Saturday, December 31, 2011

VOV strengthens ties with Laos National Radio

A delegation from Radio the Voice of Vietnam paid a working visit to the Laos National Radio (LNR) from December 25 to 30.
 During a reception,LNR General Director Sypha Nonglath briefed the delegation about LNR's organizational structure and operations.

The LNR now has 44 local radio stations nationwide, broadcasting 70 hours a day among them in the three official national languages, Lao, Mong and Khomu, as well as in Vietnamese, English, French, Khmer and Chinese.

Mr Sypha praised the results of cooperation between VOV and LNR in recent years, saying that VOV supported Laos in building a radio-television transmission centre in the central province of Luang Prabang to provide access to Lao National Television (LNTV) programs for people in remote areas.

VOV is currently assisting Laos with constructing other stations in southern Champasak province and northern Udomsay province.

(Source : Voice of Vietnam)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tokyo’s new communication tower to open on 22 May

Tokyo Sky Tree under construction in Feb 2010 (Wikimedia Commons)
Construction work on the broadcasting tower, the 790-million-dollar project which dominates the skyline of northern Tokyo, is expected to be completed by the end of the year as planned, although interior details remain to be finished. The public opening will be on 22 May, 2012; it is the world’s tallest stand-alone communication tower.

One of Tokyo Sky Tree’s main purposes is as a television and radio broadcasting tower. Tokyo’s current broadcasting tower, Tokyo Tower, is at 333 metres (1,093 feet), and is no longer tall enough to give complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage because it is surrounded by many high-rise buildings.

The Tokyo Sky Tree is now the tallest free-standing tower in the world with its height of 634 metres (2,080 feet), which surpasses the 600-metre Canon Tower in Guangzhou, China, and is the second tallest man-made structure on earth after Dubai’s 828-metre Burj Khalifa skyscraper. The tower will have two observatories, one at 350 metres and the second at 450 metres, as well as shops and restaurants.

To keep the structure safe during Japan’s frequent earthquakes, the tower boasts a cutting-edge anti-seismic design, including pilings that fan out underground like the roots of a tree. The tower consists of two parts, an outer steel frame and an inner shaft of reinforced concrete, which can move separately to cancel out their seismic energies ­ a design idea borrowed from ancient Japanese pagodas.

In early 2012, once Japanese television networks switch entirely to digital transmissions, the Tokyo Sky Tree will take over television broadcasts from the 52-year-old Tokyo Tower to beam signals across the city’s ever-rising skyline.

(Source: via  Media Network Weblog)

Radio Pakistan hit by financial problems - newspaper

The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation - popularly known in the subcontinent as Radio Pakistan - is facing a severe financial crunch due to which the future of over 3,000 employees and artistes all over the country has become uncertain. Permanent employees of the corporation have not been paid the 15 percent increase in salary announced in the federal budget 2011-12, while contractual and daily-wage workers are waiting for their salaries for the last two months, Dawn News reported.

Some employees said the management has told them the Ministry of Finance was yet to release the funds needed to pay them the raise. A daily-wage employee said that in the Urdu unit there were 35 employees out of which three were regular and the remaining were daily earners. The same was the case in the units of different languages like Punjabi, Seraiki, Balochi, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Balti and Hindi, he said.

Another employee alleged that only those who have good relations with officers of the accounts section get their cheques on time while others have to wait for months. An artiste said usually they earn around Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per month, but the management has not been able to give them even that on time. Due to this delay, most artistes want to leave the corporation.

Station director for Islamabad, Abdul Hafeez has said most corporations across the country were facing similar financial problems.

(Source: via Media Network Weblog)

BBC Bangla: Seventy years of evolution

There are celebrations all around. But it's not only Bangladesh which is celebrating an anniversary. The BBC's Bengali service, known simply as BBC Bangla, is also celebrating a landmark year in 2011. 

It is perhaps fitting that Bangladesh and BBC Bangla are celebrating landmarks at the same time. The birth of Bangladesh was one of the most important periods in the 70-year history of the BBC's Bengali service. 

The people of Bangladesh did not need blind, partisan support from the BBC. In turn, the BBC, guided by its editorial values which demand scrupulous attention to impartiality and balance, could not offer such support either. The BBC simply broadcast news and analysis of events as they unfolded in the then East Pakistan, without distortion and without fear. 

The BBC brought news of the war and what was going on in East Pakistan to its Bengali-speaking audiences as well as its listeners worldwide through English and other languages. The BBC's adherence to accuracy and impartiality meant that its audiences learnt of the facts. Those broadcasts enabled the BBC to earn the trust of the people of Bangladesh, which remains largely intact to this day. 

Although BBC Bangla is celebrating its 70th anniversary in December, it was on October 11, 1941, that the BBC's Bengali-language programme was launched, with a 15-minute talk written by the author George Orwell. At that time it was just a weekly programme. Seventy years later, BBC Bangla broadcasts two morning and two evening programmes every day. 

These programmes are no longer the musings of one man, no matter how brilliant, but packed with news reports on latest important events from around the world. There are hard-hitting interviews, radio documentaries on a wide range of subjects, long radio and online features, and live phone-in programmes where listeners have their say. 

