Another Loss for North American Shortwave

I was saddened to learn that Radio Netherlands is ending shortwave transmissions to North America, effective October 26, 2008. Radio Netherlands was one of the first shortwave stations I ever heard and I have spent many enjoyable hours over the years listening to their programs.

I’m sure this move makes financial sense for Radio Netherlands, just as I’m sure dropping shortwave broadcasts to North America made financial sense for the BBC. There are no broadcasters with budgets large enough to transmit to everywhere in the world and it only makes sense to allocate limited resources to areas deemed most important. But it’s still sad to watch the steady decline of shortwave services to North America.

Shortwave Listening in Space

A few days ago, Kim Andrew Elliot mentioned the 30th anniversary of the journey of Vladimír Remek into space. Remek made history in 1978 as the first person to travel into space who wasn’t from the United States or the Soviet Union (he was born in Czechoslovakia). According to the story, he listened to shortwave broadcasts from all over the world while in space and heard his name mentioned in many languages.

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