shortwave America

As the backlog of programs and work becomes more and more, there came the need for Shortwave America to start looking for experienced, talented, able, and responsible people to become part of what this has all become and will continue to become as time passes.

With that having been said, we are pleased to announce that Marnie Chesterton, formerly of Radio Netherlands Worldwide and the well known, much loved program, Earthbeat, will be joining Shortwave America in the coming weeks.

Marnie is a friendly voice known the world around, who will make a wonderful addition here at Shortwave America. Marnie's experience. combined with her creative and technical talent, added to her vision, her love for radio, and passion for reaching people in the most meaningful ways will make her someone very valuable to the readers and listeners here.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Marnie Chesterton! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Andy Sennitt Returns To The Airwaves

Early this morning at around 10:00UTC, Andy made the announcement that he will be working on a volunteer basis at Radio Seagull. Andy said this in his announcement:

"All the presenters are, like me, experienced broadcasters who volunteer their time and who do it for the love of radio and music, not because they have big egos. My presenter's page on the website will go online next Wednesday. For me, the icing on the cake is that Radio Seagull has its own offshore radio ship, which is sometimes used for broadcasting, so I have finally been offered the chance to work for a real offshore radio station."

You can hear Andy's show starting Tuesday, October 2nd. The show will run Tuesdays at 1100-1300 CET, which is 1000-1200 UK time.

Welcome back to the airwaves, Andy!  

Radio Seagull is here

The Radio Seagull Livestream is here 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Twitter Trolls Could See Themselves Unmasked

The Daily Telegraph and Australian Government have partnered with celebrities to write a petition that they hope will force Twitter to unmask anonymous trolls who use their accounts to bully others. According to the Herald Sun in Australia, "#StoptheTrolls ... Michael Clarke, Charlotte Dawson and Ben Barba have all signed up to tackle cyber bullying." 

That isn't the end of the list!

Here are some quotes from the Herald Sun:

"Attorney-General Nicola Roxon is also behind the campaign: "Cyber bullying is reprehensible and has no place in our society."

"celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment also taking a stand, including NRL superstar Ben Barba, AFL convert Israel Folau and Australian cricket captain  Michael Clarke, who boasts more than 285,000 Twitter followers."

Read the entire article here

Police are very concerned that they cannot chase down anonymous Twitter users who are being abusive because Twitter will go to great lengths to protect the identity of its users.

Shortwave America is on board with this effort, but there are concerns on this side of the fence. What exactly will be considered cyber-bullying? As we know it now, cyber-bullying is only seen and defined as the really clear cases of extreme abuse. Those of us who have been in the entertainment industry as writers, broadcasters, or in other entertainment capacities want anonymous abusers named and shamed, but we have to be careful what we call "abuse".

As evidenced by this last quote from the Herald Sun article:

"Broadcaster Ray Hadley has been the victim of trolls but while he was speaking out against abusers on his 2GB show yesterday, Parliamentary Secretary Mike Kelly took to Twitter to attack him.

"An airwaves troll trolling the digital trollers. We've come full circle," the Labor MP wrote.
Hadley fired back: "If Mr Kelly has got time to tweet as often as he appears to, the PM needs to give him more to do."

If a difference of opinions and / or ideas like we see in the above situation will be considered abuse and subject to prosecution in the name of stopping cyber-bullies, the money and resources, the manpower, and the use of the courts will be so excessive that the idea of cyber-bullying will not be taken seriously by anyone, and effective solutions will lose their teeth.

Cyber-bullying is serious, sometimes it's dead serious. People around the world have taken their lives or in the least, have been hospitalized for medical or psychiatric treatment due to the massive trauma that can be inflicted. If we are to combat cyber-bullying by using legislation and law enforcement, let's do it by defining abuse as something very specific with real capability to do real harm and make sure the person / people we're nailing for it actually performed their actions with real criminal intent.

If we allow anything and everything to be called abuse from a civil or criminal perspective, say good-bye to free speech and internet anonymity! Everyone who comes across this, please urge your legislators, law enforcement, and major influences to use common sense before going overboard and causing this whole cause to lose credibility!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11th Anniversary of 9/11/01 - No One Is Forgotten

Shortwave America always pays tribute to the victims and families of 9-11-01 each year. They were pilots, airline crew members, World Trade Center Workers, Police Officers, Firemen, Paramedics, civilian volunteers, good samaritans, and the list goes on. As time has passed since that morning, it has been learned that many thousands of people are now sick from breathing in the dust and debris from the collapsed buildings. You are not forgotten either! 

None of you are forgotten! Each year, we post Daryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" This year is no different. "Have You Forgotten?" is the single most powerful expression of remembrance anywhere, ever written by any artist on the planet.

New York City ARECS (Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Service) was activated the morning of 9-11-01. This quote from the NYC ARECS page tells the short summary of how our fellow amateur radio ops came to give of themselves when NYC had absolutely no communications at all: "Plans called for hams to be on duty 24 hours a day. Not only were cell sites, police and fire communications, and most television antennas lost when the World Trade Center collapsed, the New York City Office of Emergency Management bunker was lost when 7 World Trade Center collapsed later in the day (it had already been evacuated). Besides emergency traffic, amateurs shadowed some New York City officials and medical officials, handled medical traffic, and assisted the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army."

See the NYC ARECS Page here. The page includes important files that prove their service and help to remember the contribution they gave on that day to help in the search and rescue efforts. KA1DDB has a web page dedicated to our fellow amateur operators who served on that morning to help keep communications running.

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Shows Coming!

Shortwave America is proud to announce that several NEW shows are coming and are in the writing / production process as this announcement is being released. These new shows will be in several categories, and will bring you interviews with some of the world's top headliners.