BBC Bangla today boasts a website:, which showcases the best of its radio programmes as well additional news and feature elements. A year ago BBC Bangla launched a news update service on mobile phones across Bangladesh, which can be accessed on all six networks in the country by dialling 16262.

Over the years, the BBC has developed close transmission partnership with the state broadcaster, Bangladesh Betar, to relay English and Bengali programmes on FM in major cities across the country. The first was FM 100 in Dhaka in 1994, which developed into a 12-hour service with 10 hours of English output from BBC World Service, and two hours of Bangla programming. 

Later, in 2008, the BBC signed agreements to relay the four Bangla programmes on FM in Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Rangpur and Comilla. A fair amount of technical and other difficulties had to be overcome at these stations, but by the end of 2011 these cities were witnessing a steady increase in radio audiences. 

The shift from short-wave listening to FM -- which we have observed in developed as well as many developing countries -- is beginning to take shape in Bangladesh as well. 

At the same time, the BBC recognised that overall radio listening was declining gradually. In its place, television was emerging as the medium of choice -- whether to consume news and current affairs, or entertainment, or educational information. This recognition led to BBC Bangla making efforts to establish its presence at the Bangladeshi television landscape, even when radio remained its most important platform. 

The first breakthrough happened in 2005, when BBC Bangla was approached by the BBC's international charity arm, the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WSTnow BBC Media Action) to collaborate on production of eight debate programmes. BBC Bangla provided the editorial input while WST managed the production. A partnership was forged with local station Channel I, to film the debates and put them on air. 

The initial eight debates were each based on a single topic such as education, corruption, justice, governance etc. The success of what turned out to be the first phase of Bangladesh Sanglap encouraged the BBC to think of a slimmer, more sustainable and more topical version of the programme to take forward. 

Between September 2006 and January 2010, BBC Bangla produced, in collaboration with Channel I, nearly 150 episodes of the programme. The coasts of Bhola and Mongla, the tea gardens of Sylhet, the banks of the Jamuna in Sirajganj and the dried-up Gorai in Kushtia, the hilly setting of Rangamati and the sand beaches of Cox's Bazar were just few of those locations outside Dhaka. 

BBC Bangla has evolved with time: expansion on FM, mobile-phone bulletins, use of Facebook, reinforcing website and gaining a presence at the television landscape of Bangladesh. 

The passage of time has changed many things: the way BBC Bangla works, the technology it uses, the market in which it operates and the listening habits of its audiences. But one thing has not changed -- the high regard in which it is held in Bangladesh.

(Source : The Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh via

Several German mediumwave stations about to close

Several mediumwave stations in Germany are due to cease transmissions within the next couple of weeks. The first to go, on Friday 30 December, is the low power (0.6 kW) SWR station at Ulm on 1413 kHz. The following day it is the turn of high power (700 kW) gospel station ERF at Mainflingen on 1539 kHz and the WDR mediumwave transmitter at Langenberg on 1593 kHz which has been broadcasting in DRM mode.

On 8 January SWR will cease its mediumwave broadcasts of the “Bodensee Sender” on 666 kHz (150 kW), Muhlacker on 576 kHz (100 kW), Freiburg on 828 kHz (10kW) and RheinSender/Wolfsheim on 1017 kHz (100 kW).

(Source: via Media Network Weblog)

Radio Tamazuj begins test transmissions to Sudan

A new radio initiative of Free Press Unlimited has started test transmissions today. Radio Tamazuj will carry special programming for people in the conflict areas between North and South Sudan, such as Abyei, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Tamazuj means “across the border”. Since November 2011 they have produced half an hour per week within the Radio Dabanga time slot. But from 5 January, 2012 they will produce half an hour a day from 0400-0430 UTC before the existing Radio Dabanga transmissions.

Until that time test transmissions, which started today, will be broadcast at 0400-0430 UTC on 7315 (Issoudun), 11940 (Madagascar) and 13800 (Dhabbaya) kHz. Reception reports are welcomed via this address. We really would welcome reception reports from within Sudan!

A website will be launched shortly at

(Source: RNW Programme Distribution via Media Network Weblog)

RFI reporter faces terrorism trial in Burundi

Radio France Internationale’s Swahili correspondent in Burundi goes on trial Thursday, accused of “terrorism” because he reported on a rebel movement that attacked the country from neighbouring Tanzania. Twenty-two other people are in the dock in Burundi’s first terrorist trial.

Hassan Ruvakuki, who is the Burundi correspondent for RFI's Kiswahili service, is among four people accused of giving the sign for rebels of the Forces for the Restoration of Democracy (FRD) to launch an attack on 20 November and of helping them by giving them publicity.

Nine others are accused of spying for the group and 10 of taking part in the attack.

All 23 are accused of a new crime, “terrorist acts”, which can mean life in prison.

The trial is to taking place in Cankuzo in the east of the country.

Ruvakuki, who was arrested a month ago, claims is innocent.

His lawyer Onésime Kabayabaya claims that after his arrest Ruvakuki was detained without charge in a military camp and a police station for over three weeks, as well as being denied access to lawyers.

