China’s international radio service, China Radio International (CRI) has taken over some of ABC Radio Australia’s old shortwave radio frequencies in the Pacific.
The national broadcaster ended its shortwave services last year in favour of delivering its content on new platforms, which resulted in savings of $1.9 million.
CRI has picked up at least two frequencies that broadcast into the Pacific: 9580khz and 7240khz.
Labor’s spokeswoman for international development Claire Moore told the ABC she was not surprised Chinese services snapped up Australia’s old frequencies and that the government has “dropped the ball” on international shortwave diplomacy:
“It was always an issue to see if shortwave was available, if it was being used and we weren’t using it, that other players would come into the space.”
Asked why the Government should take responsibility for the ABC’s decision, she said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade accepted the broadcaster’s decision, and did not believe it was necessary to inject more resources into maintaining the service.
Former ABC Technologist and tech commentator Peter Marks told RN Drive that there are a number of technologies available for international broadcasters, but that shortwave and DRM are the most robust in times of crisis or disaster.