Radio Newsbeat

Here is my latest selection from two sites covering UK and world radio news

From the Radio Today site  http://radiotoday.co.uk

Torrington takes Late Night Love to Smooth

GMG Radio is bringing Graham Torrington back to commercial radio with a new weekend show on Smooth Radio.

He’ll host the station’s new Sunday evening show – Late Night Love – previously heard on the GWR network and more recently BBC South West.

He starts in January on the Sunday 8pm – Midnight slot currently occupied by Dave Lincoln – who’ll move elsewhere on the schedule.

GMG Radio’s Group Programme Director John Simons said: “We’re delighted Graham is returning to commercial radio. His late night show was a huge success on GWR’s One Network in the 90’s and Noughties and I believe that Smooth Radio listeners will enjoy his distinctive style and dedicated approach to love and relationship issues”.

Graham added: “I’m thrilled to be joining Smooth Radio in the New Year working alongside some of the most talented broadcasters in the UK – Plus there is not a day that goes by without someone asking when is Late Night Love coming back on to my radio – well I’m pleased to say that day has arrived – there are lots of relationships issues to sort out so I can’t wait to get started.”
Published on Thursday, December 1st, 2011 at 4:15 pm

BBC double win for radio gardening shows

BBC Radio 4′s Gardeners’ Question Time and Radio Wiltshire’s The Saturday Show have taken the radio honours at this year’s Garden Media Guild Awards.

Gardeners’ Question Time was up against four other Radio 4 shows for the National Radio Broadcast of the Year prize, while gardening programmes from BBC local stations in Hereford and Worcester, Somerset, Ulster and Solent were finalists in the Local category.

The winning episode of the Radio 4 weekly gardening programme was one produced by Lucy Dichmont and based in Suffolk. Judges said it was “just as appealing to the green-fingered novice as the seasoned gardening expert and delivered with lashings of easy-to-understand expert advice.” They particularly noted Dawn Isaac’s special feature on the RSPB Flatford Garden, adding: “Her clear, confident presentation demonstrated genuine concern for wildlife issues and proved that gardeners who emerged into the media from the garden design and blogging worlds have what it takes to make it on national radio.”

Other finalists in the National category were:
Green Ears: Acoustic Gardening by Fiona Roberts (producer), Radio Science Unit for BBC Radio 4.
Mabey in the Wild: Snakeshead Fritillary by Susan Marling, Just Radio for BBC Radio 4.
Gardeners’ Question Time: The Archers Special by Howard Shannon & Lucy Dichmont for BBC Radio 4.
Mabey in the Wild: Wild Roses by Susan Marling, Just Radio for BBC Radio 4.

In the Local Radio Broadcast of the Year category, the prize was collected by Laura Rawlings, who presents and produces BBC Radio Wiltshire’s The Saturday Show. Judges said of the show: “The editorial content is just right – inviting and entertaining – but underpinned by a sound gardening offering.” They also praised the broadcast for its depth of topics: from ant control to making comfrey fertiliser, grow your own, apple tree care and pond tips to name a few. “Visiting listeners’ gardens gave the programme a real sense of ‘locality’ and ensured gardening issues discussed were timely, topical and relevant to the region,” added the citation.

Other finalists in the Local category were:
BBC Hereford & Worcester‘s The Sunday Gardening Show, Mike George & Reg Moule.
BBC Radio Somerset‘s What’s Growing On, Rebecca Pow & Emma Britton.
BBC Radio Ulster‘s Gardeners’ Corner, Cherrie McIlwaine.
BBC Radio Solent’s The Good Life, Georgina Windsor & Rebecca Parker.

The awards were presented at a lunch yesterday (Wednesday) held at The Brewery in London. Find out more about the awards on the Garden Media Guild website.
Published on Thursday, December 1st, 2011 at 3:55 pm

JACK girls get half-naked with a bloke

JACK fm Hertfordshire has teamed up with Veolia Water to get a message across to listeners.

The girls dressed up in bikinis and selected a “token bloke” to tell people to wrap their water pipes up with lagging to avoid freezing.

The activity saw the station promotional staff go out half-naked on the coldest day of the year in bikinis with a “token bloke”, gaining much reaction from locals.

Listeners of the station have to guess the locations that JACK’s Girls (and “token bloke”) are in – to be in with a chance of playing “Don’t Freeze Ya Pipes” on the breakfast show – and winning some prizes.

Brett Harley, Managing Director of JACK fm Hertfordshire, said: “It’s a fantastic promotion that’s already getting people talking – and many drooling.”

Asked if the promotion was a bit sexist , Brett responded: “Well, our JACK’s Girls promotional team is openly described on-air as a ‘sexist marketing ploy’. But, to be fair, we did carefully select ‘token man’ to be the eye candy for the ladies.”
Published on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Severn and Wyre to close next month

Shropshire local radio station The Severn and Kidderminster’s The Wyre are to be closed by owner MNA Broadcasting at the end of next month.

There are expected to be a small number of redundancies as a result and Ofcom has been told of the group’s intention to return the licences.

A short statement seen by RadioToday.co.uk said that the company has found it hard to trade profitably in the challenging economic conditions.