(Source : Radio France International)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kazakhstan: new law on TV and radio broadcasting

The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On television and radio broadcasting” has been adopted by Senate today. Introducing the draft law, Vice Minister of Communication and Information Lyazzat Tanysbai said the document was aimed at developing Kazakhstan’s television and radio broadcasting and increasing the availability of programme services for the population.

The draft law provides a 100 percent access for Kazakhstan’s population to digital television and radio broadcasting. According to the draft law, an authorized agency will keep records of foreign and domestic TV and radio channels. The draft law contains provisions to protect children and adolescents from television, which can harm the mental and moral development.

(Source: via Media Network Weblog)

VOA Marks 70th Year of US Broadcasts to China

VOA Chinese TV Anchor Xu Bo hosting TV Talk Show Issues & Opinions.
The Voice of America is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the first U.S. radio broadcasts to China, which began the 28th of December 1941, just weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the start of World War Two.

Voice of America was still months away from being officially established when the first Chinese language shortwave broadcasts were transmitted from studios in San Francisco. U.S. government broadcasting operations to China were eventually moved to New York and then Washington under the Voice of America.

VOA Director David Ensor hailed the distinguished line of journalists who have worked at the service and transformed it into a modern multi-media platform.  “Because of the professionalism and creativity of our journalists, the Voice of America is a trusted source of news to the people of China and the world,” Ensor said. “As we move forward, we plan to make VOA programming even more vibrant and dynamic.”

Earlier this month, U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) hosted a reception to honor VOA’s China Branch journalists.  Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement congratulating Voice of America for “70 years of outstanding broadcasts to China.” 

VOA programs in Mandarin, Cantonese and Tibetan are delivered on radio, television, the Internet, mobile platforms, satellite, and by proxy servers designed to circumvent Chinese Internet blocking.  VOA English language teaching programs, including the social media sensation, OMG! Meiyu, enjoy a large audience in China.

For more information contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at  For more information about any of our language service visit our main English website at, or visit the VOA Public Relations page at
(Source : VOA Press Release)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the Readers and visitors.

Md. Azizul Alam Al-Amin

RTÉ Player on iPhone and iPad arrives for Christmas

Irish public broadcaster RTÉ has announced that RTÉ Player apps for iOS platforms are now available to download free to all Irish and international audiences. The apps, which were presented to a public audience at the Dublin Web Summit this October and promised a pre-Christmas launch, are consistent with the popular desktop version of the RTÉ Player. iPhone and iPad users are able to stream RTÉ programmes for up to 21 days after transmission using a Wi-Fi or 3G network, as well as watch selected shows live from RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and RTÉ News Now.

Users can bookmark their favourites, browse programmes by day, popularity, genre or search for a specific show. Fun, social sharing features also means programmes can be shared via email, Facebook and Twitter. The new apps support AirPlay which means enjoying the large screen experience using Apple TV.

The RTÉ Player apps have been developed as part of RTÉ’s ongoing strategy to give people a greater choice in how they access RTÉ programmes. RTÉ is focused on delivering a positive user experience across devices and have developed customised apps for iPhone and iPad to enhance this core objective.

Múirne Laffan, Managing Director, RTÉ Digital, said, “We are delighted to bring the apps to market in time for Christmas for people to enjoy on their holiday break and on their new devices. This release of the RTÉ Player apps is optimised for apple Mobile and Tablet devices and we will continue to innovate with many more new features planned for early 2012. We welcome all audience feedback on the mobile and tablet services so we can continue to deliver the best user experience”

The RTÉ Player App uses streaming technology which means that you must be connected to the Internet in order to watch programmes. The apps will automatically adjust video quality based on the speed of your WiFi or 3G connection. On slow connections video quality will be reduced and if the available bandwidth drops below a level where the lowest bit-rate video stream can be maintained an audio only stream will be provided.

(Source: RTÉ via Media Network Weblog)

VRT working on new offer for foreigners in Flanders

As previously reported, Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal (RVi) is closing down. From 1 January 2012, VRT Radio 1 and Radio 2 will be broadcast worldwide by satellite. VRT says it is also working on a new offer for foreigners in Flanders. Currently, the VRT has an online offer in English, French and German. The subsites of bring a selection of general and sports news, plus foreign language fragments. A detailed overview of the reception opportunities abroad can be found at

VRT has also published a statement about the closure of mediumwave 927 kHz as of 1 January. It says the closure follows the European trend whereby more and more mediumwave stations are being closed. It says 1.7 million kW hours annually (equivalent to 745 tons of CO2) will be saved. According to VRT, relatively few people listened on mediumwave.
(Sources: VRT/RVi websites via Media Network Weblog)

RFI irregular on FM in Congo since Thursday

The FM relays of Radio France International (RFI) in DR Congo have been subject to irregular cuts since Thursday evening. According to the Congolese Minister of Communication and Media, Lambert Mende this is because RFI reported on the “swearing in” of the self-proclaimed “president elect” Etienne Tshisekedi.

“The authorities have a concern that was expressed yesterday (Thursday) to RFI, because we found that RFI has become virtually the voice of the UDPS [the Union for the Democracy and Social Progress, Etienne Tshisekedi's party], Lambert Mende told AFP. “They read out the leaflets of the UDPS and gave directions to attend the ‘inauguration’, which was scheduled for Friday in a stadium in Kinshasa, before the authorities there forbid any event, said Mr Mende.