The new show categories coming up in series, but not necessarily in order will be: Christian Contemporary Music Radio Hits, 80s Pop & Contemporary Radio Hits, Amateur Radio Legends & Icons, and finally...Shortwave Radio with a focus on the popular programs of the past and legendary icons of the shortwave business.

Some of the names Shortwave America is working to bring you in these new shows are: Twila Paris, Bruce Carroll, Steven Curtis Chapman, Richard Marx, Olivia Newton-John, Deborah "Debbie" Gibson, Hap Holly, Ted Randall, and lots more! 

A VERY special show outside these categories is in production as well! The next upcoming show will salute the ladies of radio. The very FIRST Shortwave America Halloween and Thanksgiving shows will be fun offerings for all ages and people from all walks of life. 

Just prior to the Salute To The Women of Radio, Shortwave America will ask "What Would YOU DO?" as we look at the inspiration, logistics, and impact of this popular ABC Television series with John Quinones. Will John join us on this show? You'll have to wait to find out! This special edition of Shortwave America will eventually turn to the communications topic to present various communications related scenarios and ask "What Would YOU Do?" 

Remembering WJOL's Tony Ray

Joliet, Illinois
Report Assisted by Scott Slocumb of WJOL

Anthony "Tony" Ray, known as the Voice of Joliet, passed away on Friday, August 24th, 2012. A graduate of Joliet Junior College and the Devry Institute of Technology, Tony worked in radio since he was 15 years old with his early focus on sports reporting and hosted a gospel show on WJRC.

At the time of his passing, Tony was the current President of the Forest Park Community Center. Tony was only 53 when his golden, comforting voice went silent for the final time. Tony spent twenty years at WJOL and rose to become Program Director and Operations Manager. Tony became known as the Voice of Joliet during the decade of 1988 to 1998 when he hosted the Morning Show.

Joliet Junior College says this about Tony:

"Tony spent three years at the Chicagoland Gospel Radio Network as operations manager for the company's three Gospel stations and hosted the afternoon gospel show on "Power-106". He has been the host of many programs and has performed at many events throughout the Joliet and Chicagoland area. Tony was once employed by the Will County State's Attorney's office as Victim's Advocate working primarily with victims of domestic violence".

During his life, Tony was an accomplished vocalist, song writer, and producer. This part of his life led him to become the Minister of Music at All Nations Church of God in Christ, and Shiloh Baptist Church. Following his love of music and being true to his character, Tony became an Adjunct Faculty Member at Lewis University, Music Director at the Black Student Union Gospel Choir, and Director of the Joliet Central High School New Era Choir.

Visitation for Tony Ray will be 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at Minor-Morris Funeral Home on Richards Street in Joliet. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Sept, 5 at All Nations Church, 503 S. Water St., Joliet.

According to Scott Slocumb, Tony had just finished a performance at his church when he suddenly lost consciousness and died at the hospital a short time later. No official cause of death is available at this time, although natural causes are the only suspect.

Those in the Joliet city limits and larger Will County area remember Tony Ray as a dynamic, passionate, hard working, talented, fun, compassionate man. When Tony was on the air or at church, whether he was advocating for victims and survivors of violence, or he was just living his life...he gave it his heart and soul without any holding back.

Proof of this comes not just in the testimonials of his life from the community, but also from a WJOL recording aired on August 27th, 2012 in which Tony sang "God Bless The USA". This recording of Tony performing had this reporter in awe, as I witnessed him give the original artist of this song a run for his money. 

Greg from the American Legion Band tearfully remembered Tony Ray live on WJOL as someone who was very special.
Special thanks to Scott Slocumb at WJOL for providing information to assist in this salute to a wonderful person.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Remember Aurora, Colorado - Support For The Victims, Witnesses, and Their Families

Shortwave America wishes to send care and support to the victims, witnesses, and their families in Aurora, Colorado. No one deserved what happened there. No one should be dead or injured right now. No one should ever have to mourn the way the community of Aurora is mourning right now. May all of you know that people around the world are remembering you, and sending a spirit of peace and healing your way.

Two International Shortwave Broadcasting Legends Gone, Sackville RelayTo Close

Radio Canada International (RCI), and Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW), two well known international shortwave broadcasters, have ceased to be. With these two stations now gone from the airwaves, Shortwave America has learned that the Sackville relay transmitter is also going to be lost.

See the RCI Action Committee website for complete reporting on the RCI situation

A Tory Senator called the cuts "reprehensible":

                  Quote from the Ottawa Citizen article

“This is probably the most destructive way the board of the CBC could find to manage the financial economies they have to face,” said Segal. “It is going to take the Canadian message out of the international marketplace.”

Segal, a member of the Senate’s Foreign Affairs committee and chair of its special Committee on Anti-Terrorism, says the busting down of RCI to an Internet radio station will block RCI from millions of people living under repressive regimes.

“In those parts of the world where the Internet is blocked, such as the People’s Republic of China, Iran and North Korea, there is no way for RCI’s messages of freedom and opportunity to get there,” he told the Senate. “I blame the board of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and its senior management, who cut far away from home rather than cutting here, because it was more convenient for them to do so.”

Read the entire article here

Even the BBG watch took an interest in this disaster! They posted a piece written by PCJ Radio International's Keith Perron. With Keith's permission, Shortwave America is re-publishing his piece directly from the PCJ Radio International site to give full context.

  Editorial on RCI and International Broadcasting

Over the last few months a few people have criticized me for my view on Radio Canada International. I never at any point said I was against RCI. In fact I always felt and still do feel it is vital that Canada maintain an international shortwave service. I stress again vitally important.

One thing I have been preaching for the past 10 plus years is that if international broadcasters like RCI are to survive. Radical, bold and groundbreaking changes need to take place. There was a time international broadcasting stations like RCI or Radio Netherlands had programming and on air personalities that stood out. 

