Thursday, February 28, 2013

European Perspective on Radio

From the Italradio newsdesk in Florence, here’s European Perspective, a monthly feature about international broadcasting from the Old Continent, written by Luigi Cobosi.

            Recently, Belgrade based Serbian International Radio took an unexpected move to bring their Italian program back on short wave.  After a couple of months of silence, the program is now aired at 1830 UTC, Monday through Friday on 6100 kHz, opening the series of international broadcasts from Serbia.

            An English broadcast is on the air at 1930 UTC and later at 2200 UTC.  Broadcasts are now transmitted from Bjielijna, Bosnia, with 250 KW.  The signal is quite strong all over Europe notwithstanding that China Radio International is operating on the same frequency in English at 1830 UTC.

            Just in the opposite way, the Voice of Russia has cut off most of their shortwave and mediumwave frequencies, especially to Europe.   Their Italian program left analog shortwave after 70 years of service.   This is a bitter surprise for listeners in Southern Europe who are now forced to tune in mediumwave 1548 kHz. 

            For coverage of Europe, the Voice of Russia now retains only a few broadcasts in DRM.  Until March 30th, the schedule for digital shortwave reads as follows: 

                        11635 kHz at 0600 - 0900 UTC in English and 0900 - 1000 UTC in German

                          6000            2000 - 2100             Spanish       2100 - 2200             Portuguese

                          6145            1800                         Italian
            One of the tiniest radio stations in the world was planned to operate in Florence on February 14th, 2013.  This special event station climaxed the celebration of World Radio Day on February 13th. UNESCO proclaimed a World Radio Day last year and chose this date to remember the first ever broadcast from the United Nations Radio back in 1946.

            In Florence Italradio operated a five milliwatts medium wave station for sixty minutes to show how radio can help local communities cope with emergencies by using radio as the simplest way of communicating.  The broadcast was monitored by a group of members of Rotary Club Florence East with some cheap medium wave receivers.

            We planned this kind of experiment also to remember Marconi's trip to Florence in 1912, when he encouraged a local scientist to experiment with radio within buildings.  Padre Alfani was at the time working in receiving the first time signals from the Eiffel Tower in Paris and he succeeded in showing how radio signals could pass through walls by placing a radio receiver in the cathedral of Florence, the greatest Renaissance building in the city.

            By the way, this station was later placed in an astronomy observatory where it is still visible to this day after it was reconstructed in the earlier years of this century.  It has remained split into pieces since 1915 when authorities required Padre Alfani to stop reception due to the First World War.

            And that’s all from Florence for this month; if you wish to be informed on what’s going on in the Italian and European international broadcasting scene, please check our web site www. italradio. org.  You can also find a web portal with current news, in English too.  Thank you for listening and we wish you a very good year 2013.
(AWR-Wavescan/NWS 208 via Adrian Peterson)