He said he contacted the RFI correspondent in the DRC to explain that the Higher Audiovisual Council (CSAC) and the Congolese government authorities “were astonished that RFI is involved in the preparation of an almost totally illegal action which was likely to disrupt public order.” The CSAC could not be reached late on Friday afternoon.

Mr Tshisekedi considers himself ‘elected president’ and took the ‘oath’ on Friday at his home in Kinshasa, after rejecting the re-election of Joseph Kabila on 28 November for a second term as head of state.

From July 2009 to October 2010, the Congolese authorities completely cut the signal of RFI, accusing it of “demoralizing” the army. RFI is one of the most followed international media in Francophone Africa, including Congo, a vast central African country with a population estimated at 68 million.

(Source: AFP via Media Network Weblog)

All German broadcasters to use EBU R 128 to harmonize audio levels

Germany's public and commercial TV broadcasters have unanimously agreed to use EBU Recommendation 128 to underpin a national move to harmonize the audio levels of their television output. 

The broadcasters, including EBU Members ARD and ZDF, plan to begin broadcasting with newly harmonized loudness from 31 August, 2012. Thereafter, German viewers will no longer have to snatch for the remote to manage sudden lurches in volume between programmes, adverts and trailers, as well as discrepancies between channels.  

EBU Director of Technology & Development Lieven Vermaele hoped the German adoption of EBU Recommendation 128 would stimulate a wider international appreciation of its benefits.

He said: "R 128 is gaining real traction in Europe, but what is significant about the German move is, as in the Netherlands, both the public and private broadcasters have agreed on its simultaneous, universal application. This is great news for German audiences, and should encourage national broadcasters in other countries to follow suit."

Chairman of the ARD / ZDF Production & Technology Commission, Heinz-Joachim Weber (WDR), applauded the foresightedness of the public-private collaboration, which had kept the viewers as its top priority. 

"Together, for the first time, we have made technical progress towards solving a problem that viewers have been aware of for years. As we move forwards, unwelcome loudness imbalances will increasingly become a thing of the past."

EBU R 128 allows broadcasters to measure and adjust audio using loudness meters instead of peak meters only, which is the standard, albeit inadequate, practice.

Major variations in volume between channels, programmes and commercial blocks are among the top complaints from viewers in many countries. 

2012 will be a key year for R 128 implementation; in France, broadcasters on the DTT platform will switch to the EBU Loudness Recommendation in three steps, starting from 1 January and reaching completion at the end of the year. In Switzerland the national channels will adopt R 128 from February 2012. Broadcasters in many other countries have expressed interest in the use of R 128 too and are currently working on education, equipment testing and implementation plans.

For more on the EBU and Loudness, click here

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

Sir Steve Redgrave to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Five times Olympic Gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave will be honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award this Thursday 22 December at BBC Sports Personality of the Year (BBC One from 8pm). The award will recognise Redgrave’s huge contribution to rowing, his long and extraordinary career in competitive sport and his ongoing commitment to promoting sport and good causes in the UK.

As well as five Olympic golds, Redgrave also holds nine World Championship titles. Together with partner Matthew Pinsent he was the holder of the world record in coxless pairs from 1994 until 2002 and still retains the Olympic record, set in Atlanta in 1996. 

Already established as the world's most outstanding rower of all time after his Atlanta victory, Redgrave announced in 1997 that he had decided to carry on competing through to the Millennium Games in Sydney where he won a fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal - a feat which confirmed him as one of the greatest athletes in Olympic history and for which he was awarded a Knighthood in 2001. 

Since retiring from competitive sport his Steve Redgrave Fund has raised over £6m for charity, and he played a key role in helping London to win the bid to host the Olympics in 2012. Redgrave is now committed to ensuring the event provides a lasting legacy for sport in the future as well as promoting the best of present-day Britain around the world in the run up to London 2012.

Previous winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award include David Beckham (2010), Seve Ballesteros (2009), Sir Bobby Charlton (2008), Sir Bobby Robson (2007), Bjorn Borg (2006), Pele (2005), Sir Ian Botham (2004), Martina Navratilova (2003), George Best (2002) and Sir Alex Ferguson (2001).

The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates those who have made a significant contribution to sport and demonstrable success in their relevant sport throughout their careers. The award is the gift of the BBC. 

For further information about BBC Sports Personality of the Year, please see

(Source : BBC Press Release)

BBC launches search for new disabled presenters

BBC Vision has launched a nationwide search for new disabled presenting talent to be offered a unique training opportunity with the BBC. Established BBC schemes such as Extend and ManageAble develop the careers of off-screen talent in the media and now, ‘PresentAble’ will focus efforts on discovering and developing new presenters with disabilities.

The initial online application process opened on Tuesday, 20th December and closes on Tuesday, 31st January 2012. Selected applicants will then be invited to screen-tests held at six UK cities – Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, London, Salford and Bristol. A final group of six to ten will receive bespoke training from the BBC Academy in late Spring/Summer 2012, to help them develop their on-air skills and compete for roles across the BBC’s output. The scheme is a collaboration between BBC Vision Productions and Commissioning to find the next generation of talent and identify areas of genuine opportunity. 

