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Mad as hell...!

I have been an active shortwave listener for over 20 years and I am shocked saddened and devastated by the short sighted ill advised decision by the Canadian (and some other like minded) governments to slash their international presence on shortwave radio.

There seems to bee some fallacy that with Internet, satellite and local domestic relays, H.F. is redundant and you can save a few $100k or so per year by cutting it...

Really? Let's look at some facts:

Local relays via VHF or MW are one method of reaching listeners, but of course only in those countries with free and open medias and governments friendly to your own. Do you really think Saddam would have welcomed VOA/BBC/RCI delivering their message on local Iraqi/Kuwaiti TXers during the gulf war? Did not Boris Yeltsin comment that he kept in touch with what was happening in his own country via BBC on a portable shortwave radio during the Upheaval that saw him become leader in that country. So when the next trouble spot brews where will we be?

Anyway we in Australia are a friendly country to Canada, and there is no Satellite nor MW? VHF RCI service here! How can it be cheaper to set up lots of relays then a few well planned out and designed HF Txers!

Let us not forget that a large part of the world does NOT live in climate controlled homes with Satellite and internet capabilities, the majority I would venture live in 2nd or 3rd world conditions, where they do not have TV and internet, but almost every home or village in these places would have a radio, and nearly all with Shortwave built in.

They all have shortwave because in tropical climates the longer wavelength shortwave and ARE the local Broadcast bands due to atmospherics making MW unusable. So most cheap portable radios are built with Shortwave.

They cannot afford TV or internet or satellites (and lots DONT WANT THEM!), many are tribal or nomadic. However it would seem that these people do not count any more, and we do not care if they hear news of the world or just their own local media (governments?) propaganda.

After all they are not CONSUMERS are they? Internet Radio? Its a farce and does not work. Do you know of anyone who actually sits and listens to radio via internet? It theory....

Unless u have a very highspeed broadband connection the signal audio quality varies from only just listenable to digital garble. and if your computer is slow or busy doing something else the audio deteriorates even more. Its great if you have highspeed access, new highspeed PC and high Quality speakers and soundcard etc..lovely for those with high incomes in other words...sorry to the other 95%of the world we dont want to know you.

The audio on shortwave can be affected by static, sure, but nowhere near as often or as dramatically as Internet buffering and packet loss related audio breakup Besides who wants to sit infront of PC tying up you phone line just to hear the radio? I have radios! everyone has radios. we know how to use them.

So your beancounters have told you listeners are declining? Perhaps a better focus on programming would bring them back. Give people something to listen to and they will turn on.

If your news, features and music sounds like every other radio station in the world, then no one will bother listening. When I tune to radio Canada, its because I want to hear about Canada, I can read about the mid-east crisis and major world news anywhere. I can hear US/UK top 40 music anywhere.

What I want to know is what's happening in Canada: the items that are making your local newspapers but will never make the Australian media. While there is a place for you to give some coverage of international events, I believe the emphasis should be on "life and culture" in Canada.

Which is why "I'm Mad as hell and I'm not gunna take it!" (to quote Network) Radio Canada was in my top5 stations to listen to because it did tell me about your country, but now, with the cuts there will be less time for these insights and it will become another station which repeats the same headlines as every other station.. PLEASE REALISE YOU ARE MAKING A DREADFUL MISTAKE!

Regards Jem Cullen Sydney Australia