In the 1990s we saw this change to get away from that and just have presenters that sound like everyone else on every other station.  Or as I like to say the McDonald’s syndrome where every hamburger looks and tastes the same. It made most radio sound like assembly line programming.  Sure there is an element of kitsch to have Radio Netherlands talk about barrel organs, windmills, dykes or Radio Canada International talking about things that are stereotypically Canadian. But is it not this that would make you stand out from the rest?

Something that I have learned with starting up PCJ in 2009. You need to be different, unique  and maybe a little offbeat. If you offer programming that is different and fun to listen to the audience will come.  Back in 2009 many many people thought the idea of bringing back Happy Station Show as an independent production was crazy, stupid, dumb and mad. I knew for a long time and had a gut feeling the show would be successful. If the program was not I would have stopped doing it in the first 6 months. But what happened? The show went from once every 2 weeks, to weekly, to 3 different versions a week, including specials like the one we are doing June 29th.

The same goes with Media Network Plus, which started off as a monthly 55 minute program and the we added a weekly 30 minute program. Jazz For The Asking, Nash Holos, Focus Asia Pacific, Switzerland In Sound, Classic Media Network, The Stuph File, The Kelly Alexander Show and the special programs we do.

At the moment there are over 32 local stations in 21 countries that relay our programming.  I knew that if we had a program schedule with content that maybe some would consider a little off hinged it would take off. Was it a lot of work? That is an understatement. But I am such a strong believer in international programming that if it meant sleeping a few hours a day and not taking a day off so be it.

We are now in the process of building our own 20kw relay to reach listeners in South East Asia and the Pacific. We are doing this because there is a huge potential for an audience. What will our programming be? What will our style be? Very simple. Go back to the basics of international broadcasting and offer something that people will enjoy listening to, have a good time and be a little kitsch. There is nothing wrong with kitsch.

Changes that took place in the 1990s have had nothing but a negative impact. Recently Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was asked about what she thought of the BBC World Service. She said she was a strong supporter BBC, but felt the changes left the station with less variety and music programs. And said the only thing she heard was news and commentaries.
To conclude. Yes and I say it again Canada needs an international broadcasting service and I would do anything I can to support RCI being restored. At the same time we live in a democracy and I have the right to also speak my mind and give my own personal view. This is not RCI bashing. This is only having an open debate on the situation.

Keith Perron June 26, 2012 (Director of PCJ Radio International) Please forward your views by contacting me directly by email

    Final English Service Sign-Off At Radio Canada International

RCI Action posted a brief timeline of RCI's demise:

2009 - Ukrainian Section abolished after 57 years of  service.

2008 - Action Committee spokesperson suspended! Radio Canada International tries to "muzzle" communications union Details

2007 - Programs, policies and jobs abolished as RCI's mandate changed. Questions at Parliamentary Committee Details

2005 - Canada's Radio Voice Abandons Most of Ukraine  Details

2005 - 60th Anniversary of RCI  Secret celebration?   

2003 - Parliamentary Committee Says RCI Should Be Strengthened   Details

For more about the relationship between RCI and the CBC, see this link

The internal and public falling apart of RCI was covered by several other media sources as demonstrated here

RCI Action Committee's coverage of the final day at RCI 

                 Sackville Relay Transmitter To Close 

On June 27th, 2012, Keith Perron at PCJ spoke with an individual only identified as a male working the Sackville, New Brunswick site. Keith says the news was depressing. Here are his exact words: 

"All the clients to the station KBS, VOV and others are being contacted to look for a new relay. I called to see if there was a chance to get some time once a week for PCJ. He said if it was up to him he would. But that the CBC has all intentions to tear down the station and not keep it going. He said the CBC wants to shut it down as soon as possible, but they can keep operating until October 31st if some of the stations that use it need time to find new relays. But he said the CBC is putting lots of pressure on them to get rid of anyone using the station." - Keith Perron, PCJ Radio International

          Saying Good-Bye To Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Radio Netherlands Worldwide, once Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, signed off on June 28th, 2012 at 9:36PM United States central time. On their side of the world, it was June 29th. 

The final program started off with Eric Beauchemin announcing the final day of RNW broadcasts followed by a final good-by message combined with a brief compilation of old sound bytes. Dheera Sujan started the program with a general overview of RNW's history and achievements. 

The program quickly moved into the big band entertainment era, and the era of Happy Station. In this portion of the final good-bye, RNW aired a brief statement from Keith Perron at PCJ. Jonathan Marks spoke next on the topic of getting the attention of people in other countries, relating to other people on a human level, editorial freedom at RNW, and reminded the audience that RNW received 125,000 letters and phone calls a year BEFORE the era of electronic communications. "June 29th 2012 will go down in history books as a milestone in media history." said Jon. Jon went on to say that he had enormous fun working on the studio side of the mic with the best in the business and also what he said was "the best and most responsive audience you could ever wish for."

Dheera moved on to talking about an old program called "Asia Scan" with Pete Myers and Mike Bolan. Asia Scan became immensely popular per Dheera's description. Dheera remembered Pete as "the undisputed king of radio"  and as "irrepressible, incorrigible, and unparallelled" Dheera said Pete made "some of the finest RNW documentaries."  PCJ's Keith Perron was listening to the farewell show and had his own comments. At this stage of this report, it is only fair and right to let Keith speak due to his level of experience and expertise in the field. 

