Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why hybrid is the future for broadcast.

I think this real-time map showing current cyber-security attacks going on says a lot.

Web distribution (IP) is indeed an important part of the mix. But having a broadcast infrastructure is also essential in reaching fragile states. I personally believe that is now satellite television rather than HF radio, with the exception of about 8 countries like Somalia, Sudan, and parts of Nigeria.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Would you pay attention to consumer advice from a glove puppet?

Actually, it is all pretty good advice. Glove and Boots are Sesame Street on steroids.

And Glove and Boots turn out to be rather good historians as well.

And journalists...

So what's radio going to do about it?

Great trailer for a new film showing that MP3 has compressed music so much that it is no longer reaching consumers in a form the artist intended.

In some countries over the air digital radio compression is not much better. So who cares?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Guerilla Filming in Paris

Does it work? Youbetcha

all of that to make this....

5 million views in 5 days! Wish I could operate a steadycam like that! Permits. Who needs permits?

MN.03.05.1990 Dayton Hamvention

I have only made it once to the Dayton Hamvention, the largest meetup of amateur radio operators anywhere on the planet. My trip was in April 1990, and I remember that Lou Josephs was invaluable in helping me to connect with the KLM flight connection at Boston Logan Airport. Lou warned me that the "Useless Air" flight from Dayton to Logan was always late. And sure enough it was. He gave me a lift from the wrong side of Logan to the right side for transatlantic departures. Made it with seconds to spare.

Oh, and please enjoy the reportage from Dayton Ohio. It was immense fun. Also recall running in to George Wood of Radio Sweden.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Saturday, July 26, 2014

MN.14.05.1990 Radio Volga & Studio 11

This programme from 1990 profiles the Russian Forces Radio station Radio Volga set up in the GDR. We also look at how synchronous detection works on the Grundig Satelliet 7000 receiver, including some examples of how it improved reception.

I remember recording this edition of Media Network with Mark Eylers on a boiling hot evening in Radio Netherlands Studio 11 studio. For some reason the airconditioning wasn't working that well, so the decision to do a just outside broadcast really happened. The studio was just below my office in those days, as the photo shows.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Will Tanzania learn from India?

BBC Monitoring spotted this item on the Guardian website in Dar Es Salaam this week. Brought back some memories of a recent trip there to analyse the media situation. It is indeed at a cross-roads. Hope they make the right decisions.


In her farewell speech over the weekend, the outgoing Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Ingunn Klepsvik, said the measure of a country's democracy lies in, among other things, the prevalence of a free media.

It is the view of scholars that the future of democracy is inseparable from the capacities of media - at all scales from the local to the global.

Both the sustainability and the expansion of democracy depend on what media institutions do and what spaces they make available as well as what content and angle they choose to emphasise.

But because the media has tremendous power to influence our nation's political discourse as well as socio-economic development it follows that the complexity of these processes requires interdisciplinary research across politics, sociology and the media itself.

A free and open media is essential to a people's development and for Tanzania. As the outgoing envoy put it:

"At this vital juncture in the country's development ... given the discovery of oil and gas the work of the media is now more than ever of vital significance to affect transparency and accountability of authorities."

Commending the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) for its continued commitment to securing the rights and safety of journalists in the country, the diplomat called for increased media representation of women issues as well as those of other special need groups, particularly children, the elderly and the disabled.

That is an example of the power of media, that through detailed coverage, it invokes public participation to a common cause and in that way, the rights of vulnerable and marginalised groups can be addressed.

However, with great power comes great responsibility.

Take the case of India for instance, a recent BBC documentary termed the media situation there as "bought by big business" publishing "advertorials" biased and one sided stories geared at swaying public opinion to the favour of the deep pockets.

The 64-million dollar question is: Can the media in Tanzania escape this fate?
With the general election around the corner and gas and oil reserves discovered every waking day, what is to stop the media from being influenced to the favour of big business and political interest?

At this juncture, principals of the trade come into play as well as personal discipline and vision. Journalism ethics guide the practitioners to maintain integrity, to at all costs and time deliver, balanced, honest and well researched reports.

Beyond the oath journalists should take, to keep these ethics, the only defence left to a free media is individual self control.

However, in an impoverished country where the minimum wage barely feeds a family, it follows that businesses and political interests sway media coverage.

In Tanzania, freedom of the press has been repeatedly questioned with cases like the killing of Daudi Mwangosi of Channel 10 in 2012 and numerous alleged cases of intimidation and even death threats from unknown persons or groups arguing the case against a free press.

All in all, it cannot be ignored that the media has huge influential powers on the course of the nation, and as such it is to be expected that unscrupulous parties will seek to wield this to their favour come the general election next year.

It is therefore the responsibility of media houses and their editors to deliver true and unbiased reports that will govern the nation to a brighter future, one of prosperity, transparency and accountability.

Source: The Guardian website, Dar es Salaam, in English 22 Jul 14 

Mike Eman - Are Aruba Sustainability Goals for 2020 still on course?

Mike Eman is the president of Aruba, an island in the Caribbean with a population of 105,000. In March he gave a presentation in-front of several Dutch government officials explaining the country's plans to be energy neutral by 2020. That's before the Dutch government refused to approve this year's national budget. So what will happen now? And is he still on hunger strike?

