Thursday, June 28, 2012

RNW : Yours sincerely – What words can’t express...

Your response to our announcement that the English service of Radio Netherlands Worldwide will be closing at the end of this month has been amazing. It is so good to hear how much you will miss us - and of course we’ll miss you too! 

Graham Foy (UK) really sums it all up by saying “words can’t express my sadness at the loss of this great international broadcaster”. And although words fall short, this has not stopped many of you from trying to communicate what it means to you.

Government decision
“Thanks to the Dutch government for putting another nail in the coffin of short wave as a simple, easy means of internationally communicating news and views from around the country,” writes Michael Bryan (Canada) and like him, many of you find it hard to understand why the government has decided to cut back its funding.

John Mayson (US): “RNW has been a wonderful Dutch ambassador to the world and it's troubling the Dutch government has seen fit to cancel all English programming. Your programming is the best in the world. I know many countries are facing budget crises and austerity measures. In my opinion the Dutch government gets a lot of bang for its buck with RNW and they should keep the English service alive.”

And Alex May (UK) adds: “You have been a valuable link to Dutch culture and journalism for the outside world and it is tragic that your government has taken the funding decision it has.”

Enjoying RNW
It is great to hear how much you have enjoyed our programmes over the past decades. Many of you have let us know you appreciated learning a lot about the Dutch country, people and culture. John R. (UK) says he used RNW “to try and pick up as much of the language as possible” and RNW has kept Katie r. (UK) in touch with her father’s roots.

Fred Gosiewski (US) says he will miss RNW's short wave programming, but thinks there might be a positive side to it all:

“I have always enjoyed SWLing, going back to the 1960s, when I built a SW radio. RNW was an excellent choice for listening to the station's programming, as opposed to just collecting more QSL cards. SWL was a great way to connect with the world. On the other hand, with the great reduction in international broadcasting stations, perhaps the thrill will return of discovering foreign broadcasts over-the-air.”

QSL cards
Ivan Smythe (Canada) has no such hopes. He lets us know that the olden days are over for good:

“Sorry people, but at the end of the day the era of shortwave broadcast stations transmitting programming to the far flung corners of the globe has come to an end.

[...] The days of a massive organization providing a service that very few people continue to use are done.
The few SWL'ers out there are meaningless. Quaint things such as QSL cards meant something back in the 60s and 70s but today are an unnecessary cost to broadcasters.

Move on people...move on!”

The discussion got a bit heated here and sadly our moderator had to delete a few comments on this topic. But whether you agree that the olden days are over or not, I hope you’ll all tune in for our last broadcast on 29 June. We’re even designing a special commemoration QSL card for the occasion!

It has done us good to hear from all of you. Please keep writing in to, or post your comment on our website or Facebook.
(Source : RNW)

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