"Today I listened to Radio Netherlands farewell program and, Have to say I was very disappointed. Some of the facts were wrong. First, Eddy Startz stopped doing Happy Station in 1969 not 1970 like that said. Pete Myers did not do the show for several years, he only did the show for 2 years. The next problem was they skipped through the years of 1947 to the early 90s. It didn't give a good clear picture of what Radio Netherlands was known for. It for the most part, only focused on documentaries and nothing else. It started off good , but as far as I'm concerned went down hill in the first 6 minutes. Who the hell put it together? Only 1 word I can use to describe what I heard today: poor, sad and just plain bad. Maybe if any of the people who worked on it had any sense of entertainment and how to entertain the audience it would not have been so bad. The other thing I knew about before it was even done, was that Tom (Meijer) (Shortwave America emphasis on Tom's last name) had not been invited to make comments on the program. No one doing it even made any attempt to contact him. He did for over 20 years, host the most popular program on the station. He now only lives a short distance away. Not one attempt was made. Talk about insulting."

Tom Meijer is on the Support Staff at PCJ Radio International and was the host of Happy Station from 1970 to 1992.

Keith Perron had a live Happy Station Show tribute to RNW that aired in the exact same time slot via WRMI on 9955Khz to North America and the Caribbean. This was a two hour offering of the complete history at RNW. Listener comments were overwhelmingly more in favor of this special edition of Happy Station. You can access parts one and two of this show by going to the PCJ Homepage

From the Pete Meyers tribute, Dheera moved forward to present Ginger DeSilva and her program, called, "A Good Life".  Next up was a story about a female broadcast personality named Van Der Meer who spoke about a professor who took American and Dutch students to the battlefields of World War One. 

Chris Chambers, who joined RNW in the 90s, came into the program next. Chris talked about his first experiences at RNW, and how he made his decision to stay. He concentrated mostly on Dutch documentaries, and elaborated on his work focused on Mozart. Documentaries he made on on the 2nd World War were what Chris said had the most impact on him during his time at RNW. During Chris' career at RNW, he said "the person who made the biggest impact on me was Trudy. Trudy was in her 90s and lived alone. She had this very soft, penetrating voice, and I'll never forget what she said to me."

In the next portion of the final farewell programme of RNW's history, Dheera now says this: "One of the best things about working here at Radio Netherlands has always been the international atmosphere. It's wonderful going to lunch in a canteen where you can hear half a dozen languages being spoken. And, even within the English Department itself, we had a kaleidoscope of cultures. People with background ranging from Sierra Leone to Ireland. Héléne Michaud , a French Canadian in the RNW English Department is introduced at this point.

Michaud says that for her, it all started with making live current affairs programs on shortwave to Africa in French and then in English. The last days of apartheid, the genocide in Rwanda, the war in Liberia, and that is when she producer her very first radio documentary in Uganda. This programme was one in which she provided the audience with a look at the lives of Asians who had been expelled by a certain government power from the only place they knew as home.

Michaud says more about her career: "The quest for identity ran as a constant thread through my programmes. I've been here for many years at Radio Netherlands but, it doesn't feel long because I've been given a chance to explore almost every corner of the world. For a person who's naturally curious, this has been fantastic!  I'm saying good-bye to those years and great and inspiring colleagues, but not to Radio Netherlands. I'm one of the few who's staying on with the new African Service, where I coordinate thematic programmes in French and English in partnership with hundreds of radio stations in Africa." Going on, she says that the day will eventually come where they will no longer be necessary.

In this final tribute to their years on the air, Dheera now brings on the host of "Weekend Europe", Louise Williams followed by "Network Europe" and its host, Richard Walker with a rather memorable set of on-air bloopers involving pronunciation of difficult international names of places and people.

"Curious Orange" was on the farewell list now. This was a show that highlighted the "quirkier sides of Dutch culture", hosted by "Dutch insider" Michel Walraven and Ashley Olson who was described as a Canadian outsider. This segment focused on their trip to Afghanistan, a story of a prostitute from Utrecht, and a piece called "Sex With Robots" with David Levy.

Dheera gets us into the "Critical Eye On Dutch Culture" with commentators, Rob Greene, and his co-commentator. This was a show where Dheera says "nothing was too sacred to mock". In this segment, it is said that the "New Radio Netherlands has quite a challenge ahead of it, with those remaining aboard expected to be living examples of a value that the Netherlands itself has too often been half-hearted about to say the least." Listen to the programme to hear the best part of what was said prior to this comment!!

Marnie Chesterton says good-bye now. She was the presenter of the popular "Earthbeat" programme. Marnie calls this programme her "baby". Here, Marnie gives us a clip of one programme in which they talk about the end of the world. Shortwave America simply cannot do Marnie and her show proper justice with a good brief commentary, so listen to the final farewell show to hear Marnie's presentation and final sign-off.

Andy Sennitt Talks About RNW's Demise

Shortwave America spoke with Andy Sennitt of Radio Netherlands Worldwide and obtained Andy's consent to quote him on some important things he had to say about the closing of RNW and the state of international radio today. To give this part of this piece proper context, here is a little background on Andy's comments:

Andy has worked in radio for decades. See the Shortwave America piece, "Andy Sennitt Has Left The Building" and also, "Radio Netherlands Says Goodbye". Over the course of decades, Andy has made observations, he's heard things, he's become VERY tuned to what is really important and knows what is simply just unimportant clutter in the background. He pointedly, wisely, separates the two and speaks his mind unabashedly, as was the tradition at RNW for its members.

We'll start here with Andy's comments regarding the activity at Glenn Hauser's DXLD, the final RNW program, and his own experiences as a DX'er.

"I just had a look at the latest issue of DX Listening Digest. There's a lot of drivel about the closure of Radio Netherlands English on shortwave, mostly written by occasional listeners to RNW who have absolutely no idea what's really going on there. Most people seem to imagine that broadcasting on shortwave was the only thing we did.

Regarding the final programme, the Dutch department had about three months to prepare theirs, with a much bigger budget. Because there was no longer an English department, the task of preparing the final programme was given to WebWorld, with just three weeks' notice.

