Radio Australia

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ABC Radio Australia
Type Radio network
Country Australia
Availability International
Owner Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Key people
Mike McCluskey (CEO)
Official website
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

Radio Australia is the international broadcasting and online service operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Australia's public broadcaster.

History[edit]

Shortwave services from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation were inaugurated in December 1939 by Prime Minister Robert Menzies.[1]

One of the functions of Australian shortwave broadcasting was to counter Axis powers propaganda, particularly that of the Japanese. However, the ABC's transmitters were much weaker than the Japanese or German services. The transmitter of Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) (AWA) near Sydney had 10 kilowatts (kW) of power, and stations VLR and VLW had 2 kW each.[2]

In 1941, following consultation between the British and Australian governments, a transmitter site in Shepparton, Victoria was selected, in part because of a flat landscape and soil conductivity. The site was completed in 1944 with one 50 kW and two 100 kW transmitters. The station was then formally named Radio Australia.[3]

It had a considerable range of broadcasts to the Asian region in the 1970s and 1980s, however in the late 1990s political influence on its broadcasting range and programming limited its Asian spread.[citation needed] In recent years Radio Australia programs have also become available via the internet. These services are streamed from machines hosted by Akamai Technologies in Steinsel, Luxembourg ensuring good network connectivity for listeners in Europe.

Target areas[edit]

Radio Australia's signal is primarily aimed at the Asia-Pacific region. It broadcasts in multiple languages, namely English, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Khmer, French, Burmese, and Tok Pisin (a creole language commonly spoken in Papua New Guinea). A daily Pacific news bulletin is podcast in French.[4] Though Radio Australia does not directly target North America or Europe via shortwave, some of its transmissions can be heard in these areas.

Radio Australia can also be heard on CBC Radio across Canada during their overnight broadcast.[5] The station resumed Fiji transmission through negotiations with the Ministry of Information and the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) in July 2012. Radio Australia can be heard on 106.6FM in main cities of Fiji.[6]

Current market situation[edit]

There have been many changes and alterations in the international media market in recent years. One notable change is the move to new media and online content, such as digital radio, digital television, podcasting, and vodcasting.

Of the key markets that Radio Australia operates in, each market segment is at different stages of growth and requires marketing information specific to those markets for sustainable strategic plans to be developed that focus on product, packaging, placement, and promotion.

There are two key industry wide trends that affect the nature of Radio Australia’s operations:

  1. Technology changes: changes within the radio/media broadcasting industry means that Radio Australia now faces greater competition, as the number of delivery platforms has increased;
  2. Asian and Pacific affluence: deregulated media environments across Southeast Asia, together with greater wealth and education, continue to drive the demand for diversified content, such as English lessons, and more defined information about Australian life or stronger understanding of Australian perspectives in issues.

Sources of programming[edit]

Radio Australia's English language programs consist of material produced by ABC Radio Australia, and also other ABC radio networks such as ABC Local Radio, ABC Radio National, ABC Classic FM, Triple J, Triple J Unearthed, ABC Grandstand and ABC NewsRadio.

Programming output (1950–1996)[edit]

For a comparison of RA to other broadcasters see:

Estimated total direct programme hours per week of some external radio broadcasters for 1996
Broadcaster 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 1996[2]
United States VOA, RFE/RL & Radio Martí 497 1,495 1,907 1,901 2,611 1,821
China China Radio International 66 687 1,267 1,350 1,515 1,620
United Kingdom BBC World Service 643 589 723 719 796 1,036
Russia Radio Moscow / Voice of Russia[1][3] 533 1,015 1,908 2,094 1,876 726
Germany Deutsche Welle 0 315 779 804 848 655
Egypt Radio Cairo (ERTU) 0 301 540 546 605 604
Iran IRIB World Service / Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran 12 24 155 175 400 575
India All India Radio 116 157 271 389 456 500
Japan NHK World Radio Japan 0 203 259 259 343 468
France Radio France Internationale 198 326 200 125 379 459
Netherlands Radio Netherlands Worldwide[1] 127 178 335 289 323 392
Israel Israel Radio International[1] 0 91 158 210 253 365
Turkey Voice of Turkey 40 77 88 199 322 364
North Korea Radio Pyongyang / Voice of Korea 0 159 330 597 534 364
Bulgaria Radio Bulgaria[1] 30 117 164 236 320 338
Australia Radio Australia 181 257 350 333 330 307
Albania Radio Tirana (RTSH) 26 63 487 560 451 303
Romania Radio Romania International 30 159 185 198 199 298
Spain Radio Exterior de España 68 202 251 239 403 270
Portugal RDP Internacional[1] 46 133 295 214 203 226
Cuba Radio Havana Cuba 0 0 320 424 352 203
Italy Rai Italia Radio[1] 170 205 165 169 181 203
Canada Radio Canada International[1] 85 80 98 134 195 175
Poland Radio Polonia[1] 131 232 334 337 292 171
South Africa Radio RSA / Channel Africa 0 63 150 183 156 159
Sweden Sveriges Radio International[1] 28 114 140 155 167 149
Hungary Magyar Rádió[1] 76 120 105 127 102 144
Czech Republic Radio Prague[4] 119 196 202 255 131 131
Nigeria Voice of Nigeria 0 0 62 170 120 127
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Radio Belgrade / International Radio of Serbia 80 70 76 72 96 68

Source: International Broadcast Audience Research, June 1996

The list includes about a quarter of the world's external broadcasters whose output is both publicly funded and worldwide. Among those excluded are Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and various international commercial and religious stations.

Notes:

  1. Does not broadcast on shortwave as of 2014.
  2. 1996 figures as at June; all other years as at December.
  3. Before 1991, broadcasting for the former USSR.
  4. Before 1996, broadcasting for the former Czechoslovakia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ahern, Steve. Making Radio: A Practical Guide to Working in Radio . 2000, Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-876351-07-1, p. 6
  2. ^ Wood, James. History of International Broadcasting. 2000, IET. ISBN 0-85296-920-1, p. 169
  3. ^ Wood, 2000: 170
  4. ^ "Pacifique sans frontières". ABC Radio Australia. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "CBC Radio Overnight". CBC Radio Canada. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  6. ^ http://www.mediaspy.org/2012/07/10/radio-australia-returns-to-fiji/

External links[edit]