What Next for Shortwave? BBG Wants to Hear
What role should shortwave radio play in the mix of civilian media supporting
U.S. national security and foreign policy?
Broadcasting Board of Governors is asking for opinions on that.
“We are particularly interested to hear views that consider
the evolving media consumption of target audiences, changing access to
shortwave and other platforms, and the need to prioritize in an austere federal budget
environment,” writes Matthew C. Armstrong, who chairs a BBG
Special Committee on the Future of Shortwave Broadcasting.
and broadcast experts have argued for years about what part shortwave should
play as newer media platforms proliferate and consumer habits change.
Proponents often point to shortwave’s ability to avoid local censorship and to reach
listeners who may not have smartphones or Internet access. Critics say
shortwave radio’s infrastructure has become too costly to maintain and no
longer reflects modern consumption habits.
wants “external experts and stakeholders” to send ideas via
e-mail to ShortwaveCommittee@bbg.gov
by March 14. It asked that comments be limited to 1,200
words or fewer.
recently established the committee and charged it with reviewing
use of shortwave radio “as a distribution platform, the
associated costs, and the likely reliance on it by next-generation audiences.” Armstrong said public
comments will help as the group prepares its recommendations.
He added: “The BBG is committed to sustaining
shortwave broadcasting to regions where a critical need for the platform