Friday, June 03, 2011

NASB Report: On Board the Majesty of the Seas

Around 1300 shortwave listeners from around the globe took part in the NASB shortwave listener survey between May of 2010 and May of 2011, and the results of the survey were announced at the 2011 NASB annual meeting on May 14th. In the conference center of Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas, anchored off the coast of CocoCay in the Bahamas, Dr. Jerry Plummer of WWCR announced the results for the first time. Jerry is the administrator of the survey, which was posted
online at the NASB website, with links on other shortwave and DX websites.
Most of the respondents were located in North America and Europe, with significant numbers from Asia and Oceania as well. Nearly half of those who responded were also amateur radio operators. Around 97 percent were male. Not surprisingly, most listeners who took the survey listen to shortwave stations for news and commentary, and many listen for cultural programs as well. Around 7 percent listen for religious programming of a variety of faiths. The number one shortwave station in the poll was the BBC. Full results of the survey will be published in the next NASB Newsletter, which will also be on the NASB website,
The NASB meeting took place on the Majesty of the Seas May 13 to 16, sailing from Miami to CocoCay and Nassau in the Bahamas, then returning to Miami. Twenty-one persons from the United States, France, England and Finland participated, including representatives of NASB member stations, associate member organizations and DX clubs. It was the first time the NASB has ever held its annual meeting on a cruise ship. In addition to the meetings, delegates were able to enjoy a variety of entertainment onboard the ship, a private beach resort in the Bahamas, and a sightseeing tour of Nassau, capital of the Bahamas.
The meeting began May 13th with a presentation sent especially for the meeting by Chinese shortwave listener and language teacher Cui Litang, who explained about Chinese jamming of shortwave signals and Internet sites, as well as about his use of shortwave station language programs for teaching English in China. John Wineman of HCJB's Global Technology Center in Indiana showed the new Pappradio DRM receiver housed in a small external hard drive box.
On May 14th, Risto Vahakainu of the Finnish DX Association told particpants about his country in northern Europe and the special challenges and opportunities of doing shortwave and mediumwave DXing there. He presented a video produced by his club about DXing in the Arctic at the very northernmost part of Finland, where mediumwave stations from North America can often be heard using so-called beverage antennas stretching up to one kilometer through the forests of northern Finland. For a totally different venue, Jerome Hirigoyen of TDF -- Telediffusion de France -- told about his company's shortwave sites and other installations, including the large relay station in exotic Montsinery, French Guiana, where a number of 500-kilowatt transmitters are located, reaching nearly all of the Americas and West Africa as well.
On May 15th, there was a slide presentation about the NASB's two member stations in Florida -- veteran broadcaster WYFR in Okeechobee and relative newcomer WRMI, Radio Miami International, in Miami. Michel Penneroux, chairman of the DRM Consortium's Commercial Committee, explained the difficulties and delays involved with the mass production of low-cost DRM digital shortwave receivers, and he presented an investment plan for producing a large number of such receivers within a 12- to 18-month period. Rex Morgan, senior producer for Latin America for World Christian Broadcasting, talked about his efforts to reach Latin American listeners from Miami via shortwave and other media, and Kok Hai Tan from the same organization presented a timely video about the progress of World Christian Broadcasting's new shortwave station being built in Madagascar and where it will reach with programs in Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages, including transmissions to India.
Finally, at the NASB business meeting, two new members were elected to the board of directors. George Ross, frequency manager of KTWR in Guam, was elected to replace Bill Damick, also of Trans World Radio, whose term was ending. And Charles Caudill, President of World Christian Broadcasting, was elected to replace David Creel of Far East Broadcasting Company, whose term also ended this year. Both Jeff White of WRMI and Adrian Peterson of Adventist World Radio are currently members of the NASB Board of Directors.
Others attending the NASB meeting included Arto Mujunen, a Finnish DXer who works at the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau monitoring office in Helsinki; Michael Murray, a British DXer who is a former secretary general of the European DX Council; Dino Bloise of Miami, who produces a syndicated Spanish-language DX program called "Frecuencia al Dia;" Brady Murray, operations manager of WWCR in Nashville; and Terry Borders and Ed Mathis of the Catholic shortwave station WEWN in Birmingham, Alabama. A number of spouses also took part in the cruise. The meeting was organized by Jeff and Thais White of WRMI in Miami.
Next year's NASB annual meeting will take place at the headquarters of Radio Free Asia in Washington, DC on May 10th and 11th, 2012. And just before concluding this year's meeting, the NASB board accepted an invitation by WEWN in Birmingham to host the 2013 NASB annual meeting.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS118 via Adrian peterson)