Posts tagged ‘media’

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) Christmas Program Changes on Shortwave

According to Radio Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB), Northern German Radio (NDR) schedules this year’s “Gruss an Bord” (Greeting all Ships) as follows:

Dec 24, from 18:00 to 21:00 UTC (3 hours only)
Europe   6080 kHz Tashkent
Atlantic (N) 15770 kHz Miami (WRMI)
Atlantic (S) 11650 kHz Nauen, Germany
Indian O. (SW) 9820 kHz Issoudun, France
Indian O. (E)   9610 kHz Moosbrunn, Austria

leer_reformed_church

Windrose, Leer Reformed Church, East Frisia

So, there will be only three hours instead of the traditional four, and they’ll start one hour earlier than in the past, (18 instead of 19 h UTC), but there’s a small compensation: you won’t need to re-tune your radio receiver for the second half – all frequencies are booked for the entire three hours from 18 to 21 hours UTC (or Greenwich time).

The RBB author seems to be glad to see the Armenian Gavar transmitter replaced by Tashkent as he didn’t like the transmitters’ sonic effect. I actually liked the discreet background hum there, and enjoyed the extra seconds at the end, as NDR’s audio arrived there with some delay, apparently by internet connection or very slow satellite.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) appears to cut “Gruss an Bord” down to Three Hours


U p d a t e !

Christmas is approaching, and so is a German shortwave classic – “Gruß an Bord” (“Greeting all Ships”), produced by Northern German Radio (Norddeutscher Rundfunk, NDR) and transmitted on shortwave (to Europe, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean) as well as on VHF/FM in Hamburg and in its neighboring northern German states.

keep_the_radiiowaves_coming

All ears

Unfortunately, there’s conflicting information about the duration of the program. According to info posted by NDR itself only yesterday (Friday), they cut the program from the usual four to only three hours (and only two hours on VHF/FM). As that is the more recent info, I’ll post it first.

1. NDR timetable

According to them (and they published their schedule only on Friday), the broadcast begins at 18 UTC and ends at 21 UTC – that would be a one-hour reduction, compared to previous years. (The VHF/FM broadcast has even been cut back to two hours only.)

This could be plausible, too, because there will be no recordings from the usual venues in Hamburg and Leer, and most greetings will be taken and read out by e-mail, to avoid gatherings during the fourth “corona wave”.
But to reduce the airtime would still be bad style, especially as they haven’t mentioned this explicitly, leaving it to their global audience to find out.

2. ADDX timetable

“ADDX-Kurier”, probably Germany’s biggest printed media magazine, published the following schedule (copy deadline around Nov 15 Dec 15).
The first half of the program is (or was, originally, who knows?)  scheduled to run from 19 to 21 hours UTC (aka Greenwich Mean Time), on the following frequencies:

target area frequency transmitter
Europe   6030 kHz Gavar
Atlantic (N)   6080 kHz Nauen
Indian Ocean (E)   9570 kHz Moosbrunn
Indian Ocean (W)   9740 kHz Nauen
South Africa   9800 kHz Issoudun
Atlantic (S) 11650 kHz Issoudun

Frequencies would change around 21:00 UTC as follows:

target area frequency transmitter
Europe   6155 kHz Gavar
Atlantic (N)   6145 kHz Nauen
Indian Ocean (E)   9675 kHz Moosbrunn
Indian Ocean (W)   9740 kHz Nauen
South Africa   9590 kHz Issoudun
Atlantic (S)   9830 kHz Issoudun

Gavar is a transmitter site in Armenia, Nauen is a transmitter site west of Berlin, Germany, Moosbrunn is an Austrian transmitter site (also known for daily broadcasts of Austria’s domestic “Ö1” ORF public radio), and Issoudun is a transmitter site in central France, known as a relay for Radio France Internationale (RFI) and Radio Japan (NHK).
Updates will follow here, if available.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

China Radio International: And Now, No News

There are basically two kinds of program formats carried by China Radio International (CRI) now: those with, and those without news and current affairs coverage. Regionally, you can (roughly) draw aline between East and West, with only the former still getting CRI news in regional languages.

Chinese news item, 2019

They still do speak English

The mention of target areas does not imply that there may not be other target areas for certain languages, too. As for Esperanto, for example, I only listened to the broadcast to Europe, but Europe may  not be CRI Esperanto’s only target area.

This list is not at all exhaustive; there are many more CRI language services I haven’t recently listened to.

Language Target areas News
Vietnamese Vietnam Yes
Indonesian Indonesia yes
Malaysian Malaysia yes
Japanese Japan yes
Filipino Philippines yes
Khmer Cambodia yes
Bengali Bengal yes
Thai Thailand yes
Mongolian Mongolia yes
Urdu Pakistan, India, Nepal yes
Hausa Niger, Nigeria yes
Pashto Afghanistan, Pakistan yes
Esperanto Europe no
Romanian Romania no
Italian Italy no
Bulgarian Bulgaria no
Czech Czech Republic no
Polish Poland no
Serbian Serbia & regional no
Hungarian Hungary & regional no
German Austria & regional no

Programs without news / current affairs are usually filled up with music. Some language services without news add explanatory announcements to their music programs, but others run completely without spoken words.
Language services that may be considered global ones – Chinese, English, Russian, or Spanish, still have news in their programs, and maybe cultural programs, too, but CRI’s Portuguese service hasn’t.

Esperanto broadcasts a cultural program with lots of talk, but no news or current affairs either.

The mere-music programs may run without day-to-day updates. The genres vary, however. You get some revolutionary opera on frequencies that were used for Serb programs in the past, or rock and pop music on what was once the Czech service.
The replacement for the German service is particularly mean: typical “China restaurant” dining music.
____________

Related

Program reductions, Nov 25, 2019
CCTV, CRI, CPBS, March 30, 2018
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Useful links

Shortwave Info
Kiwi SDR
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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Shortwave Logs: Nov 2 – Nov 12, 2021

Radio Poland provides Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusan and German listeners with news and press reviews about current affairs, on medium wave, 1386 kHz, mainly from 04:00 to 05:30 GMT and from 15:30 to 17:30 GMT. As there are no more transmitters on shortwave or medium wave available in Poland, these broadcasts are transmitted from a medium wave station in Lithuania. The Lithuanians also carry a Russian-language program for the Western areas of the Russian Federation, and a program by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (Radio Svoboda), also in Russian and for the same target area.

Radio Polands English service can be found online.

radio_polonia

Radio Poland QSL card from the 1980s

The shorter the days, the better these programs should be audible throughout central Europe, and possibly beyond.

Improving propagation with the start of a new solar cycle draws me to shortwave and AM radio again. A few logs of the past few days are listed underneath, received some 30 kilometers southeast of Bremen, NW Germany.

If the recorded stations don’t show, click “read more”.

Freq B’caster Lang Ctry Time Date Quality
(kHz) GMT S I O
1386 Radio Japan Rus LTU 17:30 2 Nov 3 4 3
1386 Radio Poland Ger LTU 17:00 2 Nov 4 4 3
3955 KBS World Ger G 20:00 4 Nov 4 5 4
4850 PBS Xinjiang Kaz TKS 02:00 5 Nov 3 5 3
4885 Clube do Para Por BRA 02:36 3 Nov 3 4 3
6040 RRI Romania Ger ROU 15:25 10 Nov 4 4 4
6130 PBS Tibet Eng TIB 17:31 6 Nov 4 5 4
6170 Voice of Korea Ger KRE 18:00 2 Nov 3 4 3
7265 Radio Japan Jap D 05:10 11 Nov 4 5 3
7390 New Zealand Eng NZL 12.59 8 Nov 3 4 3
7780 R: Argentina Ger USA 21:00 10 Nov 4 5 3
11725 New Zealand Eng NZL 12:57 8 Nov 4 5 4
11780 Radionacional Por BRA 01:45 3 Nov 3 5 3
12045 CPBS Chi CHN 10:00 5 Nov 4 5 4
15160 AWR Mon*) GUM 12:20 7 Nov 3 4 3

