The current multi-platform media environment has created challenges and opportunities for shortwave radio. While a number of shortwave broadcasting services have recently been drastically reduced or completely discontinued, this particular medium remains important to a critical public interested in programming that focuses on regional and international issues and is transmitted from the perspective of different communities around the world.
The Short Wave – an Old-Fashioned Workhorse?
A shortwave station can reach both a local and global audience. This is due to the unique property of shortwave radio to propagate over long distances through multiple reflections in the Earth’s atmosphere layers. A shortwave radio can provide a service where other platforms such as satellite, FM or Internet signal transmission are not available due to high costs, geographic location, lack of infrastructure, or even in the event of natural disasters. or man-made. The receivers are cheap and there is no need to pay access fees. Shortwave radio is important to people who live or travel in isolated regions.
Shortwave Radio in Emergency Situations
Shortwave radio continues to be considered a powerful communication tool in emergency situations and hard to reach geographical areas. During disasters, local and regional communication networks can become overloaded or collapse, resulting in an information blackout. An ability to effectively communicate during disasters is paramount for coordinated activities and rescue operations. Shortwave can potentially be the only medium left to broadcast information reliably and across great distances.
Radio amateurs choose to use shortwave communications to share information in emergency situations when other communication systems fail. This practice is recognized and appreciated by both the public and the regulatory authorities responsible for managing the radio frequency spectrum. In contrast, professional broadcasting services, whose transmitters are 10 to 100 times more powerful than those of amateur operators, are rarely used in emergency situations.
If the interest and funding shortwave broadcasting declines and the infrastructure gets dismantled, it will become more difficult and even impossible to use during humanitarian disasters. If you are someone who likes to travel into extremely remote areas or just want to get ready for that rainy day, consider having a great shortwave radio in your arsenal. However, like with anything – make sure to get across the latest review and comparison to make sure that it fits your purpose and you get the latest development in the technology that the market has to offer.
Radio for Distance Education
Shortwave radio is an invaluable tool for distance education. It reaches children, women and men where traditional education systems cannot reach due to lack of financial means, educational infrastructure or accessibility. Furthermore, it can be used to empower women and girls in societies where the right to education is denied for gender reasons. Radio can also be used to provide communities with education and information on health issues during epidemics or after a natural or man-made disaster.
New Technological Developments for Traditional Broadcasting
Radio continues to evolve offering opportunities in the digital age. They also face old challenges including planning, financing and regulation. The future of radio is digital and the digitization of shortwave and AM broadcasting is already underway. The high-quality system according to World Digital Radio (DRM) standards replaces current radio transmission in all AM bands. DRM is the only digital format approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for shortwave radio. Since the sound quality is better than that of today’s analog AM radio, DRM is expected to soon become the technology of choice for shortwave radio.
Shortwave Broadcasting and its Applications on the Internet – Competition or Synergy?
- The presence of broadcasting organizations on all distribution platforms is important for effective worldwide transmission. Listeners are able to personalize their listening experience.
- There is evidence that radio is meant to be listened to live, especially for news, current affairs, and sports programs. A unique experience is enhanced by listening live and long-distance to shortwave radio stations and their programs.
- Radio has strong emotional appeal. People regularly listen to only one or two radio stations. This fondness for radio has been further demonstrated on shortwave radio. Since long before social media emerged, there have been long-lasting ties and contacts between shortwave listeners and broadcasters.
- New streaming platforms and technologies are ideal for improving shortwave radio service for the audience. The spoken words and music are enriched with images and video clips. Audio-on-demand services have enabled listeners to download old programs archived by stations.
- Social media platforms can be used to strengthen communication and dialogue between program producers and their audiences. This, in turn, contributes to the development of listener communities to promote the growth of the stations and their content.
- New technologies are ideal for collecting user-generated content, regardless of the distance between the source and the central broadcasting station.
- The programs and schedules of the shortwave stations change quite frequently. The Internet is an ideal medium for following these changes and encouraging users to listen to shortwave stations directly. An interactive schedule with world programming can be accessed on the UNESCO website for the celebration of World Radio Day 2013.
- Around the world, shortwave transmitters provide Internet-based services and are a vital communication tool in serious emergency situations caused by natural or man-made disasters.
The Future of Shortwave in the Changing Media Environment
Unfortunately, due to ongoing changes in media broadcasting across much of the developed world, opportunities for shortwave broadcasters could be missed and millions of potential listeners lost. The decrease in the use of shortwave in developed countries is due to the appearance of an increasing number of new communication technologies. The image of shortwave radio as the traditional workhorse of international broadcasting is fast disappearing in many countries.
There is a very simple reason to support cross-platform media distribution: Consumers cannot use all available streaming technologies at the same time.
Your choice increasingly depends on your situation (for example, your location, your personal preferences, your social position, the availability of equipment, etc.) In the race to embrace new digital platforms, and in the climate of economic austerity Sometimes policy makers stop financing older technologies, such as shortwave broadcasting. Obviously, excluding a technology will stop distributing content to a part of the audience in a specific situation. The fact that radio is present in many of the new communication platforms confirms its relevance.