Friday, December 19, 2014

'Tis the Season for Festive Greeting Cards and Souvenirs

Radio Arcadia / U-Boat 66
'Tis the season once again for festive greeting cards and souvenirs from radio stations around the world. In the closing weeks of December I have received eCards from Radio Taiwan International and Radio Arcadia / Radio U-Boat 66 (Italy). Cards from Radio Japan and Radio Habana Cuba have arrived too. In all likelihood this will continue well into the first few months of 2015, given the provision I contacted a particular station  in the past year, their database contains my address and the station sends out these items.

Radio Taiwan International
Perhaps it is as much the old advertising guy in me as it is the radio enthusiast  who welcomes the arrival of these tokens of appreciation. On the one hand,  I am quite aware these are the tools of the advertising / marketing trade and designed to promote their station and country. Yet, on the other hand, I sense these stations genuinely do value their listeners and wish to encourage us to stay tuned in the coming year.  

Radio Habana Cuba 
As more and more radio stations leave the broadcast bands or reduce their transmission hours and language services, these souvenirs are becoming treasured mementos just as valuable as their QSLs. This past year the Voice of Russia, Radio Espana Exterior, RTM TRAXX FM (Malaysia) and a few more notable international broadcasters decided to leave short-wave, but now -- with the exception of TRAXX FM -- are reconsidering their SW services. Deutschlandfunk will leave the long-wave band at the end of 2015. RTE in Ireland, also on long-wave, contemplated leaving as well.

Radio Japan Urdu service
Happily new stations have sprung up too -- Global 24 Radio, Radio Europa and Channel 242 and, of course, new "free radio" stations. Many former international short-wave broadcasters are turning to regional stations like Hamburger Lokalradio, Radio 700, Media Broadcast GmbH, WRMI and Global 24 to relay their programmes. Even Deutsche Welle is now relaying transmissions from Meyerton, Dhabbaya and Madagascar, not just Kigali. What a great delight it is to see this resurgence!

Radio Europe in Italy
Nevertheless, let us as listeners be more attentive and listen to these radio stations, especially those broadcasting on the short-wave, medium-wave and long-wave bands. Who knows how much longer they will occupy the airwaves. Even Web Radio / Internet stations deserve attention, particularly the former short-wave broadcasters which have resorted to this medium. If we truly value our hobby, then we should show our support with a "Thank You Note" and a reception report or two in the coming year. They deserve our loyalty.

Premier Radio
Happy holidays and 73s!!!
Atlantic 2000 (France)

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