Countries as ITU codes:
Lithuania (LTU); Great Britain (G); Turkestan (TKS); Brazil (BRA); Romania (ROU); Tibet (TIB); North Korea (KRE); Germany (D); New Zealand (NZL); USA (USA); China (CHN); Guam (GUM)

____________

Notes
*) Mon is a language spoken in Burma and in neighboring countries
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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

China’s Hate for the Free Flow of Information: Fascism is the absolute Principle

More than fourty years ago, China started policies of reform and opening up. The latter part is often overlooked, but the Chinese authorities had to find new ways to deal with a greater flow of free information, or, as Deng Xiaoping put it, “when you open the window, you can’t stop the flies and mosquitos from coming in, too”.

Despite the ostentatious nonchalance, the party made great efforts to keep the flies out anyway. Really inquisitive international press was only available in international hotels or airports, and shortwave broadcasts from the outside world remained heavily jammed. And to this day, “Uncle Policeman” will take care of the rest of the flies.


Uncensored info, hence harmful

Shut up, we don’t care

What the CPC may not have hoped to achieve though was a fairly successful immunization program against flies. They achieved it anyway. This vaccine’s effect is that it makes most Chinese people ignorant – or nearly ignorant – of information deemed undesirable by the party. Around 2008, “Anti-CNN” propaganda rose – at least partly, it seems – from the Chinese grassroots. On the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, Chinese people appeared to be simply fed up with bad news about Tibet or Xinjiang, no matter if true or not, and any lapse in any overseas picture editorial room was gladly taken as proof that news about uprisings in China’s Tibetan or Turkic colonies were fake news.

But the real sources for the willful ignorance lie deeper. For one, there’s a natural desire of people to be proud of their country, even if there is little reason for that, and that seems to be a particularly strong desire in some East Asian countries.

Then there was an actual source of pride: China’s rising economic and political power, and a series of economic crises in the West. In the minds of many, might made right if only it led to even more might for the motherland.

Not all Chinese nationalists deny that Tibetans or Turkics are going through hell. Rather, they believe that they deserve no better, and that “those guys” had been pampered by their Han rulers for too long.

Obviously, that kind of news isn’t fit to print or be broadcast by China’s “Global Times”, or CCTV. It is enough that people know that their party’s “toughness” on “terrorism” knows no limits, and that resistance is futile.
The latter bit is immportant, too, because Han people, too, have grievances. They must not even dream of getting a verdict in their favor, when the party says “no”. The brutal message from the top is targeting “national minorities” for now, but as Rebiya Kadeer said in 2018, “Uighurs’ today is the Han Chinese peoples’ tomorrow”.

For the more general public inside China – the news has to be more subtle.
While the faces of many of the cadres “interviewed” by CCTV about their “ethnic work” speak volumes, the message itself is that the loving care of the party for the masses earns itself enthusiastic reactions.
The essence of these domestic news: resistance is futile, but then, there’s no reason for resistance, anyway, is there? Our cultural massacres are a beautiful garden.

And for audiences outside China, plain denial is the only possible answer – if that turns out unsuccessful, you can still try to sell the camps in East Turkestan as “vocational schools”.

Shut up and join us – you are part of the United Front

What strikes me most is the wide-spread preparedness among overseas Chinese people to take part in Beijing’s disinformation work.
A desire to be proud of the motherland may be one motivation for that, just as it has been among Chinese at home and abroad since 2008.
Intimidation may be another. As Joanna Chiu noted in a recent article for the “Toronto Star”,

Beijing leaders truly feel anyone of Chinese descent is fair game and they have a right to curtail their freedom of speech years or even generations after they settled abroad.

