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BBC Ends Shortwave Service - Europe-Spies in U.S.?


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BBC Ends English Shortwave Service in Europe






Published: February 19, 2008


PARIS — The BBC World Service, which started its scratchy shortwave transmissions to listeners cut off by 'desert, snow and sea' 75 years ago, ended its last English-language shortwave services in Europe on Monday.


Associated Press


John Dos Passos, the author, broadcast during World War II on the shortwave service. The service was cut back in recent years.


The British public broadcaster has been reducing its shortwave transmissions over the last seven years, eliminating services to North America and Australia in 2001 and South America in 2005. Last March, the BBC started reducing European transmissions, finally cutting off a transmitter on Monday that reached parts of Southern Europe.


'There comes a point where the shortwave audience in a given region becomes so small that spending money on it can no longer be justified,' the broadcaster said in a statement.


The quiet ending for the service was a contrast with its celebrated arrival. Seventy-five years ago, King George V helped promote the new technology from his small study in the British royal family's Norfolk retreat, Sandringham. In a speech written by the poet Rudyard Kipling, the king extolled radio as a way to reach out to men and women isolated by snow and sea.


'Through one of the marvels of modern science, I am enabled this Christmas Day to speak to all my people throughout the empire,' the king said.


The abdication speech of Edward VIII was broadcast on shortwave, as was news of the Hindenburg airship's explosion and Hungarian Free Radio's last anguished call for aid as Russian tanks rumbled into Budapest.


But modern modes of communication have been squeezing out shortwave services in Western countries, where programming is available on FM radio, on the Internet and on iPods with wireless connections.


'Europe is very developed and so is America,' said Michael Gardner, a spokesman for BBC World Service. 'Shortwave is not the best way of reaching those audiences there. They all have FM, AM stations close by. Some of them have satellites, or they can pull it down on their TV screens and there are alternatives online. There are lots of ways of interacting with the BBC.'


Simon Spanswick, chief executive of the Association for International Broadcasting in London, said that the move by the BBC 'probably sounds the death knell for traditional analog shortwave broadcasting in the developed world.'


Shortwave transmissions remain an important media outlet in Africa and Asia, he noted. Since 2006, the BBC World Service shortwave audience has grown by 7 million people, or 7 percent, to 107 million, about 58 percent of the BBC's total radio audience.


All of the world's largest international broadcasters, based in the United States, France, Germany, England and the Netherlands, are cutting back on shortwave or reviewing the deployment of their resources.


Andy Sennitt, a media specialist with the Dutch public broadcaster, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, said that he got his start 30 years ago working on BBC shortwave broadcasts and had mixed feelings about the end of the transmissions.


'For die-hard shortwave listeners, this is negative,' he said. 'What they don't understand is the huge cost of powering transmitters. The cost of diesel fuel has doubled.'




You see? World War II never ended.... :)


The BBC "Shortwave" SPY MESSAGE NETWORK broadcasted for 75 years...


Sending messages to their "Black Arts Illuminati NWO" "American Role Playing" Spies IN AMERICA!






They became allies with ISRAEL in the 60's and 70s...





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