Angela Chan, Independents and Diversity Executive at the BBC, said; “We’re looking for people with real passion and knowledge who are great communicators and have the potential to build lasting careers in the media. If you’re successful you’ll receive some of the best training the BBC has to offer, be exposed to a host of industry contacts, and have a great showreel to launch your presenting career. We’re not guaranteeing a presenting role at the end of the process - like all presenters you’ll have to hustle! But we do want to give you the best possible chance to compete for opportunities as they arise and help you find your way once your training is completed.”

George Entwistle, Director of BBC Vision added; “The BBC aims to be the most creative organisation in the world but to achieve that our content has to speak to all of our audiences. Bringing in fresh talent and new perspectives helps us to reflect modern Britain properly.”

More information can be found at the BBC Commissioning website

(Source : BBC Press Release)

EBU President denounces "sham" convictions of Swedish journalists

EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot has denounced an Ethiopian court's decision to convict two Swedish journalists on terrorism charges, a move broadly dismissed as unjust and politically motivated.

Mr Philippot, who is also the Director General of francophone Belgian public broadcaster, RTBF, described the convictions of Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye on Wednesday (December 21) as a "sham" that had brought ridicule on the Ethiopian justice system.

Speaking from Brussels, he said: "This show trial came amid a general crackdown on reporting from the sensitive Ogaden region of Ethiopia. But the EBU believes it is essential to the success of any society that journalists be allowed to do their job freely and unmolested. The EBU adds its voice to the growing international chorus calling for these men to be released without delay."

In pronouncing the court's verdict, Ethiopian judge Shemsu Sirgaga said Persson and Schibbye had "failed to prove that they had not supported terrorism" – a finding that human rights groups have branded "absurd", since a basic tenet of justice demands that the prosecution demonstrate a crime was committed, instead of the defence proving it was not. 

Freelancers Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye were captured while on a reporting assignment six months ago during a clash with rebels in the East African state's Somali region. Now convicted of "supporting terrorism", the pair could face 15 years in jail.

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Anger in Hungary over radio station closure

Several thousand gathered in the Hungarian capital Budapest on Thursday to protest what they see as the forced closure of a commercial radio station known for its critical stance towards the government. Sympathizers for the liberal Budapest radio station Klubradio were joined by a group of hunger-striking state media reporters, at a rally outside the headquarters of state-owned Hungarian Radio.

Klubradio lost out this week in a bid to renew its broadcasting licence, in a tender process adjudicated by a regulatory media council set up last year by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s conservative government. Supporters of the station say it was the only liberal political forum on Hungary’s airwaves. The rights to its FM frequency were awarded instead to a previously unknown firm with just 4,250 dollars of registered capital.
(Source : Media Network Weblog)

Professional Debate on Developing the Public Service Broadcasting in the Arab Region

On December 15, 2011, the Professional Debate on “Developing the Public Service Broadcasting in the Arab Region” was held in Tunis during the 31st ordinary session of the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) General Assembly.

The ASBU has chosen to organize the debate during the General Assembly given the fact that the Arab broadcasting landscape has been going through profound changes in the development of communication technologies and the unprecedented political, social and economic strife in some Arab countries.

Panelists of the debate included university professors, experts as well as Arab broadcasters and representatives from international broadcasting organizations. They discussed legal and regulatory issues, as well as ways and means to finance the Arab public broadcasting sector.

The 31st ordinary session of the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) General Assembly was held from December 14-16, 2011 in Tunis, Tunisia. This year’s ASBU General Assembly was held at the ASBU Secretariat in Tunis. More than 130 delegates from ASBU member states and international observers including EBU, DW, CFI, ABU and AIBD took part in the 3-day meeting. AIBD Director Yang Binyuan attended the General Assembly as an observer.

(Source : Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development)

EBU condemns call to abolish Bosnia-Herzegovina's national broadcaster

The European Broadcasting Union has condemned a call by the President of Republika Srpska for the national public broadcasting service of Bosnia-Herzegovina, BHRT, to be closed down.

Milorad Dodik last week described RTBH as "a monster living in Sarajevo", and argued that licence fees collected in the Republika Srpska should go solely to the regional broadcaster, RTRS.

But Jean-Paul Philippot, the President of the EBU, of which BHRT is a Member, rejected Mr Dodik's call as irresponsible and counterproductive to Bosnia-Herzegovina's progress.   
"A national public broadcaster is fundamental if Bosnia-Herzegovina is to have any chance of national unity or cohesion," Mr Philippot said. "Successful public service broadcasters cherish diversity, provoke national dialogue and promote understanding, which are essential to any modern, democratic state."

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

Radio Prague's Christmas Contest 2011

Dear listeners and readers, to take part in Radio Prague’s Christmas Competition fill in our Christmas crossword puzzle. You have to fill in the words that are replaced by the numbers in the text below. The pictures below the puzzle can help you with that. The mystery phrase it contains is the name of the famous Czech painter whose illustrations often depict traditional Czech Christmas. 