What Joanna Chiu wouldn’t write either, but what has to be said, is that “socialism with Chinese characteristics” isn’t socialism. It’s full-blown fascism.
Let me apply some of Matthew Lyons definition (the link will take you to more paragraphs):

Fascism is a form of extreme right-wing ideology that celebrates the nation or the race as an organic community transcending all other loyalties. It emphasizes a myth of national or racial rebirth after a period of decline or destruction. To this end, fascism calls for a “spiritual revolution” against signs of moral decay such as individualism and materialism, and seeks to purge “alien” forces and groups that threaten the organic community. Fascism tends to celebrate masculinity, youth, mystical unity, and the regenerative power of violence. Often, but not always, it promotes racial superiority doctrines, ethnic persecution, imperialist expansion, and genocide. At the same time, fascists may embrace a form of internationalism based on either racial or ideological solidarity across national boundaries. Usually fascism espouses open male supremacy, though sometimes it may also promote female solidarity and new opportunities for women of the privileged nation or race.

When you encounter people on Twitter who dedicate many hours of their days to support Beijing’s disinformation work, they won’t necessarily be paid by Beijing. To think that to be the only explanation underestimates Beijing’s success in immunizing its underlings against unwelcome information. You aren’t necessarily dealing with troll factory products. You may be dealing with real-life fascists.

Shut up – you are doing it, too

To enter discussions beyond a few tweets with them may or may not be worth the trouble. In my view, it can be instructive to debate with them when you are aware that “your” side – the West, Japan, India or what have you – are no foreigners to disinformation either. But you won’t get much out of debates with fascists when you can’t stand justified criticism of racism, injustice or other deficits of the society you belong to (or feel you belong to).

On the other hand, you shouldn’t feel discouraged by such expedient “criticism”. When a reported million of Uyghurs is or was in internment camps, some individual stories that emerge internationally may indeed be fake news. China is “re-educating” its nationalities – Han included – on a massive scale, so obviously, some editor will pick the wrong photo or the wrong person.
What you should be aware of is Beijing’s nihilistic script. “You do it too, so even if we did commit atrocities (which we don’t, it’s all fake news), it would be nothing worth to be reported.”
It’s not the West that is running a massive brainwashing program against its own people, it is China that does so. It isn’t the West that is threatening war on its neighbors; it is China.

And while there are places in the West and elsewhere in the world that are rife with racism and bigotry, those aren’t usually run by the state as they are in China. Even most of the “pro-China” guys you meet on Twitter, whitewashing China’s crimes against human rights, would choose a life as a black person in the U.S., rather than an Uyghur’s life in East Turkestan, if they had to choose.

But they can’t admit that. After “a century of humiliation”, they feel that it is time for some fun. After all, they are consumers, too, and “me, me, me & now” is the absolute principle.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Special two-hour transmissions by Radio Taiwan International in German

As custom at Radio Taiwan international‘s (RTI) German service, there will be a number shortwave broadcasts directly from Taiwan this summer, as announced here.

qsl_card_2019_national_radio_museum_minxiong_taiwan

Weekday Dates
Friday July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20.
Saturday July 31, August 7, August 14, August 21.
Sunday August 1, August 8, August 15, August 22.

On each of the above days, there will be a broadcast on 11705 kHz from 17:00 to 18:00 hours UTC and one on 9545 kHz from 18:00 to 19:00 hours UTC.

We can probably expect one hour of different program items per day, at 17:00, repeated at 18:00 UTC. RTI’s German program output per day is about sixty minutes, but routinely, only half of it is aired on shortwave, as regular broadcasts via the Kostinbrod relay in Bulgaria are only 30 minutes long. The remaining half is provided online.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Center for China and Globalization develops “new narrative system”

The following is my translation of an excerpt from a book review by a Chinese think tank named Center for China and Globalization (全球化智库), (re)published by a number of Chinese online media. The book is probably CCG’s own work. The review and the content related there should not be too easily thought of as a possible new trend in Chinese public diplomacy unless it is echoed elsewhere in Chinese politics. An article published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute contains some information about the think tank’s work abroad and its background.

My translation may contain mistakes. Corrections are welcome.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

[…]

Based on CCG’s practice of track-II diplomacy, this book summarizes the ten experiences CCG went through while developing a new narrative system. Specifically, CCG, in new international narrative exchanges, CCG emphasizes the following aspects.

