[Swprograms] Re: [dxld] Why is BBC World Service reducing its shortwave provision?
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[Swprograms] Re: [dxld] Why is BBC World Service reducing its shortwave provision?

I couldn't agree more.  Excellent analysis. 
-Rob de Santos
Columbus, OH
> -----Original Message-----
> From: swprograms-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
> [mailto:swprograms-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
> John Figliozzi
> Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2005 9:22 PM
> To: dxld@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; Shortwave discussion
> shortwaveBasics@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [Swprograms] Re: [dxld] Why is BBC World Service 
> reducing its shortwave provision?
> Complete and utter b.s. IMHO.
> The sales figure for shortwave radios in the US alone is UP each and 
> every one of the past seven years.  The number being manufactured in 
> and pumped out of China continues to go up almost exponentially.
> The BBC would like everyone to believe that sw listening is 
> down, so it 
> uses (cleverly, but dishonestly) figures for *its* shortwave 
> audience.  
> Well, if you've eliminated both North America and Australasia 
> from your 
> shortwave coverage area (two primary English language regions of the 
> globe) and reduced the hours you cover the other areas with 
> shortwave, 
> of course your audience figures for shortwave will go down. It's a 
> self-serving and self-fulfilling prophecy.
> Next week on "Write On", Dilly Barlow will read a raft of 
> letters from 
> irate listeners once again.  The BBC spokesman will intone 
> (once again) 
> that these are really a minority of listeners either too old, out of 
> touch, unimportant or otherwise insignificant to matter.  (Of course, 
> he'll say it all much nicer that.)
> What the "official" BBC won't tell you is that, internally, 
> management 
> was surprised by the volume, level and depth of protest the BBC 
> received the last time they did this.  But its management team is 
> committed--in "non-crisis" regions--to reducing distribution costs by 
> de-emphasizing high cost methods (like shortwave) and transferring an 
> increasing amount of those costs to the listener.
> The BBC claims that its audience accessing its broadcasts by means 
> other than shortwave is increasing.  As far as it goes, that's 
> true--but not to the extent claimed.  The BBC's figures don't 
> differentiate between a listener who accesses its broadcasts 
> for a few  
> minutes a week and one who listens for hours a day.  It also tends to 
> fudge figures reflecting availability by equating overnight 
> broadcasts 
> via local FM with prime time hours on local radio and an occasional 
> five minute newscast with the broader info/entertainment service that 
> characterizes (or characterized) its shortwave service.
> It is interesting to observe that, as the BBC reduces global 
> access to 
> its broadcasts, China Radio International is dramatically increasing 
> such access by actively embracing ALL distribution methods, including 
> shortwave.  Shortwave hours and relays targeting NA by CRI 
> are up just 
> as dramatically as BBC hours are down.  And CRI's use of the 
> internet, 
> satellite (including WRN on Sirius Satellite Radio) and local (FM) 
> placement also has increased.  There is even talk that CRI is 
> planning 
> to inaugurate a 24 hour English language news service in direct 
> competition to the BBC.
> I'm sure the rather smug management at Bush House will chuckle at all 
> this and shrug it off.  But I wouldn't be surprised if, while the BBC 
> is dithering and dicing up audiences, CRI begins to eat the 
> BBC's lunch 
> in North America.  Call it "Old Europe Makes Way for New 
> Asia".  While 
> the BBC steadily abandons and discards the public service 
> broadcasting 
> principles it historically created, perfected and nurtured, CRI seems 
> to--more and more--be embracing those very principles.
> John Figliozzi
> Halfmoon, NY

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