Azerbaijan: demand for shortwave radios "has skyrocketed" since ban of foreign radio on FM (updated).

Posted: 04 Jan 2009   Print   Send a link
"'Everyone would listen to Azadliq [RFE/RL Azeri service] , from taxi drivers to housewives. This was enough to shut down the station. Where else you would hear alternative voices?' Mammad Suleymanov wrote in an opinion piece in 'Bizim Yol.' Alternative voices are still being heard through Radio Azadliq -- but fewer people are able to hear them. Azadliq is still able to broadcast on shortwave frequencies, and shopkeepers say the demand for radios that receive shortwave has skyrocketed in past days. Others tune in on Azadliq's website, where they can hear not only current broadcasts but also older ones from the archive." RFE/RL Watchdog, 2 January 2009.
     "The Azerbaijan National Television & Radio Council (NTRC) will hold intensive monitoring to prevent airing of movies in foreign languages, Gafar Jabiyev, a member of the Council, told TrendNews on Jan. 3. ... On Dec. 30 in 2008, the Council made a decision on broadcasting of all telecasts at the Azerbaijani TV channels only in the Azerbaijani language beginning from Jan. 1 in 2009." Trend News Agency, 3 January 2009.
     Update: "Sözün Düzü, for example, posts a video from YouTube where a group of Azeri youth celebrates the New Year in solidarity with the station's staff in the last minutes of Azadliq. One of the youth interviewed in the video says that he had come to share the grief of the radio station while another comments that 'they can close Azadliq, but Liberty will surely come to this country.' ... Meanwhile, various Facebook groups have been set up in support of Radio Liberty, VOA and the BBC in Azerbaijan. One such group, which at time of writing has 768 members, is Support Radio Liberty, VOA and BBC in Azerbaijan!!!" Ali S. Novruzov, Global Voices, 4 January 2009. See previous post about same subject.