基于CCG二轨外交的实践,本书总结了CCG打造新叙事体系的十条经验:具体来说,CCG国际交流新叙事注重以下几个方面:

1. Look at China’s topics from a global perspective, talk more about common values and emphasize universality. Let China’s voice in globalization be heard.

第一,全球化视野思考中国问题,多说共同价值,多讲普遍性,向世界发出中国的全球化声音;

2. Less conceptional advocacy1), and more objective and reasonable ways of expression. Use facts and figures. Talk more about China’s contributions to globalization, and tell China’s story from a multilateralist point of view.

第二,少理念倡导,多客观理性表达,用事实与数据说话。多讲中国对全球化的贡献,从多边角度讲中国故事;

3. Be modest but self-confident, tolerant but not without a position of your own. Practice mutual respect and an interlocutory attitude, without an aim of defeating your counterpart, communicate your own ideas and communicate effectively.

第三,谦和而自信,包容而有立场,相互尊重,对话姿态,不以博倒对方为目的,传递自身理念,做有效沟通;

4. Innovate the popularized narrative discourse system, all-embracing, narrating your case multi-levelled and multi-angledly, from the perspectives of politics, diplomacy, trade, human affairs, and individual experience. Above all, analyze the logic of China’s development with inside information about concrete details of Chinese culture.

第四,创新民间化叙事话语体系,兼容并包,从政治、外交、商业、人文、个体经验多层次多角度讲述个案。尤其通过讲述中国文化底蕴分析中国现实发展逻辑;

5. Take interviews from international mainstream media and make yourself heard on international social media.

第五,接受国际主流媒体访问,通过国际社交媒体发声;第六,走出去主动参与国际主流轮坛平台,积极发言交流;

6. Go out and participate in international mainstream forum platforms, speak out actively and communicate socially.

第六,走出去主动参与国际主流轮坛平台,积极发言交流;

7. Actively set an agenda and expand the topic’s impact on international mainstream platforms.

第七,主动设置议题,在国际主流平台扩大议题影响力;

8. Be creative in building new types of international exchange platforms. Constructively initiate new types of multilateral international organizations.

第八,创造性搭建新型国际交流平台,建设性发起新型多边国际组织。

9. Take the courage to face different opinions, make contact with a multitude of interlocutors. Establish wide-ranged exchange and dialogue in Chinese and foreign political, business, academic and research circles. Promote track-II diplomacy.

第九,勇于直面不同意见,接触多元交流对象,在中外政商学研界建立广泛交流与对话,促进民间二轨外交。

10. Keep up with international and domestic points of strong [public] interest, be flexible in strengthening the think tank’s2) influence through a multitude of channels and methods.

第十,及时紧跟国际国内热点,灵活通过多渠道多方式传播增强智库影响力。

[…]

____________

Notes

 1  conceptual advocacy is just my guess for the Chinese term for 理念倡导 – to argue in favor of a topic, approach, or perspective. It may as well be translated as <em>idea advocacy</em>.
  2   the think tank in question here should be CCG.
Saturday, July 3, 2021

Radio Taiwan International Shortwave Test Transmissions 2021 to Europe (updated)


Radio Taiwan International‘s (RTI) German service has announced test transmissions from Tamsui transmitter site, northwestern Taiwan, targeting central Europe on July 17 (UTC).

Time (UTC) Frequency
from to
17:00 17:10 11995 kHz
17:15 17:25 11705 kHz
18:00 18:10 9545 kHz
18:15 18:25 7250 kHz
RTI QSL: Shennong Street, Tainan

RTI QSL: Shennong Street, Tainan
中央廣播電臺 QSL卡: 台南 神農街

According to RTI, the two frequencies that do best during the tests will be chosen for one-hour transmissions that start later this month, and continue into August, apparently every week from Friday through Sunday. It sounds like a pretty ambitious schedule, and if lucky, we will get to listen to programs that are usually only available online as those broadcasts will be 60 minutes each.

Normally, Radio Taiwan International’s German service only broadcasts one half-hour program a day on shortwave, but its actual program output (shortwave and online) is about 60 minutes per day.
RTI welcomes reception reports.

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