Back to Top

International broadcasters shutting down

Several international broadcasters recently shut down their shortwave outlets, right around the end of the year. They're still producing programs. It's just easier and less expensive to reach people over the Internet than by bouncing a radio signal across continents and oceans. Of course, shortwave audiences are drastically different than the AM and FM audiences most of us in the INBA are familiar with. The differences have a lot to do with which parts of the radio spectrum people are interested in and most people aren't interested in shortwave.

I just thought I'd try to stir up a discussion about what this might foreshadow for other aspects of broadcasting, i.e. local news.

Bob.Roberts's picture

I expect a certain amount of shortwave to continue, even if it's mere simulcasting of Web and over-the-air broadcast. Part of it may hinge on whether Internet delivery is blocked by local authorities. If that's the case, shortwave continues to play a meaningful role. And don't forget that not everyone in the world has ready access to an iPod, PC or desktop computer as most of us do here. I don't see local news going away, either. In fact, a new era of competition to inform the local public may be upon us. You may see patch.com and other services vying to provide local news to smaller communities. What it means is that local broadcasters will have to redouble efforts to make sure they have a news presence that is meaningful. This could mean trouble for those broadcast chains who try to do "local" news for distant communities from a central regional newsroom. Being truly local pays the bills and informs the public better...not to mention creating jobs.

Bob Roberts
INBA Freedom of Information Chair
1996-97 Past President

Pages