Please submit your name, email and adress by using the window below the puzzle by the end of December.
Three winners will receive Christmas gifts from Radio Prague. 

(Source : Radio Prague)

NZ public broadcaster closes down

Free-to-air broadcaster Stratos Television is closing down after four years of public service broadcasting, The National Business Review reports. 

The channel was reported to be no longer financially viable.

"We simply have not had the support we were seeking - despite a growing audience of more than one million and reaching the stage where AC Nielsen was able to include us in the TARPS audience ratings," co-founder and CEO Jim Blackman says.

"It is hugely disappointing because New Zealand is a country where 25 percent of the population is new New Zealanders and providing a window to the world helps develop understanding in our communities."

Mr Blackman says Stratos could also have filled the gap the proposed closure of TVNZ7 will create.

The broadcaster had international partnerships with the likes of DW-TV, France 24, Euro News in Europe, Voice of America, Bloomberg, Australia Network and CCTV, CQTV, NHK and YTN in Asia.

(Source : Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)

BBC cuts 'may threaten emergency advice messages'

Cuts to BBC local radio may jeopardise emergency broadcasts during the event of a civil crisis, the Local Government Association has warned. 

The LGA said proposals to share more programming and stop some mediumwave services would threaten advice messages during emergencies like flooding.

It said the BBC was underestimating the "risks to people's safety" as communities relied on it in a crisis.

The BBC said local radio would continue to have a key role in an emergency.

The corporation wants to axe mediumwave output in areas where alternative FM services are available.

The LGA, which represents over 350 local authorities in Wales and England, said the FM frequency often broadcast "cracking static".

Its Culture Board Chairman Chris White said: "Local radio plays a key role in how councils manage an emergency and the BBC regularly sits on planning panels along with police and fire authorities.

"Time and time again these arrangements have proven invaluable to local communities, from updates about school closures, heavy snowfall, road accidents and flooding, to bulletins about more unforeseen emergencies such as train crashes or dangerous criminals on the loose.

"People rely on councils for the latest information, and we rely on local radio."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "BBC local radio will continue in times of crisis or emergency. That will not change.

"The proposal is to end mediumwave transmissions, except for stations where listeners depend on mediumwave as an alternative to FM.

"The BBC Trust is consulting on these proposals and no decision has as yet been made." 
(Source : Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)

World Radio TV Handbook 2012 review

The 2012 edition of the World Radio TV Handbook (WRTH) was published in early December 2011. The appearance and format have not changed much over recent years, but the content certainly has. 

Although the WRTH has been known for decades as the “DXers' Bible”, there are several signs in this edition that the publisher will not make the mistake some other publishers made of pretending that shortwave is still the only platform for international broadcasting.

In particular, the venerable George Jacobs, who has reached his 50th year writing the annual high frequency (HF) propagation predictions, says 

“With my experience gained during 50 years of reporting, I do not question, and I strongly agree, that the future for international broadcasting is the continued dramatic rise of the satellite and internet platforms. I believe, however, that HF broadcasting will continue to have an important role to play far into the future, albeit as a complement to these newer platforms.”

Mr Jacobs knows what he is talking about, as he has been in the international broadcasting business for 65 years, including a period as Chief Engineer at the Voice of America. So perhaps we at RNW are not as stupid as some non-experts have claimed we are in recent years! 

The WRTH editorial includes the following:
“In view of the rise of the internet as an outlet for international broadcasters, we have decided to include details of languages available on the Internet in the international section.” 

This a welcome change, as it ensures that stations such as Radio Sweden can still be included, rather than ignored as if it doesn’t exist. Having said that, I was surprised that Swissinfo, formerly Swiss Radio International and one of the first international broadcasters to switch off shortwave – also a key partner of RNW - has not been included, even though it is part of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

The WRTH still devotes most of its 672 pages to traditional over-the-air broadcasting, and there is still a shortwave receiver review section. Of course, the bulk of the book is devoted to listing thousands of radio and TV stations worldwide.

TV section
I note that the amount of space devoted to TV has stayed at around 40 pages for many years, and this distorts the relative importance of different stations and networks. China, for example, is compressed into just over a third of a page, about the same as Denmark.

But of more concern, I could not find any reference to some of the big international satellite TV networks such as China’s CCTV News and Iran’s Press TV. These networks are international broadcasters, but seem to have fallen into a hole between international radio and domestic TV. Anyone buying the WRTH who doesn’t know they exist will be none the wiser.

I would suggest that, for international broadcasting, the editors give serious thought to including these international TV networks in the same section as radio and internet. This would give a better idea of the relative importance of the different platforms. I would argue that, in many cases, the satellite TV services that are not listed reach many more people than some of the radio services from the same country. They certainly cost a bigger proportion of the budget!

A must-have publication
Small quibbles aside, the WRTH is a must-have publication for all who work in international broadcasting, and those who like to hear or see broadcasts from outside their own country. Some may wonder if a printed book is still needed in an age when so much information can be found on the internet. But anyone who has tried listening to a weak radio signal with the computer switched on close to the receiver will know how much noise a computer can produce. So having access to printed information is still very useful.