Rob Kievit had to research, write and produce the programme single-handedly, with Dheera Sujan (who has worked at RNW for 23 years) presenting. It was not meant to be a documentary about RNW's past, but a way for current staff to say goodbye. The recent extracts were chosen by the staff themselves. Of course listeners have their own opinions about what they would have included, but 65 years in 52 minutes is not easy to accomplish :-)

There is an individual who enjoys stirring up controversy, who says in DXLD he wants 'proof' that the final 4 minutes at 2053-2057 UTC were live. He prefers to speculate that it was pre-recorded. That's symbolic of the stuff we've had to put up with over the years - rather than ask someone for the facts, many DXers prefer to speculate because that way they get more attention from fellow hobbyists.

I used to enjoy DXing, and got to know some wonderful people, many of whom are still close friends. But the hobby has changed - the real DXers have been drowned out by people who would rather talk about internal matters at broadcasters that are really none of their business. Facts and speculation are all jumbled up, and I no longer have the patience to sift through voluminous commentaries by individuals in the hope of discovering some interesting factual information. I guess that means I've become a grumpy old man. So be it."

At one time in his career, Andy was part of the collective at the World Radio and Television Handbook (WRTH). He had this to say about some of his experiences as a quick sum in relation to WRTH and DX'er complaints after Victor Goonetilleke had asked Andy how he kept up with thousands of stations for WRTH.

"Well, we didn't keep up with all the stations every year. We sent out thousands of questionnaires, but we found that stations tended not to bother replying if there hadn't been any significant changes since the previous year. If they had a new transmitter, or a new boss, they usually wanted to publicise it. The response rate from Latin America, for example, varied between 20 and 50 percent a year. And it wasn't the same stations that replied every year, so over a period of 3-5 years we heard from most of them. Of course, some stations sent incorrect data, for example listing frequencies that were licensed but not in use. And if any of this got published, it was always our fault, never the station's fault, at least according to some DXers."

Further to the point on the comparison of the situations RNW and VOA respectively found themselves in during a conversation with Marie Ciliberti (Ret. VOA), Andy said this: 
It was not "those in management" who decided to cut our broadcasts. It was a political decision, pure and simple. RNW, management and staff alike, is the victim. The senior management at RNW have also lost their jobs - RNW is now under new management on much lower salaries. It seems RNW was appreciated everywhere except in the one place that really matters - the government! I am aware of the battles at VOA, but the situation there is quite different from the one at RNW. The Dutch government simply decided it didn't need an international broadcaster anymore.

Shortwave America says good-bye to RCI and everyone at RNW

Thank you to everyone at RCI for your work over the past many years. Everything you did was a contribution in itself to the world of radio journalism and communications. 

Everyone at Radio Netherlands: You made a great team of professionals from corners of the world far and wide. You made radio history rich with great contributions that will likely never be surpassed. Andy, Jon, Johnathan Groubert, Dheera, Marnie, Rob, Michel, Ashley, Keith, and an even longer list of people which there is no room to fit here....all of you did hard work that paid off. Don't let RNW's sign - off mean the end of your talent or careers communicating with the world. 

Your works are all valuable, your voices and personalities meaningful. 

Farewell to all of you with great fondness!

Special thanks to Andy Sennitt for some extra editing help on this piece!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

PCJ Radio's Media Network Plus review of the DR111 DRM receiver

A video review from PCJ Radio's Media Network Plus of the Newstar DR111 DRM receiver.

NEWSTAR DR111 Review

Monday, July 9, 2012

Museum of Shortwave, Amateur Radio, and High Frequency SSB Communications

Shortwave America is excited to announce the world's first museum dedicated the world of shortwave, amateur radio, and HF SSB communications!!! The museum will be a permanent, long-term, on-line display dedicated to the achievements in each of the categories and mediums listed in the title.

Shortwave America seeks to develop this endeavor over time to become an actual physical museum. In doing so, the on-line version will serve as the visual representation of what the actual museum will be in the future. The on-line representation is a good place to start so that all of you fans, followers, listeners, and those just getting into the world of radio can see the rich history and culture, the visions that became reality and caught on over time in the various radio mediums in each category, traditions in each radio medium, true stories, and other important items.

There will be sub-categories to cover each era of radio, each mode, each technological breakthrough, each legal victory in radio communities, each important milestone, and much more!

Shortwave America seeks partnerships with Shortwave Listener's Clubs, Leaders of the International Shortwave Broadcast Profession, Amateur Radio Clubs and Societies, HF Monitoring Groups, Radio Equipment Manufacturers, Radio Retailers, and individual private people who have historical or other important, relevant, contributions they wish to make.

Invitations are going out to some recognized leaders in each category at press time. Please keep an eye out here for more details as things develop. This is a huge undertaking and involves lots of work that takes time to bring forth fruit. This is something that will solidify the place of the targeted areas in radio communications in a tangible way that showcases each category and sub-category to the public at large in an engaging manner.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Television Broadcast Legend Andy Griffith, June 1, 1926 – July 3, 2012

Once and always known as "America's Favorite Sheriff", the star and host of "The Andy Griffith Show", the man who was also known as "Andy Taylor" from 1960 to 1968, has passed away. Andy's life came to a peaceful end this morning, July 3rd, 2012 at around 7AM.

According to WITN News, "Dare County Sheriff Doughtie said the family stated that Andy died at seven this morning, peacefully, at his home and that Andy has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island." "The actor's death was first confirmed by former UNC President Bill Friday and later by the sheriff."

WITN News also relayed the following information: " The sheriff had confirmed earlier that an ambulance was called to the home this morning. A family statement says the actor died with his wife Cindi at his side. "Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord," said his wife in a statement. "He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God.”
Griffith was born in Mount Airy and attended UNC Chapel Hill where he earned a degree in Music. His first job out of college was an English teacher at Goldsboro High School."

