Radio Netherlands Worldwide: Wikis


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Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW, short for Radio Nederland Wereldomroep in Dutch) is a public radio and television network based in Hilversum, producing and transmitting programmes for international audiences outside the Netherlands. Radio Netherlands Worldwide has also distributed content via web and e-mail technology from as early as 1992.




Broadcasting to the Dutch Colonial Empire (1927-1939)

The Netherlands claims to have started the international broadcasting business, with regular transmissions starting in 1927 from the Philips shortwave stations PHOHI (in Dutch to the Dutch East Indies - now Indonesia) and PCJJ.

The international program on Sundays commenced in 1928 with host Eddie Startz. He spoke several languages, including English, German and Spanish and called the re-christened (by international convention) station PCJ, station Peace Cheer and Joy.

Prewar technical innovation

  • Broadcasts were considerably improved in 1937 with the construction of beam antennas supported by the world's first wooden antenna masts rotatable on two concentric circular rails at the transmitter site in Huizen.
  • Rotatable shortwave antennas were not in common use until the 1960s, so PCJ was far ahead of its time with its introduction of rotatable HRS type antennas.

Broadcasts from the Netherlands were interrupted by the German invasion in May 1940. The transmitters in Huizen were used for pro-Nazi broadcasts, some originating from Germany, others concerts from Dutch broadcasters under German control.

Broadcasting in exile (1940-1945)

The Dutch government in exile was granted air-time on BBC transmitters in 1941. The programme Radio Oranje was a daily commentary on the Dutch situation both in the Netherlands and the rest of the empire (Dutch East and West Indies). One of the chief commentators on Radio Oranje, Henk van den Broek, was given the task of re-starting public broadcasting once the country was liberated.

The postwar era (1946-1989)

He began Radio Herrijzend Nederland in 1946 (from Eindhoven), moving the studios to Hilversum later the same year. The plan was to re-start broadcasting along the lines of the BBC. Whilst this succeeded for the new external service, Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, political pressure led to the re-establishment of the complicated system of broadcasting societies sharing airtime on domestic networks.[citation needed]

The Internet age (1990-present)

Radio Netherlands Worldwide has always been editorially independent from the Dutch government, being funded as around 6% of the public allocation for public broadcasting. Despite severe budget cutbacks in 2004, the station has maintained its standing as one of the more creative production houses in Europe. It also supports the development of new technology, such as webcasting, podcasting and Digital Radio Mondiale, which may ultimately replace analogue shortwave in many regions of the world. Recently it has been under attack by members of parliament for its alleged blatant left-wing bias.[citation needed]

It was recently announced that the English-language shortwave broadcasts to North America will be discontinued by October 26, 2008, due to a survey that claimed that more listeners to the network were using the "podcasting" service instead of shortwave radios.

Shortwave relay stations

The shortwave international broadcasts are heard worldwide via broadcast facilities in Flevoland, Bonaire and Madagascar. In the last decade, the shortwave broadcasts have been supplemented by an extensive network of partner stations. In 2005, this was approximately 5500 partners, of which half are partners that use the station's music output (classical, jazz and world music).

There is speech programming on shortwave and satellite in the Dutch, English, Spanish, Indonesian, French and Papiamento languages. Additionally, there are programme productions and websites in French, Arabic and Mandarin. Certain programmes are heard on local/national networks, such as CBC Radio, ABC NewsRadio and SAfm.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide has a weekly reach through all its language services, and music programmes, of around 50 million listeners a week.

Studio Radio Nederland

RNW historical output (1950-1996)

For a comparison of RNW to other broadcasters see

Selected programmes on the English Service

The Happy Station Show was a long-running popular radio show, originating on the network's predecessors in 1928 and continued until 1995. Popular music from Europe and various other countries was mixed with vintage recordings and multilingual chatter, switching back and forth between English, Spanish and Dutch, by hosts including long serving Eddie Startz and Tom Meijer each Sunday. It became popular since it gave listeners a chance to travel in their armchair during a period when international travel was impossible for most people. It also pioneered call-in shows, in both the English and Spanish versions, during the latter part of the 1970s.

Media Network/DX Juke Box. The media show on Radio Netherlands Worldwide ran on the English service from its inception in 1961 with Derek Jordan and Jim Vastenhoud, through to May 7, 1981 when the name and format was changed to Media Network. The music was originally designed to attract younger listeners to technical features, with a lot of emphasis in the early days on DX tips and technical articles. There were also DX Courses on basic electronics and propagation during the 1960s and 1970s. When host Jonathan Marks took over in August 1980, he re-launched the show less than one year later by adding news/topical features and eliminating the music. Media Network ran successfully for more than 1000 editions, before it migrated to a full time website/weblog in October 2000.

The State We're In, a coproduction with American public radio station WAMU-FM, is a program about "human rights, human wrongs and how we treat each other".

See also

External links


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