The WRTH does have computerised information too – I reviewed the WRTH Bargraph Frequency Guide earlier in 2011, and new editions will be produced in January 2012 and later in the year for the summer schedules. There are also regular updates drawing attention to significant changes to the listings. More information on the WRTH website.

Publisher: Nicholas Hardyman
No. of pages: 672
Publisher's address: WRTH Publications Limited, PO Box 290, Oxford, OX2 7FT, United Kingdom
Order Fax: +44 (0)1865 514405
Web (secure online ordering):
Cover price: £24.95 including airmail postage worldwide.
ISBN: 978-0-9555481-4-7
Distributed in the USA by Innovative Logistics, 575 Prospect St, Lakewood, NJ 08701. Web:
Distributed in Germany by Gert Wohlfarth GmbH, Stresemannstrasse 20-22, D-47051 Duisburg. E-mail: ISBN: 978-3-87463-504-2.

(Source : Mr. And Sennitt of Media Network, Radio Netherlands)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Radio Prague QSL Cards for 2012

Radio Prague Releases a series of QSL Cards for 2012.

QSL Card 2012

RTI Contest: Select your top 10 Taiwan, cross-strait and international news stories and win a prize!

Select your top 10 Taiwan, cross-strait and international news stories and win a prize!

Background :
Radio Taiwan International is inviting listeners and web users all over the world to select this year’s “Top 10” Taiwan, cross-strait, and international news stories. Participants will have a chance to win one of great prizes such as smartphones, tablet computers and more just by voting for the news story that they think is most important .

Voting Date:
From 10:00 am on 12/2/2011 till 09:30 am on 12/30/2011

How to participate:
Click to select anywhere from three to ten stories from each category that you think were the most important this year.

Vote Now>> Click

There are more than 100 prizes, such as smartphones, tablet computers, MP3 players, retro-style radios, CD cases, jade book marks, and more!  

(Source : Radio Taiwan International)

The 67th EBU General Assembly closes in Geneva

The 67th EBU General Assembly closed in Geneva today with special focus on the core values of public service media today.

Hans Laroes, of Dutch EBU Member NPO, is leading an EBU taskforce charged with defining public service media values, as broadcasters find themselves in a rapidly evolving, multimedia market.

The taskforce will report on its progress at the next General Assembly in June, which will be in Strasbourg.

Today's sessions also covered technologies and strategies for media production and delivery, and the EBU Special Assistance Project (SAP), which provides ad hoc support for Members facing especially difficult financial, technical or political problems.

As broadcast and broadband technologies play an increasingly pivotal role in shaping Members' strategies and services, EBU Technology & Development Director Lieven Vermaele gave an overview of recent key developments, including hybrid broadcasting, the 'ICANN issue' and programme production technology.

EBU Vice-President Claudio Cappon gave delegates a full report of the activities of the EBU's Special Assistance Project (SAP), designed to reinforce support for Members encountering financial, technical, political or other difficulties and to uphold the Union's prime principle of solidarity.  Mr Cappon's report included details of the project's activities over the past year (including activities in northern Africa, particularly in Tunisia, in the wake of the "Arab Spring") and covered the SAP's planned and potential future activities.

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

Former Arrow Dutch FM licence to be re-advertised

An additional nationwide FM licence for commercial broadcasting in the Netherlands will be re-advertised in 2012. The frequencies are the ones occupied by Arrow Classic Rock until March 2009.

At present a number of frequencies in the package are in use temporarily by other stations as a result of the current reception problems of public and commercial radio stations in the northern Netherlands. These problems arose on 15 July when part of the tower collapsed in Smilde. The tower is being rebuilt, but is not expected to be in service until October 2012.

The plan is to re-advertise the licence in spring 2012. If the successful applicant wishes to start broadcasting before all the frequencies are available, this will be allowed, and the remaining frequencies will be added as soon as possible.

(Source: Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands via Media Network Weblog)

Voice of Turkey Monthly Quiz (December) 2011


This month's question is about an international sports event.

Which country did weightlifter Mete Binay represent at the 69 kg category, at the 31st European Athletics Indoor Championships held in November in Paris?

A) Lebanon
B) Turkey
C) Syria

Three of our listeners to be determined in a draw from among those with the correct answer will receive a present each from the Voice of Turkey.

We expect your answers by 31 December 2011, either by e-mail to, or by fax for which the number is 00 90 312 463 34 54 .

Our mailing address is TRT, Voice of Turkey, English Desk PO Box 333, 06443 Yenişehir, Ankara, Turkey.

We wish you good luck.

(Source : Voice of Turkey)

Broadcast Australia to be Principal Sponsor of DBS 2012

Broadcast Australia will be the Principal Sponsor of the ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium 2012, to be held in Kuala Lumpur on 6-9 March. 

The symposium, with the theme ‘Decision Time for Stakeholders', is the eighth in a series of annual symposiums staged by the ABU to help radio and television broadcasters and the industry to make the digital transition. 

Confirming support for the event, Brett Savill, Broadcast Australia's Director of Strategy and Corporate Development, said: 'This is now the fifth year that Broadcast Australia has sponsored the ABU Symposium. It is the premier event in South East Asia and comes at an exciting time for the industry."