North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue,U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, and U.S. President Barack Obama commented briefly on Andy's passing. See the full WITN News Piece for more

ABC News announced Andy Griffith's death. Embedding has been disabled by request of ABC. 

Shortwave America now gives you video from various sources to pay tribute to Andy Griffith

The Andy Griffith Show remains one of the most popular TV sitcoms in US television history. The infectious theme music (Instrumental with whistling solo) had lyrics most people never got to hear. Andy Griffith sings this catchy tune.

Youtube user, iParatrooper, has a whole collection of  full episodes from The Andy Griffith Show.

In this interview by the Archive of American Television, Andy Griffith talks about the early days of "The Andy Griffith Show"

Here is an Andy Griffith interview on the old Matlock character done by the Archive of American Television

For those who never saw Matlock, or want to remember Andy by watching a short opening clip from the show, here it is:

Matlock Season 1, Episode 1 Pilot, Part 2 shows us Andy's skill that he was so successful for.

Shortwave America sends heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Griffith. Rest in peace, Andy, you finished well!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Comments Section Permanently Closed

Shortwave America has enacted a new policy effective immediately. Due to continued abuse of the comments section, specifically, comments that meet with the legal definition of threats, slander, libel, and defamation; the comments sections of this publication are now permanently closed. The comments section will not re-open again in the future.

Sadly, the reality is that the internet allows people to be anonymous. Internet anonymity was intended for a select and narrow group of people to have some sort of shield against their freedom of speech being violated or chilled at the very least. When this anonymity is abused, such as we see in this current day across the wide territory of the internet, we must start re-thinking the whole idea of anonymity and what requirements a person needs to meet to obtain and use anonymity. Unfortunately, the law is slow at catching up with modern day technology.

Shortwave America has made a commitment to create and maintain a safe environment for people from all over the world of all ages to enjoy, and has openly made a commitment to address the pandemic known as cyber-harassment, cyber-stalking, and cyber-bullying.

The decision to close the comments section was not made lightly, but has become a necessity. Furthermore, the fact that the comments section has been open for years and has only been used very rarely by people making legitimate comments further justifies the closing of the comments section.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ethiopia Criminalizes VOIP - RSF Reports

Reporters Without Borders is reporting that the government in Ethiopia is stepping up control of news and information. As part of this crack down, new legislation was ratified on May 24th, 2012. Here is a quote of what this law is reported to say:

"Use of VoIP hardware and software has just been made a crime by the new Ethiopian Telecom Service legislation, which was ratified on 24 May. Anyone violating this provision could be sentenced to up 15 years in prison.

The authorities say the ban was needed on national security grounds and because VoIP posed a threat to the state’s monopoly of telephone communications. The new law also gives the ministry of communications and information technology the power to supervise and issue licences to all privately-owned companies that import equipment used for the communication of information."

Shortwave America takes an interest in this due to the fact that licensed amateur radio operators use VOIP services as an allowed mode of communication world-wide. Use of VOIP in amateur radio is almost universal in regards to widespread international use. There is no information at this time about how or IF this ban will affect licensed amateur radio operators in that region of the world. 

This VOIP ban is only a small part of new law that has taken effect in Ethiopia. The government there has also blocked access to the TOR network, but the folks at TOR have found a way to circumvent this ban by way of the use of  certain TOR bridges in combination with Obfsproxy Tor Browser Bundle. Technical tests so far show that the TOR bridges are not responsive to pinging. Here is that instructional piece at the TOR Blog.

Reporters Without Borders says this: "This new law and the possibility that a Deep Packet Inspection system has been installed mark a turning point in the Ethiopian government’s control of the Internet,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We fear that DPI will be misused for surveillance purposes by a government that already subjects the political opposition and privately-owned media to a great deal of harassment."

On May 31st, 2012, the TOR Blog announced the following statement: (See the TOR link for technical graphs)

"Reports show that Tor stopped working a week ago -- even with bridges configured. Websites such as,,, and even continue to work."

Input/, "The free thinkin', free speakin', rabble rousin' geek has a tutorial up that tells us how to subvert DPI. (Shortwave America makes no guarantees as to the effectiveness of any advice given or linked to) 

As you read through the information and links provided here, you will have seen that Ethiopia is suspected of using TLS to achieve all of its censorship and monitoring activities. TLS stands for Transport Layer Security. This quote from Wikipedia tells us the basics of what TLS is:

"Transport Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), are cryptographic protocols that provide communication security over the Internet.[1] TLS and SSL encrypt the segments of network connections at the Application Layer for the Transport Layer, using asymmetric cryptography for key exchange, symmetric encryption for privacy, and message authentication codes for message integrity.

Several versions of the protocols are in widespread use in applications such as web browsing, electronic mail, Internet faxing, instant messaging and voice-over-IP (VoIP).
TLS is an IETF standards track protocol, last updated in RFC 5246, and is based on the earlier SSL specifications developed by Netscape Communications."[2]


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hancock - The Radio Ham

Tony Hancock, born 12 May 1924, was a well known actor and radio host at the BBC. One of his greatest hits was something called "The Radio Ham". Hancock had a complicated life and career due to a combination of factors. Learn more about Tony Hancock. 

Although Hancock's life and career were complicated matters in and of themselves, Hancock was a genius who continues to be appreciated, and his work lives on.

Shortwave America sort of "commandeered" these videos from Keith Perron at PCJ Radio in good spirit. Thanks for allowing the use of these videos, Keith!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Britain's Diamond Jubilee - Listening Guide

PCJ Radio's Keith Perron passed on the following shortwave frequencies for Elizabeth's celebration of sitting as a Queen for 60 years. Not sure how long this celebration is going on for, so, hopefully this will be useful for people to have.

