begins low-power shortwave broadcasts at sea
DXing.info has received
confirmation that the U.S.-led coalition indeed
began shortwave broadcasts in mid-April, as previously
announced by the U.S. Navy Maritime Liaison Office
(MARLO). "I have spoken with coalition officials,
and the broadcasts did indeed commence on 15 April,"
says Liaison Officer Ken Gazzaway of MARLO in Bahrain.
The purpose of the
broadcasts is to urge listeners to report terrorist
activity conducted at sea. Transmissions originate
from vessels operating in the Gulf of Oman and North
Arabian Sea. Low transmitter power - currently only
250 watts - explains why DXers have not been able
to monitor the transmissions. "We have received
confirmation from listeners in the Mediterranean
area that they have received the transmissions,
but because of the propagation of the transmissions
skip zones are inevitable," Gazzaway explains.
Negotiations are underway to transfer the transmissions
to Merlin Communications out of the United Arab
Emirates or the United Kingdom, but no final agreement
has been reached. This would greatly increase transmitter
power and improve reception quality.
The morning broadcast
is at 0300-0800 UTC on 6125 kHz, and the evening
broadcast at 1400-1900 UTC on 15500 kHz. About 90
% of the broadcasts are regional music. There are
periodic announcements in Arabic, Farsi, Hindi,
Pashtu, Urdu, and English that explain how listeners
can contact the coalition if they have any information
to report on suspected terrorist activity. The announcements
also detail the Rewards for Justice program. Under
the program, the U.S. offers rewards for information
that prevents or favorably resolves acts of terrorism
against the U.S.
The mission of the
Maritime Liaison Office (MARLO) is to facilitate
the exchange of information between the U.S. Navy
and the commercial shipping community in the U.S.
Central Commands area of responsibility. MARLO
operates as a conduit for information focused on
safety of shipping and is committed to assisting
the commercial shipping community. A MARLO announcement
about shortwave broadcasts was first spotted by
Jeff Weston on BDXC-UK.
were used for coalition broadcasts already during
the Iraq war, when DXing.info was the first to publish
details of this operation in the article US
steps up propaganda war.
The station has subsequently been heard identifying
as Information Radio in various languages,
suggesting that programming is a continuation of
the Information Radio broadcasts during the Iraq
war. Logs of the station can be found in the DXing.info
April 29, 2004, updated on May 12)
Slovakia International ending all shortwave broadcasts
over a decade of independence and a foreign radio
service of its own, Slovakia has decided that shortwave
belongs to history. All shortwave broadcasts will
end as of July 1, 2004 - two months later than originally
announced. In an email to DXing.info, Editor Pete
Miller of the English service of Radio Slovakia
International says however that "we will continue
to provide programming on the internet and through
World Radio Network via satellite." The decision
to cut shortwave is financial. "The cost of
using the transmitter at Rimavska Sobota is apparently
too high," Miller explains.
Austrian DXer Christoph
Ratzer has launched a web campaign to ask the station
to reconsider the closure of shortwave transmissions.
Ratzer says that by April 18, about 400 shortwave
listeners had emailed a campaign message to Radio
Slovakia International through his website.
April 16, 2004, last updated on April 26)
Familiar Cristiana heard on 4933 kHz shortwave
A station identifying as Radio
Familiar Cristiana has been heard on 4933 kHz, first
on April 1, 2004. Logged by Björn Malm in Ecuador,
and pinpointed by Henrik Klemetz as broadcasting from
"Vereda La Puerta", presumably in Colombia,
the station is airing Christian programming, but no
more details of the station are currently known.
April 16, 2004)
Loisirs AM struggling under Norwegian interference
in a new wave of Parisian mediumwave stations, Loisirs
AM began regular broadcasting on March 31. The station
is however unlucky to be operating on 1314 kHz along
with a very strong Norwegian transmitter, which overpowers
the French newcomer even in parts of its small target
area. Cyril Grouin in France reports to DXing.info
that Loisirs AM is probably using only 1 kW of power
at the moment, although the station is authorized
to use 5 kW from the TDF center in Villebon-sur-Yvette
(Southwest of Paris), the same location that is used
by FIP 585 kHz, RFI 738 kHz, la City Radio 864 kHz,
and Superloustic 999 kHz. From the early evening,
Norway (with a power of 1200 kW) is stronger on 1314
kHz, and Loisirs AM can be received without interference
only via the Internet. Programming consists of contemporary
hit music with brief news headlines. Reception reports
can be sent to: Air Productions, Bâtiment 113,
50, avenue du Président Wilson, F-93210 La
Plaine Saint Denis, France. Telephone: +33 (0)1 49
17 84 00, Fax: +33 (0)1 49 17 84 01.
April 13, 2004, updated on April 14)
phasing out shortwave and satellite
broadcasting to the world for over 60 years, Swiss
Radio International (SRI) ended its English-language
shortwave programming on April 12. The remaining
international shortwave services and a satellite
channel will be closed down by the end of October
The Swiss Shortwave
Service as SRI was known when the first programs
were transmitted in 1935 was first aimed
at Swiss living elsewhere in Europe. Broadcasts
in English began in 1941. According to Swissinfo
itself - detailing the history of the shortwave
service on its website - during the Second World
War and throughout the Cold War the station managed
to develop a name for itself as a neutral voice
of news and current affairs.
During the 1990s SRI
began the process of transforming itself from a
shortwave broadcaster to a multimedia internet outlet.
Today swissinfo - which is part of the Swiss Broadcasting
Corporation (SBC) - maintains a website in nine
languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish,
Portuguese, Arabic, Japanese and Chinese.
April 12, 2004)
News edited by Mika
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