The Wyre launched in September 2005, while The Severn is a combination of two licences – the station formerly known as Telford FM which launched in 1999 and a station for Shrewsbury and Oswestry which launched in 2006. Telford FM was rebranded as The Severn last September. All three stations have been co-located in Telford since 2009.

MNA Broadcasting is part of Midlands News Association which owns titles including the Express & Star in the West Midlands and the Shropshire Star.

A spokesman for Ofcom told RadioToday.co.uk: “We are aware of MNA’s intention to hand the licences back, but they have not yet done so.” He added that the regulator would need to consider the best use of the frequency before deciding whether or not the licences would be re-advertised.
Published on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

From the Radio Netherlands media network Blog

China Radio International celebrates 70th anniversary
December 3rd, 2011 – 17:52 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.

China Radio International (CRI) held a high-profile ceremony in Beijing today, marking the 70th anniversary of its founding. More than 700 people, including the country’s major publicity officials, foreign ambassadors in China, foreign audience representatives and CRI employee representatives attended the ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People.

Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, praised CRI’s 70 years of service in a congratulatory letter which read: “CRI has become an important window for China to know the world and for the world to understand China, and has become an important platform for China’s overseas publicity.” Mr Li also urged CRI to build a top-ranking international media group. Mr Li hoped that CRI would adapt to the features and demands of international communication, and enhance the pertinence and effectiveness of overseas publicity, making it more attractive and able to touch the hearts of audiences.

Liu Yunshan, head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, also made remarks at the ceremony. He saluted staff members who had made great contributions to China’s overseas broadcasting efforts and praised CRI as a driving force in overseas broadcasting. He also called on CRI to accelerate the establishment of a modern, comprehensive and innovative international media group.

“CRI must be brave in shouldering responsibilities, carrying out reform and innovation, promoting a modern international broadcasting system, forming a modern, comprehensive and innovative media group, and supporting public opinion to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects.” Mr Liu said.

Wang Gengnian, Director-general of CRI, recalled CRI’s 70-year history in his speech at the ceremony and called on company employees to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges in an effort to write a new chapter in international communications.

On December 3, 1941, the Yan’an New China Radio Station started a radio programme in Japanese, marking the birth of China’s overseas broadcasting cause. As China’s only state-owned overseas broadcaster, CRI currently boasts the greatest number of language services among international media around the globe. CRI disseminates information in 61 languages via a wide range of means, including radio, television, newspapers, internet and mobile phones.

(Source: CRI)

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China Radio International celebrates 70th anniversary
December 3rd, 2011 – 17:52 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

China Radio International (CRI) held a high-profile ceremony in Beijing today, marking the 70th anniversary of its founding. More than 700 people, including the country’s major publicity officials, foreign ambassadors in China, foreign audience representatives and CRI employee representatives attended the ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People.

Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, praised CRI’s 70 years of service in a congratulatory letter which read: “CRI has become an important window for China to know the world and for the world to understand China, and has become an important platform for China’s overseas publicity.” Mr Li also urged CRI to build a top-ranking international media group. Mr Li hoped that CRI would adapt to the features and demands of international communication, and enhance the pertinence and effectiveness of overseas publicity, making it more attractive and able to touch the hearts of audiences.

Liu Yunshan, head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, also made remarks at the ceremony. He saluted staff members who had made great contributions to China’s overseas broadcasting efforts and praised CRI as a driving force in overseas broadcasting. He also called on CRI to accelerate the establishment of a modern, comprehensive and innovative international media group.

“CRI must be brave in shouldering responsibilities, carrying out reform and innovation, promoting a modern international broadcasting system, forming a modern, comprehensive and innovative media group, and supporting public opinion to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects.” Mr Liu said.

Wang Gengnian, Director-general of CRI, recalled CRI’s 70-year history in his speech at the ceremony and called on company employees to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges in an effort to write a new chapter in international communications.

On December 3, 1941, the Yan’an New China Radio Station started a radio programme in Japanese, marking the birth of China’s overseas broadcasting cause. As China’s only state-owned overseas broadcaster, CRI currently boasts the greatest number of language services among international media around the globe. CRI disseminates information in 61 languages via a wide range of means, including radio, television, newspapers, internet and mobile phones.

(Source: CRI)

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Russian bloggers fume over pre-election cyber attacks
December 3rd, 2011 – 17:45 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

Russian bloggers complained today as the most popular blogging website Livejournal was down for the third consecutive day, with some alleging the cyberattack had been timed to prevent people from discussing Sunday’s vote. The website had been down repeatedly since Monday, with the service administrators explaining it as a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), which overloads a website’s bandwidth by making thousands of computers access it repeatedly.

“Yes, they are still attacking. They must have a mountain of money,” head of Livejournal Ilya Dronov wrote on his Twitter blog today as people inundated him with complaints that they were not able to access their accounts. “One could predict that they would down Livejournal before the elections,” another Livejournal employee and popular blogger Rustem Adagamov wrote earlier this week. “And so they have, unfortunately.” “At least now we know where these attacks stem from,” he wrote, though without further explanation.

