Archive for November 1st, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Shortwave Log, Northern Germany, September/October 2012


Radio Station Profiles: RTM Mali

Radiodiffusion Télévision du Mali, according to information on its QSL cards almost three decades ago, carried transmissions in French, English, Arabic and national vernacular languages during the 1980s on about five frequencies – two in the 60-m tropical band, and three from the 49- to the 31-m-band. The broadcasts I used to listen to in Europe back then were usually in French. These days, 5995 kHz in the 49-m band seems to work best in Germany, if recent video uploads on youtube are something to go by. The frequency 5995 kHz (49 m) shown there on youtube was also active during the 1980s, but at the time, the frequency was probably hardly audible, as European broadcasters, too, were rather active on shortwave. The tropical band was my medium to listen to Africa during the 1980s.

RTM Mali, QSL 1986

African domestic stations on shortwave – most of those audible in central and northern Europe came in most clearly in the 60-meter band – differed from each other in terms of formats at the time. Some were mostly boring official announcements and news, on other stations, there were also messages from and between listeners read out, and some stations also broadcasted pretty lively music. If I remember it right, RTM Mali devoted more time to regional music than most African domestic stations I listened to.

Private radio stations appear to be on air in Mali, too. According to Wikipedia, the law has allowed for privately-run stations since 1994. These days, Mali shortwave transmitters also relay broadcasts by China Radio International (CRI). The China Television Economic and Technical Cooperation Company, a state-owned company founded in 1991 for Chinese broadcasting projects abroad, provided Mali with shortwave broadcasting equipment, apparently in 2001, or somewhat earlier, “to help Mali develop a foundation for broadcasting”, and for CRI

to broadcast to Africa in Mandarin, Cantonese, English, French, Swahili, Hausa, and other languages, to let African listeners hear the voice from China more clearly and conveniently, to broaden Chinese influence in Africa, to promote Sino-African friendship and the development of broadcasting in African nations, their public welfare, national education and other important effects.

中广国际总公司 [in full: 中国广播电视国际经济技术合作总公司] 为马里提供并租用当地短波广播设备转播中国国际广播电台对非洲地区广播节 目的卡伊、莫普堤、卡蒂、塞古、锡卡索等地广播发射台工程项目的完成,既为马里国家广播事业的发展奠定了坚实基础,也实现了我国对非洲地区用普通话、广东 话、英语、法语、斯瓦希里语、豪萨语等多种语言在当地广播的目标,让非洲听众更加清晰、更加便捷地收听到来自中国的声音,为扩大我国在非洲地区的影响、促 进中非友谊以及发展非洲国家的广播电视事业、国家公益事业、促进国民教育事业等发挥了重要作用。

The China Television Economic and Technical Cooperation Company seems to work under the auspices of the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) and is located in Beijing’s Chaoyang district.

Obviously, during the 1980s, there weren’t too many ways to be familiar with musical genres and their protagonists. Local broadcasters could give you a taste of regional music, but as their target audience was familiar with the musicians anyway, there was no need for the announcers to explain the music they played. Things have changed with the internet, and you can get all kinds of background information now, as a recent blogpost by KT illustrates – it includes a number of samples/videos »


Recent Logs

International Telecommunication Union letter codes used in the table underneath:
AIA – Anguilla; CUB – Cuba; EGY – Egypt; RUS – Russia; TIB – Tibet; TWN – Taiwan.

Languages (“L.”):
C – Chinese; E – English; G – German; S – Spanish.






Time GMT

7240 CNR TIB C Sep 2 22:42 4 5 3
7240  PBS Tibet TIB C Sep 2 22:59 4 5 3
6090 Caribbean
AIA E  Sep 20 01:28 4 4 4
5025 R. Rebelde CUB S Sep 20 01:29 4 4 4
11560 R. Cairo 1) EGY G Sep 22 19:00 4 5 4
15700 Vo Russia RUS G Oct 2 09:00 5 5 5
9955 RTI Taipei 2) TWN G Oct 3 17:00 4 4 4

No impressive list for September and October, as I was much busier in recent weeks, than in August (see “Related” at the bottom of this post), and spent only little time in front of the radio.


