BBC To End Shortwave Service to N. America

  • BBC To End Shortwave Service to N. America
    The LA Times reports that the BBC World Service plans to discontinue it’s broadcasts oriented towards N. America, in order to cut costs. Alternately, the BBC plans to rely on its Internet feed and on public stations that carry the World Service to reach the North American audience.

    I’m a big fan of the BBC World Service, and am sad to see them leave the North American shortwave band, but I do have to admit that I rarely listen on shortwave. Primarily I listen late at night on my local public radio station, which carries the BBC from 11pm to 5am. I also sometimes tune in on-line, but less often. Perhaps this is just an indicator of changes we see in front of us, but don’t take much note of. While this change is a loss, frankly, I don’t know too many people who listen to shortwave radio, and those who do are pretty connected folks, and are typically big Internet users, too. Radio certainly reaches the economically disadvantaged better than the Internet, but in the US it’s unlikely that shortwave radio has anything close to the popularity of AM or FM, especially with poor folks. In essence, for Americans shortwave radio is more of a niche medium than the Internet is. And if cutting off direct shortwave service to the US allows the BBC to continue broadcasts to areas of the world where the service is needed and used, like Africa or South America, then I guess it’s a pretty reasonable compromise.

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    One response to “BBC To End Shortwave Service to N. America”

    1. aidan Avatar

      is bbc back yet?

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