Those who live in other countries can listen to audio feeds via RadioReference.
The Official Queen's Jubilee website can be viewed here.  
The BBC - Thames Jubilee Pageant Cheered by Crowds

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dangers of DXpeditions: DJ6SI Arrested In Greece

DX Coffee has written an excellent piece on the dangers of DXpeditions in places where diplomacy and human rights are not up to par.

7O6T and 6O0CW: All Things Considered

This piece was spoken of on the heels of breaking news which has come from the VU Amateur Radio mailing list. A ham in Greece has been arrested on suspicion of spying. DXCoffee references the Global Peace Index in the piece.

From DX World: 

World traveller and well known DXer, Baldur DJ6SI has been arrested on the island of Kos for alleged spying.

Whilst Dx World does not know the precise details, this story is all over the Greek ham radio blogosphere.
SV2DCD blog
SV8CS blog
SV5BYR blog
Recent cluster spottings prior to Baldur’s arrest.


DXCoffee makes the following points which are quoted here: 

"The 2011 ranking of the “Global Peace Index” (created by “Vision of Humanity“) sees Somalia at the bottom of the list (ranked #153), which thusly conveys the unenviable distinction of “Most Dangerous Country on Earth.” Yemen, in contrast, is “only” 138th, while still in the top 20 worldwide."

"We should give back in like measure for that which has transpired, by way of thanks and gratitude to the handful of radio stars involved in the activations of Socotra Island and Galkayo. They have willingly made possible for each us to conquer one more piece of the DXCC puzzle. There was an implicit acceptance of risk of sufficient magnitude."

"(the license qualifies us as operators, not necessarily as “courteous people”), but if a human being stopped being like this, alas, he could no longer be a ham. Responsibility is the first real virtue of an OM, and our search for those famous “fifteen minutes” (although in this case the duration of 15 days) is not enough, in spite of our freedom to choose; and individual motivations should remain unchanged in justifying even the slightest conditon relating to our physical security." 

"respectfully bear in mind the reflections of others in our reading over the past several days, the alleged communications restrictions (we have not heard from the team regarding this) in contacts with Israeli stations imposed by Yemeni authorities on the team of 7O6T."

"The Amateur Service is not put into operation by divine investiture, rather by permission of a government entity"

"DXCC does not assign values to the level of democracy of an entity; it’s not Amnesty International. It recognizes that an activation has occurred in accordance with procedures and requirements and makes it valid for the achievement of the given award."

"Politics has no place in radio (behind the microphone) – and this is an inviolable principle and one to defend – but it’s impossible, given the nature of a government action"

The SV2DCD website has some more talk about the situation involving DJ6SI.  

There is only speculation as of this time, some of it, not so nice. We will have to wait and see how this case plays out before we really know anything solid about the allegations and facts. There will likely be different versions of what happened and why. Shortwave America would urge the amateur radio community to think responsibly and act wisely until more details are known. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

ABC 7 News Releases Video Clip: Chicago Police NATO Communications

ABC Channel 7 (WLS-TV) has released a video reporting on Chicago Police NATO Communications. Before Shortwave America presents that, it is important that a specific issue be covered here first. 

Apparently, lots of people are whining and crying that Shortwave America is a "terrorist" information source that spouts "anti-police" rhetoric, and gives away sensitive police communications information.  Specifically, this seems to be just a few of the people at a popular Chicago Police blog that cannot be named here due to the offensive name on the blog.

Shortwave America is a legitimate radio journalism website and audio program focused on RADIO COMMUNICATIONS. That is the whole point of this operation, to bring the public news and information about amateur radio, shortwave broadcast, HF Single-Sideband, and other radio related items.

NATO 2012 was an event covered by countless media outlets and those media outlets include independent writers / journalists (freelancers), independent media organizations, non-profit organizations, main stream media, etc. Many independent reporters own their own operations, however small or large they might be. The first amendment and public records acts cover the right of a person to report on anything they wish, so long as they are not actually telling people to commit harm or commit crime.

The courts nationwide have upheld a reporter's rights to present items that are of public interest, hold political, social, and / or artistic value, as well as items that are publicly newsworthy. Unencrypted radio traffic is not deserving of protection per the United States Federal Communications Commission, and especially that unencrypted radio traffic that can easily be obtained by several means ranging from freedom of information act requests, to I-Phone Apps, Internet Streaming of public safety radio, radio receivers known as "scanners", amateur radio equipment, word of mouth, by walking next to or standing by a police officer or other public safety employee with a radio that is openly audible, and real time media reports.

If it can be obtained on tape or other media storage by FOIA request, and then be subsequently published once a person has their hands on it, then there is no problem with reporting in real time because the recording will only serve as confirmation of what was reported on.   

A Chicago journalist named "Timmy" runs his own operation under the name of "Avondale and Logan Square Crime Blotter" in which he reveals radio traffic from several police districts on a daily basis. The community lauds "Timmy" as a hero for keeping the community up to date on criminal activity and beat meetings. Timmy has had to fight for his First Amendment right to publish as he sees fit as a way of giving back to the community.

Shortwave America gives back to the community on an international basis by publishing written and audio works relevant to radio, and that includes major events if and when command and communications traffic is known to be available. The public has a vested interest in staying informed of what is happening around them for their own safety and well-being. Reportage of everyday government activities and major special event related government activities serves as a check and balance of the people. "Originally, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress. However, starting with Gitlow v. New York, the Supreme Court has applied the First Amendment to each state. This was done through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment." - Wikipedia.

Freedom of the press

In Lovell v. City of Griffin, 303 U.S. 444 (1938), Chief Justice Hughes defined the press as, "every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion."[86] Freedom of the press, like freedom of speech, is subject to restrictions on bases such as defamation law.

In Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972), the Court ruled that the First Amendment did not give a journalist the right to refuse a subpoena from a grand jury. The issue decided in the case was whether a journalist could refuse to "appear and testify before state and Federal grand juries" basing the refusal on the belief that such appearance and testimony "abridges the freedom of speech and press guaranteed by the First Amendment."[87] The 5–4 decision was that such a protection was not provided by the First Amendment. (From WIKIPEDIA)

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." - First Amendment, United States Bill of Rights.

That having been said, here is the ABC 7 video:        


Monday, May 28, 2012

Introduction To Internet / WIFI Radio

The SWLing Post has a new article up that talks about the relevancy of Internet Radio, otherwise known as WIFI Radio.In this article, the author asks a great question that Shortwave America would like to address. Re-thinking Internet Radio, Part 1.

"is internet radio “cheating?” Is it really radio?"

The answer to that is...WIFI Radio IS radio, it is simply put into a digitized format that uses servers as opposed to RF producing transmitters. 

The article tackles another VERY GOOD reality: If the company that manufactured your WIFI radio goes out of business, your WIFI radio is nothing more than a paperweight due to the fact that the radio needs to connect to the company's servers via your home internet connection for its internal database to function.

In a conversation recently, the Founder and Owner of Shortwave America spoke with radio legend, Bob Zanotti of "Switzerland in Sound". The topic of the conversation was internet broadcasting. There seems to be a very well noted problem with some internet broadcasters in that they don't always have a good, professional filter in regards to their level of professionalism.

This writer and radio broadcaster couldn't agree more with Bob! Something I learned early on from my own observations and professional mentoring is that AUDIO QUALITY MATTERS as does your level of professionalism! Your presence needs to command respect of an audience. Commanding respect of an audience means thinking out what you want to say, and saying it well; it means speaking with confidence. This leads to a quick discussion about content, something this publication has spoken about in other articles. If you are going to produce a radio program, your content needs to be specific to the audience you want to reach, it needs to be solid and easily comprehended by your audience.

Some of the more experienced radio broadcasters can easily get on a mic and talk. Their experience has taught them how to do this and do it well. Here is another good point I want to discuss: just because you have an internet connection, a web cam, and a microphone doesn't make you ready for hosting a show. You need to think ahead about what you want to do, how you want to do it, and who is going to listen / watch. You need to have a plan for promoting your work, which means knowing WHERE you can promote yourself.

People who are naturally talented writers or actors tend to go well with radio because they know the value of presentation and they know how to promote themselves. You can be popular but never be profitable, and therein lies the dilemma of internet broadcasting. If you are going to devote yourself to this, you have to work full time at it and chase every opportunity, every idea for becoming profitable if you want to pay your bills and survive.

In my conversation with Bob the other day, I made the point that this is how careers sometimes start. Shortwave America is a good, realistic, example of that statement. You start from nothing, start small, and work it up from there. Each broadcaster has their own strategy, and that strategy is never publicly given away. Find your strategy and keep it a secret! This means finding your "groove" and sticking to it! The old adage, "Stick to your guns" applies well here.

The good thing about internet broadcasting: REAL radio stations do go to certain places to find new shows for their daily schedule, and they DO use the internet talent they find in various ways which range from asking them to program a new show for them to asking that talent to do other production work.

Shortwave America will be following the SWLing Post and will write a public response for each part they release on this topic.Thanks to Chris Freitas for the lead to this story!

Nash Holos With Paulette MacQuarrie To Air In Malta

Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio has a new relay station on board! Shortwave America is proud to announce that Malta University Broadcasting will carry Nash Holos with Paulette MacQuarrie starting June 9th, 2012 on frequency 103.7fm at 9pm Malta time, following News Hour from the BBC World Service! 

Paulette MacQuarrie has been a rising star in the world of radio ever since the beginning when she started working on Nash Holos and has worked hard to deserve this new business relationship. For those who are recent new readers / listeners to Shortwave America will now learn a little bit more about Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio and its importance to the people of Ukraine. 

Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio Features:

Upcoming Events ... in BC's Ukrainian Community.
NEW! Events Calendar. Submit your own event online.
Ukrainian Food Flair ... Recipes and audio files
Ukraine News Outlook ... with Keith Perron of PCJ Radio
Ukrainian Jewish Heritage ... featuring Meylakh Sheykhet of the Jewish Cultural Centre, Lviv (Courtesy Radio Nezalezhnist, Lviv) Last broadcast: December 20, 2011. Topic: Chanukah
Ukrainian Christian Heritage ... with Fr. Ihor Kutash of St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Montreal
Ukrainian proverb ... Народня мудрість
Did You Know? ... with Irena Bell, of the Ukrainian Program in Ottawa
Churches ... Ukrainian churches in BC

Information above is courtesy of the Official Nash Holos Website.

Paulette (Pawlina) Demchuk MacQuarrie has hosted and produced Nash Holos on AM1320 CHMB Vancouver since 2000. This makes Nash Holos 12 years old as of this year! The program went into international syndication in 2010, and is also carried by PCJ Radio, China Airlines during international long-haul flights, and Paulette continues to write and do desk-top publishing, and also co-hosts an internationally syndicated radio program with Keith Perron on the global media industry which airs weekly on AM, FM, Shortwave and satellite radio around the world. This is the Media Network Plus program, also featuring the Founder and Owner of Shortwave America, who sometimes fills in for Paulette and performs a weekly radio propagation forecast.

Learn more about Paulette and the other voices of Nash Holos here.

Thank you to the wonderful people at Malta University Broadcasting for choosing to have Nash Holos on their station! A grateful thank you also goes to Keith Perron at PCJ Radio for his work promoting the various talent featured on PCJ.