Sunday, March 27, 2011

End Of An Era...

A brief requiem for the BBC 648 kHz MW service to Europe. Another victim of the British Conservative Government Budget cuts. It abruptly ceased at 1 am, CET.
The BBC also severely cut back on their Short Wave services and their foreign language broadcasting service. 
Sure, they tell you can still get it if you buy a digital radio or via your computer, but radio has been a part of so many peoples lives. So much of my childhood world view was formed by my link to the CBC and the stations from foreign planets where the aliens played Chicago Blues or Nashville Country which I could get on my old radio.  The BBC World Service has in fact been deteriorating for years now. It was once a vibrant, vital and innovative service. It's bold and independent editorial policy made it a force to be reckoned with. I suppose that is a part of what did it in. As with the Conservative repression of NPR in America, the BBC represented a platform for dissenting intelligent opinion. That came to a head with the Iraqi Invasion in 2003, when the editorial board of the BBC pushed the opinion and evidence that the Blair Government has "Sexed Up" the claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction ready to wreak havoc. This was the basis of the Blair Government's push to bring Britain into the Coalition. The ensuing events resulted in the evisceration of the BBC by Blair and much of the staff was fired or quit in protest. Now, the cream of the once proud, vital and independent BBC can be found working for Al Jazeera English, including Sir David Frost. I loved listening to BBC World on the 648 kHz Frequency for years on my little Grundig Yacht Boy 210. I listened as the quality of the programming deteriorated, the repeat, recycled broadcasts becoming more and more frequent, the world music programs began to disappear and the hilarious intellectual game shows with celebs like Stephen Frye was still the BBC. It's like losing an old friend.
Here's a shot of my old Grundig Yacht Boy 210 which I have had for years......Tinny sound, non digital, it will probably be working long after I am gone, if there's any one listening.

1 comment:

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

I have to agree with you on this one since it is an end of an era for me as well. I remember listening to news broadcasts from other countries and being able to connect to the BBC when abroad. Us public broadcasting is a pale comparison to other news sources--especially now that it is reliant upon coporate fundering in the form of quasi commercial underwriting.

I've gone through many short wave radios as well.

Unlike you, I am able to use the internet as a media player. I'm not sure how long that may last though, since most people are unaware of Network neutrality and how that is threatened by coporate interests.