In this era of the Internet, TV, etc... Why radio?
Save reliable, trustworthy SW broadcasters, like Radio Australia and BBC World Service - click here for more info...
First, it's cheap to produce.
Second, it is relatively simple to produce - all a BBC, DW, etc., reporter really needs to report a story is a phone. Try doing that on TV!
Third, it provides more information faster than the Internet, and more cheaply. After all, a computer costs well over $1,000, and still takes, in the best of circumstances, three minutes to download one minute (or less) of radio time. Hardly immediate news! (Okay, Real Audio is making improvements - that still won't help those of us without ISDN, X2, Kflex56, and all the rest of this cybernetic alphabet soup, or the phone connections necessary to use these newfangled devices.)
Fourth, it's far more of a challenge to unearth something from far away on the radio than on the Internet. Take, for instance, New Zealand. It is as simple to reach New Zealand via Internet as it is to call across town. From where I live (halfway around the world from New Zealand), it takes a decent radio, good timing, and some luck. Even then, I sometimes do not get the signal. My Holy Grail? Radio Tahiti - almost as far, and not as much power.
Fifth, where else do you hear the news from almost anywhere on Earth - including places that do not even exist? Remember Welles' "War of the Worlds"? You can find Owen Bennett-Jones doing an interview with the Prime Minister one moment, and Garrison Keillor telling of the news from Lake Wobegon the next.
And finally, you get to fully use your imagination, which is something that you can't do on TV!
Shortwave broadcasting has had an illustrious history. The BBC World Service, the most famous of these broadcasters, has fairly earned its reputation as being the best of these (just ask the French Resistance, the Argentine junta, and the Iranian Revolutionaries). The BBC continues to maintain its place as one of the best news sources in the world.
Radio Australia is no slouch, either - it was busy helping support the resistance to the Japanese during WWII. Now, Radio Australia provides excellent Asian news coverage - at times, better than the BBC!
But, no good deed goes unpunished. Budget choppers are trying to weaken or eliminate both of these services as we speak. The BBC World Service and Radio Australia need help - your help...
Link to sites that will help - make your voice heard!
This page was last updated on 6 July 1997.
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