Rai Italia Radio

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Rai Internazionale Radio
Type Radio network
Country Italy
Availability International
Owner RAI through Rai Internazionale
Key people
Maurizio Imbriale (Head of the Rai International Internet project)
Launch date
July 1, 1930
Official website
[1]

Rai Internazionale Radio, formerly known as Rai Italia Radio, Rai International Radio, Rai Satelradio and Raitalia Radio, was the official international broadcast radio service of Rai Internazionale, a subsidiary owned by RAI, Italy's public broadcaster.

History[edit]

Rai Internazionale Radio has been broadcasting from Rome to the rest of the world for the past 72 years under various names.

In the 1930s Italy was one of the first countries to begin international shortwave broadcasts. Guglielmo Marconi, the man who invented radio, oversaw the construction of the first short-wave transmitter at Prato Smeraldo outside Rome on July 1, 1930. Four years later two more transmitters were completed and broadcasts began in English and Italian to North America. In 1935 broadcasting of programmes in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish began to South America.

In 1939, after the completion of six new transmitters, programmes in English were beamed to the Far East, Europe and countries around the Mediterranean. It is from the short-wave radio centre at Rome-Prato Smeraldo that all Rai International's programmes are broadcast.

During the Second World War to the original aim of linking Italy with the vast community of Italian migrants around the world were added the political and strategic motives for international broadcasting common to all the Great Powers, beginning with the former colonial nations: France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union and the United States. After Italy entered the war short-wave broadcasts were suspended following the armistice signed with the Allies on September 8, 1943, and were only resumed on September 3, 1946, with the broadcast of news bulletins in English, Italian, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

A 1962 law allocated management of international short-wave broadcasts, for which a special committee of the Cabinet Office is responsible, to state broadcaster Rai. As the years went by the programmes lost their character of official - sometimes even propaganda - broadcasts to become a news source that fully reflects the democratic nature of the Italian Republic. Today Radio Roma offers a comprehensive news service on Italian politics, society and culture, not least within the context of the European Union.

In 1975 the setting up of a special management section for foreign broadcasting and journalism laid the foundations for significant development of the sector. Subsequently the existing services for foreign broadcasting were expanded to include Rai International's new intercontinental television channels. In the near future Rai International is destined to be transformed into an autonomous company within state broadcaster Rai.

Last broadcasts[edit]

Each day Rai Internazionale's editorial team turned out ten editions of "Italia chiama Italia News" in Italian: this 25-minute news programme was designed for Italian listeners throughout the world.

The editorial team also produced "Racconto Italiano, Taccuino Italiano, Tutto di Prima and Storia e Storie

In many countries it was possible to receive several Rai Internazionale programmes or the entire programme schedule of Rai Internazionale through local radio stations that re-transmit the signal in their own zone, on AM, FM, short wave or via cable.

On October 1, 2007, all broadcasts on short wave were discontinued and foreign language services were closed. On december 31, 2011 Rai Internazionale Radio closed down its operations.

English news were transmitted as part of "Notturno Italiano" programme on medium wave until December 31, 2011.

Rai Internazionale Radio[edit]

Rai Internazionale Radio transmitted its channel online and on satellite, 24 hours. Thus the radio and news programmes produced by RAI was available to worldwide without any special technical devices (apart from a computer and Internet connection). Rai Internazionale Radio has broadcast the best of Rai International Radio and the three Radio Rai networks daily, 24 hours. Music, information and entertainment programmes, until its closing down on December 31, 2011.

Comparison[edit]

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[3][1] 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[1][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.

See also[edit]

  • RAI, Italy's publicly funded national broadcaster
  • Rai Italia, international television service run by Italy's national broadcaster

External links[edit]