Other bloggers seemed sure that the attacks were organised by the government. “Livejournal is down. I wonder which section of the budget is paying for the DDoS,” blogger Alexander Tashkinov wrote on Twitter. “It’s very easy to figure out that Russia is having elections tomorrow: Livejournal is down,” wrote Nadia Ivanova.

Livejournal was created by a US college student in 1999 but was purchased by a Russian media company SUP in 2007 after proving wildly popular with Russians using it for creative and political discussion, including by the opposition. It has helped launch several grassroots campaigns, such as the anti-corruption drive by Alexei Navalny, whose political notoriety started with his blog, or a motorists’ campaign against the officials’ misuse of flashing blue lights to bypass traffic regulations.

In April, a series of DDoS attacks lasted several days, prompting some popular bloggers to suggest that the authorities were orchestrating a cyberwar to silence free political discussion. “The attack on it is preparation for parliamentary and presidential elections,” opposition politician Boris Nemtsov said in April. “It’s pure politics.”

(Source: AFP)

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WikiLeaks founder says governments ‘curbing’ freedoms
December 3rd, 2011 – 17:41 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said today that governments worldwide are curbing personal liberty, privacy and free speech by misusing technology. “Bulk surveillance of entire nations is on,” Assange said in an address from Britain via video to a media conference in New Delhi.

The whistle-blower, who is living under strict bail conditions at the house of a wealthy supporter, said governments in some countries are “sucking out” data from emails and Internet transactions and passing on this “economic intelligence” to retail outlets and other organisations. “We are giving away an extraordinary degree of our liberty about our life,” said Assange.

The comments came after Assange launched his website’s new project earlier in the week – the publication of files he claims show a global industry that gives dictatorships and democracies alike tools to spy on their citizens. The latest WikiLeaks files detail the activities of about 160 companies in 25 countries which develop technologies to allow the tracking and monitoring of individuals by their mobile phones, email and Internet browsing histories. Assange also alleged that the Chinese had hacked into the computer system of India’s federal policy agency, the Central Bureau of Information, and were extracting information for its own purposes.

(Source: AFP)

Former Arrow Dutch FM licence to be re-advertised
December 2nd, 2011 – 21:48 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

An additional nationwide FM licence for commercial broadcasting in the Netherlands will be re-advertised in 2012. The frequencies are the ones occupied by Arrow Classic Rock until March 2009.

At present a number of frequencies in the package are in use temporarily by other stations as a result of the current reception problems of public and commercial radio stations in the northern Netherlands. These problems arose on 15 July when part of the tower collapsed in Smilde. The tower is being rebuilt, but is not expected to be in service until October 2012.

The plan is to re-advertise the licence in spring 2012. If the successful applicant wishes to start broadcasting before all the frequencies are available, this will be allowed, and the remaining frequencies will be added as soon as possible.

(Source: Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands)

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China Radio International celebrates 70th anniversary
December 3rd, 2011 – 17:52 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

China Radio International (CRI) held a high-profile ceremony in Beijing today, marking the 70th anniversary of its founding. More than 700 people, including the country’s major publicity officials, foreign ambassadors in China, foreign audience representatives and CRI employee representatives attended the ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People.

Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, praised CRI’s 70 years of service in a congratulatory letter which read: “CRI has become an important window for China to know the world and for the world to understand China, and has become an important platform for China’s overseas publicity.” Mr Li also urged CRI to build a top-ranking international media group. Mr Li hoped that CRI would adapt to the features and demands of international communication, and enhance the pertinence and effectiveness of overseas publicity, making it more attractive and able to touch the hearts of audiences.

Liu Yunshan, head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, also made remarks at the ceremony. He saluted staff members who had made great contributions to China’s overseas broadcasting efforts and praised CRI as a driving force in overseas broadcasting. He also called on CRI to accelerate the establishment of a modern, comprehensive and innovative international media group.

“CRI must be brave in shouldering responsibilities, carrying out reform and innovation, promoting a modern international broadcasting system, forming a modern, comprehensive and innovative media group, and supporting public opinion to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects.” Mr Liu said.

Wang Gengnian, Director-general of CRI, recalled CRI’s 70-year history in his speech at the ceremony and called on company employees to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges in an effort to write a new chapter in international communications.

On December 3, 1941, the Yan’an New China Radio Station started a radio programme in Japanese, marking the birth of China’s overseas broadcasting cause. As China’s only state-owned overseas broadcaster, CRI currently boasts the greatest number of language services among international media around the globe. CRI disseminates information in 61 languages via a wide range of means, including radio, television, newspapers, internet and mobile phones.

(Source: CRI)

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Russian bloggers fume over pre-election cyber attacks
December 3rd, 2011 – 17:45 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

Russian bloggers complained today as the most popular blogging website Livejournal was down for the third consecutive day, with some alleging the cyberattack had been timed to prevent people from discussing Sunday’s vote. The website had been down repeatedly since Monday, with the service administrators explaining it as a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), which overloads a website’s bandwidth by making thousands of computers access it repeatedly.

“Yes, they are still attacking. They must have a mountain of money,” head of Livejournal Ilya Dronov wrote on his Twitter blog today as people inundated him with complaints that they were not able to access their accounts. “One could predict that they would down Livejournal before the elections,” another Livejournal employee and popular blogger Rustem Adagamov wrote earlier this week. “And so they have, unfortunately.” “At least now we know where these attacks stem from,” he wrote, though without further explanation.

Other bloggers seemed sure that the attacks were organised by the government. “Livejournal is down. I wonder which section of the budget is paying for the DDoS,” blogger Alexander Tashkinov wrote on Twitter. “It’s very easy to figure out that Russia is having elections tomorrow: Livejournal is down,” wrote Nadia Ivanova.

Livejournal was created by a US college student in 1999 but was purchased by a Russian media company SUP in 2007 after proving wildly popular with Russians using it for creative and political discussion, including by the opposition. It has helped launch several grassroots campaigns, such as the anti-corruption drive by Alexei Navalny, whose political notoriety started with his blog, or a motorists’ campaign against the officials’ misuse of flashing blue lights to bypass traffic regulations.

In April, a series of DDoS attacks lasted several days, prompting some popular bloggers to suggest that the authorities were orchestrating a cyberwar to silence free political discussion. “The attack on it is preparation for parliamentary and presidential elections,” opposition politician Boris Nemtsov said in April. “It’s pure politics.”

(Source: AFP)

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WikiLeaks founder says governments ‘curbing’ freedoms
December 3rd, 2011 – 17:41 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said today that governments worldwide are curbing personal liberty, privacy and free speech by misusing technology. “Bulk surveillance of entire nations is on,” Assange said in an address from Britain via video to a media conference in New Delhi.

The whistle-blower, who is living under strict bail conditions at the house of a wealthy supporter, said governments in some countries are “sucking out” data from emails and Internet transactions and passing on this “economic intelligence” to retail outlets and other organisations. “We are giving away an extraordinary degree of our liberty about our life,” said Assange.

The comments came after Assange launched his website’s new project earlier in the week – the publication of files he claims show a global industry that gives dictatorships and democracies alike tools to spy on their citizens. The latest WikiLeaks files detail the activities of about 160 companies in 25 countries which develop technologies to allow the tracking and monitoring of individuals by their mobile phones, email and Internet browsing histories. Assange also alleged that the Chinese had hacked into the computer system of India’s federal policy agency, the Central Bureau of Information, and were extracting information for its own purposes.

(Source: AFP)

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Former Arrow Dutch FM licence to be re-advertised
December 2nd, 2011 – 21:48 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

An additional nationwide FM licence for commercial broadcasting in the Netherlands will be re-advertised in 2012. The frequencies are the ones occupied by Arrow Classic Rock until March 2009.

At present a number of frequencies in the package are in use temporarily by other stations as a result of the current reception problems of public and commercial radio stations in the northern Netherlands. These problems arose on 15 July when part of the tower collapsed in Smilde. The tower is being rebuilt, but is not expected to be in service until October 2012.

The plan is to re-advertise the licence in spring 2012. If the successful applicant wishes to start broadcasting before all the frequencies are available, this will be allowed, and the remaining frequencies will be added as soon as possible.

(Source: Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands)

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International Radio and Television of Equatorial Guinea goes live on the Web
December 2nd, 2011 – 16:56 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
1 comment

Equatorial Guinea has officially launched its International Radio and Television broadcasting system on the Web. The online portal’s programmes will cover the West African nation’s most important news and use live streaming to make it easier for Equatoguineans around the world to obtain information about events in their country.

The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism sees this initiative as a strong contribution to the nation’s effort to reach out beyond its borders. “There are many Guineans who live in other parts of the world,” said Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro. “We wanted to inform them, along with those interested in the country, about major events that are occurring at home like the African Summit.”

The government of Equatorial Guinea is making efforts to improve telecommunications in the country as a part of its overall plan to develop its infrastructure. The online streaming of its International Radio and Television will be carried out by the company GMS/UVEAUVEGE, which has the necessary technology for the live broadcast. The broadcast is transmitted to Spain via satellite and then relayed to a streaming server that distributes it online.

“We hope to continue to move forward in our efforts to increase public interest in Equatorial Guinea,” said Minister Osa Ecoro.

(Source: TVGE Internacional)

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EBU drive will bring Hybrid TV into European homes in 2012
December 2nd, 2011 – 16:46 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
3 comments

More than 20 European Broadcasting Union (EBU) members* have agreed to collaborate to unlock the full potential of Hybrid TV for a European rollout of the technology in 2012. The announcement came as the EBU opened its 67th General Assembly yesterday, at the EBU headquarters, in Geneva.

‘Hybrid’ or ‘Connected TV’ combines traditional viewing with the added value of the internet and smart device applications for an enhanced media experience. This group of public service broadcasters will exchange best practices and support one another to push through a fast, comprehensive rollout of hybrid television services by EBU Members in 2012.

Underpinning the cooperation is the shared conviction that only high quality, creative content can breathe life into the promise of hybrid technology, and only a flexible, cross-border approach will create the necessary impetus. In signing up to the Hybrid TV project, these EBU Members make a commitment both to open standards, like HbbTV, MHP and MHEG5, and to delivering a compelling new experience to their audiences.

The EBU will host a Creative Content Workshop on 3 February 2012 to enable all EBU Members to share experiences and ideas for hybrid applications. A new “interactive group” of creative experts from EBU Member organizations will oversee the sustainable exchange of best practice and innovation in the hybrid sphere.

* Participating EBU Members are ARMTV (Armenia); ORF (Austria); RTBF (Belgium); HRT (Croatia); CyBC (Cyprus); Czech TV (Czech Republic); DR (Denmark); YLE (Finland); France Télévisions (France); ARD and ZDF (Germany); MTV Magyar Radio (Hungary); RTE (Ireland); RAI (Italy); RTCG (Montenegro); NPO (Netherlands); NRK (Norway); TVP (Poland); TVR (Romania); Rozhlas (Slovakia); RTVSLO (Slovenia); RTVE (Spain); TRT (Turkey); NTU (Ukraine).

(Source: EBU)

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Eutelsat to standardise names of its satellite fleet
December 2nd, 2011 – 16:35 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

Eutelsat Communications has announced that from 1 March 2012 it will be unifying the names of its satellites around the established Eutelsat brand. From this date, the Group’s satellites will take the Eutelsat name associated with the relevant figure for their orbital position and a letter indicating their order of arrival at that position. This new system has been devised to support Eutelsat’s efforts to communicate its satellite branding and deployment in a consistent and homogenous way.

The logical pattern Eutelsat has selected will enable its growing community of users across all markets to immediately identify where a satellite is located – a key metric in the commercial satellite sector – and its chronology at the neighbourhood it occupies. Current in-orbit satellites will for example be renamed as follows:

W6 at 21.5° East will become Eutelsat 21A.

To ensure clarity, satellites located at Eutelsat’s four ‘West’ positions will include West in their name. For example:

Atlantic Bird™ 2 will become Eutelsat 8 West A.

Eutelsat’s Hot Bird™ brand, which over 20 years has acquired a high and established reputation in the satellite TV industry, will be retained. It will be more closely associated with the Eutelsat name and adopt the numbering system to be implemented for all other satellites. For example Hot Bird™ 6 will become Eutelsat Hot Bird 13A. The same pattern will apply to KA-SAT.

Commenting on the new system, Andrew Wallace, Eutelsat Chief Commercial officer said: “We strive to associate the Eutelsat brand with customer service, engineering excellence and market-leading innovation. Associating the names of our satellites with our Group name and its heritage reflect this vision and mission. As we continue our push for further in-orbit expansion, with six satellites to be launched from 2012 to 2014, this new naming programme will enhance the awareness and understanding of our commercial offer.”

In order to minimise any possible disruption for business partners, Eutelsat has decided on a three-month preparation period, from 1 December 2011 to 1 March 2012. This will allow appropriate time to plan for the change so that the switch on 1 March 2012 can be seamless and smooth for all stakeholders. Until this date Eutelsat’s current satellite names will continue to be used.

(Source: Eutelsat)

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Recordings of David Monson (Brussels Calling) online
December 2nd, 2011 – 16:28 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

As we reported earlier this week, Radio Vlaanderen International will close on 31 December. For the past few years, RVi broadcast only in Dutch, but in what Keith Perron of PCJ Media calls ‘the golden era’, the station had just as big a following as many other international broadcasters. One aspect of the International Service that people remember well was when David Monson hosted Brussels Calling. David could just sit in front of the microphone and make anything come alive.

During his time as host of Brussels Calling he released an album of some of his best monologues. I was fortunate enough to know David personally, and I still have a copy of the album. But many younger people will not have heard them. Keith Perron of PCJ Media has digitised the recordings, and made them available online. They include what is widely considered to be the best of all David’s broadcasts, entitled ‘In Flanders Fields (To those who fell)’. He did not have a script – he rarely ever did – and what you hear is completely spontaneous. At the time, this type of live international broadcasting was a rarity.

Links to each of the recordings are on this page.
http://www.pcjmedia.com/home/1-latest-news/159-david-monson-on-belgium-radio-international

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China Radio International celebrates 70th anniversary
December 3rd, 2011 – 17:52 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

China Radio International (CRI) held a high-profile ceremony in Beijing today, marking the 70th anniversary of its founding. More than 700 people, including the country’s major publicity officials, foreign ambassadors in China, foreign audience representatives and CRI employee representatives attended the ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People.

Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, praised CRI’s 70 years of service in a congratulatory letter which read: “CRI has become an important window for China to know the world and for the world to understand China, and has become an important platform for China’s overseas publicity.” Mr Li also urged CRI to build a top-ranking international media group. Mr Li hoped that CRI would adapt to the features and demands of international communication, and enhance the pertinence and effectiveness of overseas publicity, making it more attractive and able to touch the hearts of audiences.

Liu Yunshan, head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, also made remarks at the ceremony. He saluted staff members who had made great contributions to China’s overseas broadcasting efforts and praised CRI as a driving force in overseas broadcasting. He also called on CRI to accelerate the establishment of a modern, comprehensive and innovative international media group.

“CRI must be brave in shouldering responsibilities, carrying out reform and innovation, promoting a modern international broadcasting system, forming a modern, comprehensive and innovative media group, and supporting public opinion to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects.” Mr Liu said.

Wang Gengnian, Director-general of CRI, recalled CRI’s 70-year history in his speech at the ceremony and called on company employees to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges in an effort to write a new chapter in international communications.

On December 3, 1941, the Yan’an New China Radio Station started a radio programme in Japanese, marking the birth of China’s overseas broadcasting cause. As China’s only state-owned overseas broadcaster, CRI currently boasts the greatest number of language services among international media around the globe. CRI disseminates information in 61 languages via a wide range of means, including radio, television, newspapers, internet and mobile phones.

(Source: CRI)

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Russian bloggers fume over pre-election cyber attacks
December 3rd, 2011 – 17:45 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
No comments yet

Russian bloggers complained today as the most popular blogging website Livejournal was down for the third consecutive day, with some alleging the cyberattack had been timed to prevent people from discussing Sunday’s vote. The website had been down repeatedly since Monday, with the service administrators explaining it as a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), which overloads a website’s bandwidth by making thousands of computers access it repeatedly.

“Yes, they are still attacking. They must have a mountain of money,” head of Livejournal Ilya Dronov wrote on his Twitter blog today as people inundated him with complaints that they were not able to access their accounts. “One could predict that they would down Livejournal before the elections,” another Livejournal employee and popular blogger Rustem Adagamov wrote earlier this week. “And so they have, unfortunately.” “At least now we know where these attacks stem from,” he wrote, though without further explanation.

Other bloggers seemed sure that the attacks were organised by the government. “Livejournal is down. I wonder which section of the budget is paying for the DDoS,” blogger Alexander Tashkinov wrote on Twitter. “It’s very easy to figure out that Russia is having elections tomorrow: Livejournal is down,” wrote Nadia Ivanova.

Livejournal was created by a US college student in 1999 but was purchased by a Russian media company SUP in 2007 after proving wildly popular with Russians using it for creative and political discussion, including by the opposition. It has helped launch several grassroots campaigns, such as the anti-corruption drive by Alexei Navalny, whose political notoriety started with his blog, or a motorists’ campaign against the officials’ misuse of flashing blue lights to bypass traffic regulations.

In April, a series of DDoS attacks lasted several days, prompting some popular bloggers to suggest that the authorities were orchestrating a cyberwar to silence free political discussion. “The attack on it is preparation for parliamentary and presidential elections,” opposition politician Boris Nemtsov said in April. “It’s pure politics.”

(Source: AFP)

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WikiLeaks founder says governments ‘curbing’ freedoms
December 3rd, 2011 – 17:41 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said today that governments worldwide are curbing personal liberty, privacy and free speech by misusing technology. “Bulk surveillance of entire nations is on,” Assange said in an address from Britain via video to a media conference in New Delhi.

The whistle-blower, who is living under strict bail conditions at the house of a wealthy supporter, said governments in some countries are “sucking out” data from emails and Internet transactions and passing on this “economic intelligence” to retail outlets and other organisations. “We are giving away an extraordinary degree of our liberty about our life,” said Assange.

The comments came after Assange launched his website’s new project earlier in the week – the publication of files he claims show a global industry that gives dictatorships and democracies alike tools to spy on their citizens. The latest WikiLeaks files detail the activities of about 160 companies in 25 countries which develop technologies to allow the tracking and monitoring of individuals by their mobile phones, email and Internet browsing histories. Assange also alleged that the Chinese had hacked into the computer system of India’s federal policy agency, the Central Bureau of Information, and were extracting information for its own purposes.

(Source: AFP)

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Former Arrow Dutch FM licence to be re-advertised
December 2nd, 2011 – 21:48 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
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An additional nationwide FM licence for commercial broadcasting in the Netherlands will be re-advertised in 2012. The frequencies are the ones occupied by Arrow Classic Rock until March 2009.

At present a number of frequencies in the package are in use temporarily by other stations as a result of the current reception problems of public and commercial radio stations in the northern Netherlands. These problems arose on 15 July when part of the tower collapsed in Smilde. The tower is being rebuilt, but is not expected to be in service until October 2012.

The plan is to re-advertise the licence in spring 2012. If the successful applicant wishes to start broadcasting before all the frequencies are available, this will be allowed, and the remaining frequencies will be added as soon as possible.

(Source: Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands)

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International Radio and Television of Equatorial Guinea goes live on the Web
December 2nd, 2011 – 16:56 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
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Equatorial Guinea has officially launched its International Radio and Television broadcasting system on the Web. The online portal’s programmes will cover the West African nation’s most important news and use live streaming to make it easier for Equatoguineans around the world to obtain information about events in their country.

The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism sees this initiative as a strong contribution to the nation’s effort to reach out beyond its borders. “There are many Guineans who live in other parts of the world,” said Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro. “We wanted to inform them, along with those interested in the country, about major events that are occurring at home like the African Summit.”

The government of Equatorial Guinea is making efforts to improve telecommunications in the country as a part of its overall plan to develop its infrastructure. The online streaming of its International Radio and Television will be carried out by the company GMS/UVEAUVEGE, which has the necessary technology for the live broadcast. The broadcast is transmitted to Spain via satellite and then relayed to a streaming server that distributes it online.

“We hope to continue to move forward in our efforts to increase public interest in Equatorial Guinea,” said Minister Osa Ecoro.

(Source: TVGE Internacional)

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EBU drive will bring Hybrid TV into European homes in 2012
December 2nd, 2011 – 16:46 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
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More than 20 European Broadcasting Union (EBU) members* have agreed to collaborate to unlock the full potential of Hybrid TV for a European rollout of the technology in 2012. The announcement came as the EBU opened its 67th General Assembly yesterday, at the EBU headquarters, in Geneva.

‘Hybrid’ or ‘Connected TV’ combines traditional viewing with the added value of the internet and smart device applications for an enhanced media experience. This group of public service broadcasters will exchange best practices and support one another to push through a fast, comprehensive rollout of hybrid television services by EBU Members in 2012.

Underpinning the cooperation is the shared conviction that only high quality, creative content can breathe life into the promise of hybrid technology, and only a flexible, cross-border approach will create the necessary impetus. In signing up to the Hybrid TV project, these EBU Members make a commitment both to open standards, like HbbTV, MHP and MHEG5, and to delivering a compelling new experience to their audiences.

The EBU will host a Creative Content Workshop on 3 February 2012 to enable all EBU Members to share experiences and ideas for hybrid applications. A new “interactive group” of creative experts from EBU Member organizations will oversee the sustainable exchange of best practice and innovation in the hybrid sphere.

* Participating EBU Members are ARMTV (Armenia); ORF (Austria); RTBF (Belgium); HRT (Croatia); CyBC (Cyprus); Czech TV (Czech Republic); DR (Denmark); YLE (Finland); France Télévisions (France); ARD and ZDF (Germany); MTV Magyar Radio (Hungary); RTE (Ireland); RAI (Italy); RTCG (Montenegro); NPO (Netherlands); NRK (Norway); TVP (Poland); TVR (Romania); Rozhlas (Slovakia); RTVSLO (Slovenia); RTVE (Spain); TRT (Turkey); NTU (Ukraine).

(Source: EBU)

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Eutelsat to standardise names of its satellite fleet
December 2nd, 2011 – 16:35 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
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Eutelsat Communications has announced that from 1 March 2012 it will be unifying the names of its satellites around the established Eutelsat brand. From this date, the Group’s satellites will take the Eutelsat name associated with the relevant figure for their orbital position and a letter indicating their order of arrival at that position. This new system has been devised to support Eutelsat’s efforts to communicate its satellite branding and deployment in a consistent and homogenous way.

The logical pattern Eutelsat has selected will enable its growing community of users across all markets to immediately identify where a satellite is located – a key metric in the commercial satellite sector – and its chronology at the neighbourhood it occupies. Current in-orbit satellites will for example be renamed as follows:

W6 at 21.5° East will become Eutelsat 21A.

To ensure clarity, satellites located at Eutelsat’s four ‘West’ positions will include West in their name. For example:

Atlantic Bird™ 2 will become Eutelsat 8 West A.

Eutelsat’s Hot Bird™ brand, which over 20 years has acquired a high and established reputation in the satellite TV industry, will be retained. It will be more closely associated with the Eutelsat name and adopt the numbering system to be implemented for all other satellites. For example Hot Bird™ 6 will become Eutelsat Hot Bird 13A. The same pattern will apply to KA-SAT.

Commenting on the new system, Andrew Wallace, Eutelsat Chief Commercial officer said: “We strive to associate the Eutelsat brand with customer service, engineering excellence and market-leading innovation. Associating the names of our satellites with our Group name and its heritage reflect this vision and mission. As we continue our push for further in-orbit expansion, with six satellites to be launched from 2012 to 2014, this new naming programme will enhance the awareness and understanding of our commercial offer.”

In order to minimise any possible disruption for business partners, Eutelsat has decided on a three-month preparation period, from 1 December 2011 to 1 March 2012. This will allow appropriate time to plan for the change so that the switch on 1 March 2012 can be seamless and smooth for all stakeholders. Until this date Eutelsat’s current satellite names will continue to be used.

(Source: Eutelsat)

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Recordings of David Monson (Brussels Calling) online
December 2nd, 2011 – 16:28 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
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As we reported earlier this week, Radio Vlaanderen International will close on 31 December. For the past few years, RVi broadcast only in Dutch, but in what Keith Perron of PCJ Media calls ‘the golden era’, the station had just as big a following as many other international broadcasters. One aspect of the International Service that people remember well was when David Monson hosted Brussels Calling. David could just sit in front of the microphone and make anything come alive.

During his time as host of Brussels Calling he released an album of some of his best monologues. I was fortunate enough to know David personally, and I still have a copy of the album. But many younger people will not have heard them. Keith Perron of PCJ Media has digitised the recordings, and made them available online. They include what is widely considered to be the best of all David’s broadcasts, entitled ‘In Flanders Fields (To those who fell)’. He did not have a script – he rarely ever did – and what you hear is completely spontaneous. At the time, this type of live international broadcasting was a rarity.

Links to each of the recordings are on this page.

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Britain fines Iran’s Press TV
December 1st, 2011 – 14:35 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
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Britain’s broadcasting watchdog said today it had slapped Iran’s Press TV with a heavy fine, leading the English-language channel to accuse the British royal family of trying to silence it. Ofcom fined the state-run outlet £100,000 ($156,000, 117,000 euros) for showing an interview in 2009 with Maziar Bahari, an imprisoned journalist for US magazine Newsweek.

The regulator said it had also considered revoking the channel’s licence but had instead decided to give it 35 days to transfer the licence to its Tehran headquarters from its London office. An Ofcom spokesman said it was the biggest fine that it had imposed for the type of offence.

The independent regulator said Press TV had invaded Bahari’s privacy while filming the interview without his consent while he was in detention during protests in Iran in 2009, and that its treatment of him was biased. The announcement comes amid a diplomatic crisis following the storming of the British embassy in Iran, with the British government expelling all Iranian diplomats from London and closing its mission in Tehran.

Ofcom however said there was no political influence from Britain’s Foreign Office on its decision not to revoke the Press TV licence. “We reject any claims that we’ve been influenced by them (the Foreign Office),” the Ofcom spokesman told AFP.

The Iranian broadcaster accused the regulator of a “paradoxical” move and accused it of “threats to close down Press TV.”

“Independent analysts say Ofcom is under mounting pressure from the British royal family to silence Press TV’s critical voice,” Press TV said in a statement on its website, which was posted on Tuesday.  “The British royal family exercises an overarching power over all branches in the political system of the country, including the government and the parliament, as well as on Ofcom.” Buckingham Palace was not immediately available for comment.

(Source: AFP)

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Internal conflict forces Georgia’s Maestro TV off air
November 30th, 2011 – 15:06 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
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Tbilisi-based Maestro TV’s broadcasting was suspended on this morning after a conflict between the owners of the station and founder of its managing firm Erosi Kitsmarishvili.

Mamuka Glonti, founder of Maestro TV and owner of its 15% shares, said that this morning Mr Kitsmarishvili, accompanied by about ten unknown persons “broke into the television station’s premises and occupied it” not allowing the TV station’s staff to go inside and work.

Read the full story from civil.ge

Broadcasts resumed a few hours later. After occupying the building, Mr Kitsmarishvili released a statement that he had sacked the director general of the company and one of the producers.

Read the story from News.Az

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Latin America: community radio stations under attack
November 30th, 2011 – 14:54 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
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Community radio stations across Latin America are increasingly faced with problems of censorship and physical violence. Reporters Without Borders has issued an alert, drawing attention to the increasing attacks on these stations during October and November. The problem is especially alarming in three countries: Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

The causes, and those responsible for the attacks, vary from country to country. In Argentina, the interests of land owners contrast sharply with those of the community radio stations that defend the rights of small farmers. In Bolivia the attacks stem from national institutions and political powers. In Chile, attacks tend to come from other media that do not respect the work of these small stations.

However, the common problem in all these countries is the inadequacy and inefficiency of media regulation. This lack of adequate legislation is at odds with the many community radio stations that exist in the region.

Latin America has so many community radio stations because they give a voice to minorities and social sectors that have been “forgotten” for decades and left out of the public debate, despite representing the views of a large proportion of the population. In virtually no Latin American country is the right to freedom of expression guaranteed, so they are defenseless against attacks.

The purpose of the alert that Reporters Without Borders has launched is to offer solutions and ways for these stations to resume their work. They are non-profit radio stations, owned by communities or social movements, campesinos and indigenous people, among others, that defend freedom of expression, protection of the environment and the interests of the most disadvantaged sectors of society.

(Source: RNW Latin American Department)

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China’s first 3D television channel launches in January
November 30th, 2011 – 13:26 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
1 comment

China’s first 3D television channel will air on a trial basis on 1 January 2012, and go into official operation during the upcoming Lunar New Year Festival in late January, according to government authorities.

“We have officially started preparations for the country’s first experimental 3D TV channel and have issued two technical guidelines on the production and airing of 3D television programs and 3D television signal transmission,” Cai Fuchao, head of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said today.

According to Mr Cai, the channel will be launched through the joint efforts of six TV stations, including China Central Television.

(Source: China Radio International)

Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal will close on 31 Dec
November 30th, 2011 – 13:01 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
7 comments

Guido Schotmans writes: Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal (RVi) will cease to exist after 31 December 2011. That also means that the Wolvertem transmitter (near Brussels) operating on 927 kHz will be switched off on 31 December at 23:59:59 hours local time. Norkring is the owner of the transmitter. It is unclear if they will put airtime on the market for rent. Mails to them are left unanswered. But I think the transmitter is in bad shape. It is left on the air at night with unmodulated carrier since several weeks ago. We have seen this too during extremely cold periods in recent winters. So I think there are no plans to use the site for other purposes.

On RVi’s website will only be mentioned that the service has ceased while Radio 1 and 2 are now available worldwide via the internet and satellite.

Here are a few pictures of the antennas at Wolvertem :



http://www.project208.com/belgium-meise-wolvertem-drijpikkelstraat-pictures.html

In Google Maps : http://g.co/maps/6h5ad

and in Bing Maps : http://bit.ly/tIlTQK

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