Nostalgic ex-shortwave listeners might find out you can't go abroad again (updated: still stations to hear on shortwave).

Posted: 30 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
Atlanta Journal Constitution, 27 Apr 2010, Bill Husted: "Shortwave monitoring is like fishing: You are never sure what you are going to catch. For me, that's part of the magic. And it's a direct pipeline to the news of the day. Stories that seemed distant and a bit unreal over the TV take on a new dimension. You hear the voices, the local take on things -- unfiltered by American sensibilities. The first time I wrote a column about shortwave radio my editors were aghast. No one cares, they told me. It's old tech, not high tech. But each time I do this, I hear from nostalgic readers who want to try it again as well as from folks who almost instinctively understand the magic and want a part of it." -- Nostalgic readers who try shortwave again may be surprised to learn that most of the European stations that were staples though the 1980s have left shortwave. Now the bands are dominated by privately owned US shortwave stations with religious programs, non-mainstream political talk, and vendors of gold and survivalist products. With patience, however, broadcasts from distant countries can still be heard, and the fun is knowing the signal comes directly through the ether from that broadcaster to your radio.
   Update: David Goren writes: "When I'm casually tuning looking for strong armchair quality signals to listen to in the evening Radio Havana Cuba, China Radio International, Radio Romania International, Radio Exterior de EspaƱa, Voice of Turkey, Radio Bulgaria, and Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran are quite commonly heard, along with R. Amazonas, Brazil on 6185, and 11780. In the morning and early afternoon All India Radio, Polish Radio, CBC Northern Quebec Service, Radio Canada International, Radio Kuwait all put strong signals into my Brooklyn [location]. I won't argue that shortwave is a growth medium, but in those countries I listed shortwave is still part of their communications strategy."
   The Telegraph, 23 Apr 2010, Annie Bennett: "On a coast characterised by rocky coves, Pals beach [Spain] is a stretch of fine golden sand more than two miles long and around 40 yards wide. Although it now has all sorts of facilities, it remained undeveloped for years as the Americans picked this prime spot to install the massive aerials of Radio Liberty during the Cold War, which were used to broadcast propaganda." --RFE/RL has a checkered past, but dismissing its content as "propaganda" is off the beam. An online museum about the RFE/RL Platja de Pals site is at
   Los Angeles Times, 24 Apr 2010, John M. Glionna: Lim Keon-yeob "volunteered for World Friends Korea, a newly formed South Korean version of the U.S. Peace Corps. Rather than hitting the club scene and eating home-cooked meals, Lim currently works as an athletics coach in a Cambodian village without electricity, at night listening to Korean pop music on his short-wave radio."