Aruba Prime Minister Mike Eman on hunger strike

10478678_699136326806851_2607054306539990205_nORANJESTAD – Aruba Prime Minister Mike Eman on Friday entered an immediate hunger strike following a decision of the Kingdom Council of Ministers to have the Governor of Aruba carry out an independent investigation of the 2014 budget and the tenability of Aruba’s government finances.
“Aruba is kidnapped, raped and humiliated by the Netherlands which is now only showing its merchant’s face and not the face of a pastor. We cannot build a Kingdom together with a merchant because all is about money. Aruba wants cooperation, not money. We have nothing to sell and we are not for sale,” Eman said in an emotional statement to the people and the media.
Eman said the Netherlands didn’t respect Aruba’s autonomous position in the Kingdom. He warned that he will only end his hunger strike when Aruba Governor Fredis Refunjol has signed Aruba’s 2014 budget. He said his father, grandfather and others had died for the people and that he was willing to do the same if necessary.
“Aruba has handled diplomatically for months, but the limit has now been reached,” said Eman, who has moved to Fort Zoutman, a military fortification in Oranjestad which was built in 1798 by the Dutch army, and the oldest structure on the island. Fort Zoutman is located across the Cabinet of the Governor and currently houses the Historical Museum.
Several hundred persons, including members of Eman’s cabinet and Members of Parliament, joined Eman in a protest walk to Fort Zoutman on Friday. Eman plans to stay at Fort Zoutman, without taking any food, until the Governor signs. “I will never tolerate that our autonomy is taken away from us,” he said.
According to Eman, the decision of the Kingdom Government is illegal and has no legal power because it violates the Charter of the Kingdom, the Regulation of the Governor and Aruba’s Constitution. In his opinion, the Kingdom Government should first have consulted the Council of State. He said the decision also violates the budget right of the Aruba Parliament. “No organ of the Country Aruba will be able to cooperate in the execution of decisions that explicitly violate the Charter,” the Government of Aruba stated in a press release.
Aruba’s financial situation has been a constant source of concern for the Kingdom Government. Aruba’s national debt has doubled over the past four years. The national debt stands at 3.2 billion Aruban florins, close to 80 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the 2014 budget deficit was more than the three per cent that had previously been agreed upon.
Based on a proposal of Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk, the Kingdom Government decided on Friday that the Governor would be asked to withhold the approval of the 2014 budget while an independent investigation is carried out. The investigation will focus on the budget, its substantiation and tenability, as well as the effects for the coming years.
“The situation of Aruba’s government finances is permanently alarming. The investigation which now has been decided upon should make clear whether the trajectory advised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to achieve tenable government finances has started,” it was stated in a release of the Kingdom Council of Ministers.
The decision is based on articles 15 and 21 of the Governor of Aruba and will be secured in a Royal Decree. A spokesperson of minister Plasterk responded that the Kingdom Council of Ministers was within its full rights.
Friday’s decision replaces the agreement that the Governments of Aruba and the Netherlands made last week Thursday to carry out a joint “independent and voluntary” investigation because the two countries were unable to reach an agreement on the execution of this accord.
“It appeared that the Prime Minister of Aruba Mike Eman had a different vision on the matter than we had agreed upon earlier. So the Kingdom Government decided to put the Governor in charge of the investigation. We were left no other choice because the financial situation is alarming,” Plasterk told reporters as he emerged from Friday’s meeting. “I cannot let this happen under my watch,” said Plasterk. (See related article)
The word “instruction” has not been used for the decision to have Governor Refunjol carry out an investigation, but in essence it does come down to that. Minister Plasterk, who avoided using the term “instruction,” said after Friday’s meeting that the decision of Kingdom Government should be seen as a way to support the Governor in executing his tasks.
The decision of the Kingdom Government had been looming. The agreement reached last week Thursday averted a painful decision last Friday. Initially, it was decided that the investigation would be carried out by an independent committee with members of the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT, which also supervises the finances of the countries CuraƧao and St. Maarten.
The investigation would focus on the “possible risks in the calculations of the 2014 budget and the multi-annual development of the government finances in light of international criteria for sound government finances and repayment capacity.”
Thursday’s agreement stipulated that committee would issue a preliminary report within two weeks and a final report within two months. The reports were to be submitted to the Governor of Aruba, the Dutch Government through Minister Plasterk and the Government of Aruba through the Finance Minister.
It was agreed that the Government of Aruba would take over the possible recommendations of the committee and send this to the Parliament of Aruba for approval. Aruba’s Parliament approved the initial 2014 budget several weeks ago. But the budget couldn’t be ratified because Governor Refunjol didn’t sign the law proposal.

Friday, July 25, 2014

MN.23.07.1992.Moscow Radio Profile

Long before Putin there was a different type of media in Moscow. It was just gradually breaking free of the old Communist era, experimenting with all kinds of different formats. In this editon of Media Network recorded in 1992, Vasily Strelnikov (who some now call the Russian Podfather) scans the dial for us. We look at the newly launched Radio-7 commercial station.
This news edition of the programme also contains news of the Democratic Voice of Burma which has has challenges reaching Rangoon, and the French company of TDF has made a new type of shortwave transmitter, where each sender has its own curtain array on top. And we review the latest edition of Shortwave Navigator from Jim Frimmel.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Thursday, July 24, 2014

MN.23.04.1992 Sangean Radio Visit

This edition of the programme in 1992 came together out of the blue. I suddenly got a tape from Taiwan from David Monson, a presenter on BRT Brussels who I knew in the 1990's. He was now in Taiwan and offered me a story about who is behind the Sangean shortwave radio company. The result in the second half of this show. (Sadly we learned that David Monson passed away in 2010). 
We discuss the international distribution of the Lowe HF150, DAK Industries new shortwave DM3000 is difficult to get hold of. Marcel Rommerts has news about Radio Galaxy from Moscow. Victor Goonetilleke has been hearing a strong station from Myanmar on 5973 kHz, aimed at the internal security forces. There's a new book called The Setmakers about the history of British radio receivers from the BREMA association. This includes the story about how Philips took over the Mullard valve company.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault