The Enduring Importance of Shortwave for International by malj


									  Where do Social Media Leave
  Traditional Broadcast Media?

(The title on the programme)

Graham Mytton
CIBAR, Prague 2011
The Enduring Importance of
Shortwave for International

      (My more precise title!)

       Graham Mytton
      CIBAR Conference
         Prague 2011
1985        London                         1998        Paris 
                           List of CIBAR
1986        Paris          conferences     1999        Geneva 
1987        Hilversum                      2000        Cologne 
1988        Cologne                        2001        Washington
1989        Paris                          2002        Stockholm
1990        Madrid                         2003        Moscow 
1991        London actually in Jan 1992    2004        London
1992        Lisbon                         2005        Montreal
1993        Munich                         2006        Melbourne
1994        Berne                          2007         Paris 
1995        Washington                     2008         Manila  
1996         Prague                        2009        Bonn
1997        London                         2010        Amsterdam 
                                           2011        Prague
 “Shortwave broadcasting has been in
gradual but accelerating decline for
But traditional
radio has not
been replaced
   BBC Global Audience 2010
• 161 million weekly listeners
• In 1980 it was 100 million
• 53% of the global audience in 2010
  accessed BBC WS on shortwave. That
  was then 85 million listeners, the largest
  single group of BBC users on any
• This was in spite of massive cuts to
  shortwave over the previous decade
                  John Tusa, Managing
                  Director BBC World
                  Service 1986 - 1992

If shortwave had been or discovered
today instead of eight decades ago it
would be hailed as an amazing new
technology with great potential for the
world we live in today.
Access to locally retransmitted services
    can be and often are blocked
• Nigeria does not allow any local
  rebroadcasts of news
• Ivory Coast, Azerbaijan, both Congos and
  several other countries have blocked local
  rebroadcasts when local circumstances
  have changed and governments in these
  countries have not wanted outside
    Shortwave use declines when
   political circumstances change!
• In Portugal, Greece, Former Yugoslavia, former
  East European states and many others, when
  free media emerged, there was a massive fall in
  shortwave use
• But shortwave is still a major means of
  reception in many parts of the world. It is
  showing amazing vitality and survival
• It has survived massive cut backs and the
  talking down of it by many senior broadcasters
  who ought to know better!
Global Shortwave Access and Use
• 2 billion people in the world have access to at
  least one shortwave capable set at home
• 300 million people use shortwave on a weekly
  basis to access radio services
• When crises happen, as they often do, the
  number is increased many times over
• Shortwave use declines not because of new
  technologies but because of local political
• More freedom means less shortwave use!
•BBC World Service issued some promotional
postcards a few years ago
•It displayed them on the walls all around the
•The photos were of well known people,
including world leaders in business, politics,
entertainment, arts and more
•The main way these WS users listened in the
way they said they did was on shortwave.
•The photos soon had to be removed or
withdrawn. The BBC was cutting back on the
means whereby they could continue to listen
   Huge changes in technology
     over the past 20 years
• But another change has had as much, if not
  more, impact on human communications
• It has been the deregulation of media, especially
  broadcast media
• In 1996, when the process had been going for
  about 6 years I produced the following charts,
  showing how control on broadcast media had
  changed, globally and region by region with
  predictions for the next 6 years.
The charts show first what the situation was like in 1990, then
1996 and then a prediction for 2002

Monopoly means where radio and TV are under state control with
little or no exception. This situation was true in most countries in
Africa and Asia as well as communist states in Europe
Pluralist means where the state allows private radio and TV with
varying degrees of regulation but where independent voices are
Transitional means that a country is moving from Monopoly to
I think I showed this chart first in
1992. It plots weekly audiences
for any BBC WS listening against
the number of radio stations in
that country’s capital city. Clear
evidence that while a state
monopoly (with few radio
services) does not guarantee a
large audience, large audiences
are not achieved where there is a
lot of local choice
Now Obsolete
Satellite Dishes
These are in
Sierra Leone
Mobile Phones:
The fastest ever
growth in
Millions being spent on
further promotion and

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