The 2012 symposium will feature presentations by experts, panel discussions, workshops, as well as an exhibition showcasing the latest broadcasting products and services. Several pre-conference and side-events will provide opportunities to industry leaders to convey their message to the broadcasters and the industry at large.

The 2011 symposium attracted over 700 participants from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

A leading provider of critical communications solutions, Broadcast Australia connects clients with their audiences and users across multiple platforms. 

The company's digital television and radio transmission expertise is founded on over 80 years experience as the owner and operator of one of the most extensive terrestrial broadcast transmission networks in the world.
Broadcast Australia also develops world-class solutions and applications for new and emerging technologies, such as 3D TV, digital radio and mobile TV.

(Source : Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)

Friday, December 02, 2011

BBC announces presenter line-up for the London 2012 Olympic Games

The BBC has announced the line-up of presenters for its coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games. 

The presentation team, who will be based in studio or at the various venues, will front the comprehensive coverage throughout the Games on BBC One and BBC Three. 

On BBC One breakfast time viewers will wake up to a combination of Bill Turnbull, Hazel Irvine, Sian Williams and Chris Hollins. They will be followed by Mishal Husain from 0900-1130 with live sport venue presenters on site including: Clare Balding (swimming), Jonathan Edwards (athletics) and John Inverdale (rowing).

Continuing after 1130 through to 1600, the daytime presenters will include: Matt Baker (also on site at gymnastics), Clare Balding (also on site from diving, equestrian and swimming), Jake Humphrey (also on site from track cycling) and Hazel Irvine. 

From 1600 each day, Sue Barker will pick up the reins before handing over to Gary Lineker for the evening show at 1900. 

Gabby Logan will bring together the sport and late night events from across the UK from 2235-midnight.

On BBC Three a combination of Manish Bhasin, Rishi Persad and Sonali Shah will welcome morning viewers and take them through the afternoon up to 1900. Jake Humphrey will anchor the channel between 1900-2300.

Huw Edwards will once again lead the Opening and Closing ceremonies. 

The full BBC line-up:

BBC One/Two
0600-0900: Bill Turnbull, Hazel Irvine, Sian Williams or Chris Hollins (two presenters at a time)
0900-1130: Mishal Husain
1130-1345: Matt Baker or Hazel Irvine or Clare Balding
1345-1600: Jake Humphrey or Hazel Irvine or Clare Balding
1600-1900: Sue Barker
1900-2235: Gary Lineker
2235-2400: Gabby Logan
Live presentation throughout the day from key venues with Matt Baker, Clare Balding, Jonathan Edwards, Jake Humphrey, John Inverdale with other key talent to be announced later.

BBC Three
0900-1900: Manish Bhasin or Rishi Persad or Sonali Shah
1900-2300: Jake Humphrey

The BBC has committed to bringing live sport from every venue where it’s happening – and at peak expects to be delivering 24 simultaneous live streams on the BBC Sport website, which is four times more than Beijing in 2008. Viewers can begin planning their Olympic viewing already through the BBC Sport website’s session by session online guide:

The full BBC line-up including: radio, TV reporters, TV commentators and TV pundits will be released at a later date.

For the full range of BBC London 2012 content:

(Source : BBC Press Release)

BBC local radio cuts 'a crippling blow'

The BBC faces further calls from Members of Parliament to reverse its controversial proposed cuts to local radio, which they said would deal the stations a "crippling blow", The Guardian reports. 

Austin Mitchell, a former TV presenter and Labour MP, said BBC Director General Mark Thompson's £670 million (US$1.05 billion) package of cuts, which would affect local radio, would be "deeply damaging" to the corporation's output.

Around £15 million (US$23.5 million) will be cut from the budget of the 40 local radio stations in England, with the loss of 280 jobs.

Mr Mitchell called a debate about the cuts in the House of Commons today.

"The cuts in local radio go too far and are too damaging. The BBC must consider the kind of objections coming from us and the rest of our society," he said

Mr Mitchell said the government should be ready with a "supplementary licence fee" if the corporation's output deteriorated.

MP Don Foster said the impact of the cuts on local radio station budgets would be "very significant" given their high level of fixed costs.

"I simply do not understand why something that is so important to so many of our constituents is under attack in this way," said Mr Foster.

"Something like 20 percent of people (who listen to BBC local radio) only listen to local radio. It is a lifeline for older people and the disabled and so on." 

He said he hoped the BBC would rethink the decision on local radio and regional TV. 
(Source : Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)

Malaysia's first women's radio station launched

A radio station primarily targeting women listeners has been launched in Malaysia, The Star reports.
Capital FM 88.9's decision to have a predominantly female deejay line-up is deliberate.

Programme consultant Aanont Martin Robert Wathanasin said: "We hope to develop a sense of community with our listeners.

"The station's message is we are women ... we listen to you and we want you to speak up."

Capital FM, which began transmission today, is an unformatted radio station. Its tagline, "Women, The New Capital" was coined in recognition of the value and importance of women.

The station is owned by the publisher of Malaysia's leading English daily, Star Publications . It acquired 80 percent of Capital FM last May.  Star Publications also has three other radio stations: 98.8, Red FM and Suria FM.

(Source : Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)