Thursday, September 11, 2014

U.S. Panel: Shortwave Broadcasting 'Marginal' . . . but Wait!

A special committee on the future of shortwave broadcasting by the U.S. government has issued a somewhat contradictory report to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees operations of the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia. According to The ARRL Letter, the panel concluded that shortwave broadcasting is "a medium of marginal and continuously declining impact in most markets," as target audiences continue shifting toward AM/FM radio, TV and the internet as information sources. 
The committee also concluded that "shortwave use does not increase during times of crisis," according to the Letter. But at the same time, noting the current unrest in Ukraine and surrounding areas, it recommended that "shortwave broadcasts in Russian to Russia and the Caucasus be continued at current levels," at least for the coming fiscal year. [Additional information on the BBG committee report will be published in the October issue of CQ Plus, the CQ digital edition supplement.]