VoA Mandarin Programs: Still on Shortwave?

Voice of America (VoA) frequency schedules suggest that for now, the broadcaster continues its shortwave broadcasts in Mandarin, according to Radio Taiwan International (RTI), despite the original plan to cut the broadcasts on September 30 this year – which marked the end of the past fiscal year. The RTI notice carries no date, and may be outdated, but the VoA website carries a frequency schedule (which has been in effect since November 1, 2011, and which still includes Mandarin broadcasts.

RadioBras QSL, 1987

Particularly Progressive: RadioBrás (Brazil) closed its German department in 1999 (QSL card, 1987)

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), responsible for all federal-funded non-military broadcasts, seems to be at odds with supporters of the shortwave programs in Chinese on Capitol Hill, if this article by BBG Watch is correct. It reports that things aren’t going smoothly between the Voice of America’s employees (and fans) on the one hand, and the BBG on the other. The reported tensions weren’t only concerning broadcasting issues, but industrial relations, too. One of the board’s eight governors, Victor Ashe, a Republican and former ambassador to Poland, reached out to the staff, not least the VoA’s Chinese department’s, in recent days. Ashe has started to meet with rank-and-file employees and is asking uncomfortable questions in open meetings about the mismanagement of the agency by the executive staff, according to a BBG Watch report on Sunday.

I’m not sure if the bill passed by the U.S. Senate a few days ago has changed the situation, but according to BBG Watch, the VoA [Mandarin] programs were saved (which may or may not include the shortwave broadcasts in Chinese).

No time to listen to the radio at the moment, and I can’t therefore tell if the current VoA frequency and language schedule reflects reality, but I’ll probably give the frequencies a try during Christmas.



» Keep Shortwave, for Now, July 24, 2011
» Terrible Shifts, Unbalanced Reporting, Taipei Times, February 19, 2011


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