The use of other platforms among shortwave broadcasters is a touchy subject for true believers. But for many in the shortwave world, the use of FM, online and other media is simple reality.
One manifestation of that shift: The approaching B11 HFCC/ASBU shortwave broadcasters conference in Dallas, Sept. 12–16, has announced an expansion of its agenda.
The High-Frequency Coordination Conference is a semi-annual gathering at which shortwave broadcast frequency schedules are coordinated. These meetings been going on since 1989 but this will be the first one in the United States. “B11” refers to the broadcast season that runs from October 2011 to March 2012.
Event organizers say the time has come to start addressing additional modes of delivering messages. Chairman of the HFCC Oldrich Cip recently wrote: “The merits of broadband delivery of media through the Internet or via mobile devices in comparison with the traditional delivery of TV and sound radio from terrestrial transmitters are frequently on the agenda of meetings and discussions of domestic broadcasters and broadcasting unions.
“Such an in-depth debate has been missing in international broadcasting circles. We are now ready to provide a forum and environment for such discussions.”
He continued: “We have accepted the fact that what was only one program distribution method only about 20 years ago has now been replaced by a multitude of technologies where media consumers and listeners are offered a whole range of distribution platforms.”
Cip extended an invitation to the conference for those who had reduced or stopped shortwave transmission and turned to alternative means. Peter White, chairman of the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters, one of the co-sponsors of the conference, noted the many “alternative delivery platforms” such as Internet, podcasts, local AM and FM rebroadcasting and satellite.
But organizers also stressed that one of the major themes of the conference will be the continuing importance of shortwave for international broadcasting.
The conference is expected to draw delegates from some 40 countries; it is co-sponsored by Texas-based transmitter maker Continental Electronics, which will provide a factory tour.
Addresses are planned by Dr. Dowell Chow, president of Adventist World Radio; Lauren Libby, president of Trans World Radio; and Charles Caudill, president of World Christian Broadcasting.