1) While modulation was much better on that day than what listeners had previously been used to, readability of the broadcast was still less than O=4. Modulation is still not up to the standards. To give you an idea, here is a short recording from the September 22 broadcast in German.

2) Direct live broadcast from Taiwan on shortwave. Occasionally morse interferences, and growing (unid.) interference from five kHz further down during the last third of the broadcast.



» Previous Logs, Sep 2, 2012
» A State Secret in North Korea, Aug 1, 2012


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Former Deutsche Welle director (in 2001): “no Subservience”

Erik Bettermann became director of Deutsche Welle in May 2001. German (conservative) daily Die Welt on May 11, 2001:

In a hurriedly arranged press conference, Betterman missed no opportunity to highlight the maximum [separation between the state and] Deutsche Welle which needed to be defended against the covetousness of political parties, too. “I’m nobody’s auxiliary person”, the studied social education worker, who turned 57 on Tuesday,  protested against dogged office grapevine.

In einer eiligen anberaumten Pressekonferenz ließ Bettermann keine Gelegenheit aus, auf die möglichst große “Staatsferne” der DW hinzuweisen, die es auch gegen alle Begehrlichkeiten der Parteien zu verteidigen gelte. “Ich bin kein Erfüllungsgehilfe von irgendjemand”, verwahrte sich der studierte Sozialpädagoge, der am vergangenen Dienstag 57 Jahre alt wurde, gegen den hartnäckigen Flurfunk.

Three months earlier, Bettermann’s predecessor, Dieter Weirich, had told Die Welt in an interview that the most commanding soap-box speakers on the subject of freedom of the air waves were also the greatest enemies of the concept.

Former DW director Dieter Weirich. Source: Jennings / Wikimedia. Click picture for source.

Weirich left his post as DW director at the end of March, 2001, rather than when his term officially ended, on November 30, 2001. As a christian democrat, he stood no chance to be re-elected as the station’s director, and besides, Die Welt described his working relations with then Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media, Michael Naumann*), as first-class emnity (eine Feindschaft erster Güte). Weirich didn’t protest, and suggested that then Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder should be happy about his performance – after all, Schröder had recommended that Germans should show no subservience (Untertanengeist). He himself had never given in to attempts from members of his own party, the christian democrats, to make the Welle the federal [governments] subordinate. His concept of the Deutsche Welle directorship had always been politically neutral.

Die Welt: There were advances from [federal commissioner] Naumann’s office last year, to reduce the responsibilities of the [DW] director, and to broaden the influence of political parties.

Weirich: Freedom of the airwaves is schoolbook content in this country. The most commanding soap-box speakers on the subject of freedom of the air waves are also the greatest enemies of the concept. That’s nothing new.

Die Welt: Aus der Naumann­Behörde gab es vergangenes Jahr Vorstöße, die Verantwortung des Intendanten zu reduzieren und den Einfluss der Politik zu erweitern.

Weirich: Rundfunkfreiheit steht hierzulande in Schulbüchern. Die imposantesten Sonntagsredner zur Rundfunkfreiheit sind ihre größten Gegner. Das ist nicht neu.



*) Michael Naumann had by then left the federal commissioner office. His successor was a fellow social democrat, Julian Nida-Rümelin.



» Wang Fengbo, January 26, 2012
» Anticipatory Obedience, June 10, 2011


Thursday, November 1, 2012

CCP opens National Congress Newscenter

Enorth (Tianjin) / Xinhua Net, November 1, 2012 —

To enable journalists to obtain information from the parties concerned, the Chinese Communist Party Eighteenth National Conference news center website is going to open on November 1 (


Reportedly, the news center will timely publish the Conference’s agendas, trends, communiqués, notifications etc. in Chinese and English, for Chinese and foreign journalists and for readers at home and abroad, concerning news about the CCP’s Eighteenth National Congress, and background information material about the National Congress’ previous sessions, the party’s theoretical knowledge, etc..




» Online Publicity Work, Oct 26, 2012
» Outweighing Mount Taishan, Aug 14, 2012


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