30-01-2011

In today's Mailbox: Responses to Radio Prague's leaving shortwave. Ways to listen to Radio Prague, new reception reports. Listeners quoted: Evelyn Coviello, Brendan Monaghan, Bob Boundy.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox – the last Radio Prague Mailbox carried on shortwave. This coming Tuesday will mark the beginning of a new era in the history of Radio Prague as its shortwave frequencies will fall silent. While many responses from our listeners have been those of sadness and indignation, we’ve also had some that look at that fact of life from a more positive angle. Let’s hear what Evelyn Coviello from New York had to say:

“I am sending out my sympathies to shortwave enthusiasts around the world who are furious and frustrated that Radio Prague will fall silent on their radios come February 1st. No doubt a few lucky listeners have enjoyed this mode of transmission since its inception in 1936.

“Inexplicably by only ‘listening’ to broadcasts you are depriving your senses of the many visuals radio Prague has to offer. Assuredly the Radio Prague website is more than capable of tickling and enlightening its readers via a broad spectrum of arts, entertainment, cultural, political, international affairs, photos, and historical content. Also breaking news and practical links to other Czech websites.

“Yes folks, it's a changing world and budget cuts are a reality. But just think – you are able to voice your discontent at the termination of shortwave transmission – could you have done this openly between 1936 and 1989? Remember nothing remains the same and one day in the future Radio Prague may fill the airwaves once again.”

And Brendan Monaghan from the US state of Oregon wrote:

“Regarding the end of your broadcasts on shortwave – and reaction to it – please allow me a dissenting opinion: no shortwave is better than no station at all. I'm in my mid-20's and nobody my age here in the States listens to or knows anything about shortwave radio. The medium is obsolete. Relegated to a hobby. A novelty, gone the way of the telegraph and the 8-track tape. In order to stay relevant, Radio Prague should do exactly what it's doing now – embrace the internet and web radio.

“Does anyone else see the irony of people using email or your Facebook page to complain about not being able to stay connected with your station or the Czech Republic anymore?

“Besides, I could never get dependable or decent reception of Radio Prague on shortwave from Western North America anyway. I have been listening to your station almost exclusively online and via the World Radio Network since 1997.”

Bob Boundy who described himself as “an old time listener in New Zealand” responds to last week’s edition of Mailbox:

“I was most impressed in the latest Mailbox programme by the head of radio Prague’s explanation of what will happen from February 1st onwards. I have discovered with doing some internet searching that I can get Prague 92.6 FM from the internet so at what time is the programme in English on this FM station? Also how do we go about getting the new QSL cards? If one is listening via the internet? Does one use the old on-line shortwave reception reports or what? Lastly I would like to wish you all there at Radio Prague all the best for the future.”

Radio Prague broadcasts in English, German and Russian in Prague and its surroundings from Monday to Friday from 18:05 to 18:25 UTC on 92.6 FM – twelve minutes of that time is dedicated to the English broadcast – a news bulletin and two daily reports. All the ways in which you can hear our programmes are listed on our website www.radio.cz/en/static/about-radio-prague/how-to-listen-to-radio-prague

Regarding reception reports: an updated version of the old reception report form will be put up on our website soon at www.radio.cz/en/report. It should be quite self-explanatory.

Now – for one last time let me repeat Radio Prague’s quiz question for January.

Our January mystery man was born in 1875 in Prague and died in 1926 in the Swiss city of Montreux. He is considered to be one of the most important German-language poets.

You have until Tuesday to write to English@radio.cz or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague, the Czech Republic. Next time you can tune in to Mailbox will be Saturday, February 5th. After that, Mailbox will be aired twice a month. But the good news is that our competition goes on.

Please stay faithful to Mailbox and Radio Prague if you can and don’t stop writing to us – we need and welcome your feedback. Many thanks for listening to Mailbox today and all those years and until next time – for many of you on a different platform – good-bye.

30-01-2011