Monday, August 30, 2010

Arguments for keeping VOA Greenville site continue

"The phrase Voice of America (VOA) has always stood for a strong, powerful American broadcasting entity. The United States government intended the Voice of America to provide hope to people around the world and to counteract the propaganda espoused by America’s enemies in war conflicts. In the mid 1990s the federal government began closing or consolidating some large VOA broadcasting facilities. The federal government would like to close VOA site B in Greenville, NC. I hope they choose not to for some several reasons. ... The VOA may be old by some standards but it is new to those who cherish the iron clad tube technology and massive antennas as well as those who rely on shortwave for critical and sometimes life-saving information. Let us not forget, telephone, cell towers and the related internet infrastructure is vulnerable during emergencies and disasters and the VOA’s former cold war technology is always reliable." With photos. -- Anyone familiar with the variable nature of shortwave propagation knows that it is not "always reliable." But shortwave does have the advantage of not relying on landlines or cell relays in areas affected by distasters, wars, or dictators.

Previous post:
"U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield ... will tour Voice of America’s Site B transmitter facility outside of Grimesland [North Carolina]... . Along with viewing a live broadcast, Butterfield will meet with staff and discuss Radio Marti, which is broadcast by shortwave radio to Cuba. President Obama’s 2011 budget recommends closing the local VOA site, which would save $3.1 million for its parent organization, Broadcasting Board of Governors, according earlier news reports. Butterfield and Pitt County’s other congressional representative, U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., R-N.C., have opposed the closure. The Broadcasting Board of Governors said the closure is part of the organization’s efforts to update satellite and other broadcasting technology. The local facility, which opened in 1963, employs 23 people."
"'We have one advantage over the Internet — no one can stop us,' Al Bailey, an lectronics technician at the facility, said. Stopping Internet delivery is as simple as cutting a phone or fiber optic line or padlocking the server location, he said. Internet programming also can be traced. The equipment needed to jam shortwave radio signals is expensive, he said. Although the Pitt County site broadcasts to three regions, its signal can be heard worldwide, Bailey said."
(The Daily Reflector/KIim Elliott)