Millions of people listen to short-wave radio. Governments like China, Iran, and Cuba have increased the level of their multi-language propaganda short-wave broadcasts. Religious groups are all over the short-wave band spending fortunes in short-wave broadcasting. WBCQ has been broadcasting international short-wave radio since 1998. Just Right received an extraordinary increase in unique visits to its website after the show moved to short-wave radio after being almost 10 years on FM radio. The short-wave radio broadcasts of the BBC and VOA (and others) are still being jammed by certain countries. These things would not happen if millions of people did not listen to short-wave radio.
What has been a major factor in the decline of short-wave radio broadcasting is not the ending or reduction of state run short-wave radio broadcasters, but that very few countries allow private short-wave broadcasting, the USA being an important exception. Canada, on top of the authoritarian restrictions and regulation placed on Canadain broadacsters by the CRTC, does not permit a private short-wave radio broadcaster in Canada to deliberately broadcast short-wave radio across Canada. It must broadcast its short-wave signal outside of Canada. I presume this is to protect the CBC, “Canada’s national broadcaster,” from competition.
Governments have been getting out of the short-wave radio business since the end of the Cold War; however, the problem exists that too many governments are not allowing the private broadcaster to move into the space left. This is what is holding back the progress and growth of short-wave radio today.
© Trevor Dailey