Long live shortwave !!
Fiji shuts down ABC Radio Australia broadcasts
Fiji's military-led government has ordered the shutdown of ABC Radio
Australia's transmitters in Fiji. Radio Australia has been informed a
ministry of information officer, accompanied by Fiji's military,
ordered local technicians to shutdown the two ABC FM relay stations in
the capital Suva and at Nadi. The shutdown follows the expulsion of
ABC Correspondent Sean Dorney. Radio Australia is still broadcasting
to Fiji and the Pacific on shortwave transmitter.
Related news :
Fiji Military Shuts Down Foreign FM Relays
The current media crisis in Fiji deepened earlier today [April 15]
when Radio Fiji technicians accompanied by armed soldiers shut down
the two local FM relay transmitters of Radio Australia. The local
relays [Nadi on the western side of Viti Levu island and Suva on the
eastern side] both broadcast on 92.6 FM and carried 24/7 broadcasts
from Radio Australia in Melbourne.
The main international airport is located at Nadi, and the relay also
served tourists in the popular resort areas nearby. Suva is the
capital. The closure of the Radio Australia FM relays currently leaves
just the BBC and Radio France International FM relays as independent
news sources for residents and visitors alike apart from shortwave
Military personnel are stationed in newsrooms of local radio
stations, many of which are operated by the state broadcaster Radio
Fiji. News bulletins are censored under an emergency decree issued
over Easter weekend, and no negative items about the new interim
government or its activities are permitted.
Radio Australia and Radio New Zealand International continue to serve
Fiji with shortwave broadcasts. It's not yet clear if popular RNZI
news programs such as 'Dateline Pacific' will still be carried on
local AM and FM stations without local censorship in Fiji.
According to the Radio Heritage Foundation, Radio Fiji operates six
separate radio channels, the main private competitor another five
channels, and a variety of other local FM stations operate mainly from
studios in Suva.
The closure of the Radio Australia local FM relays in Fiji is a set
back for the broadcaster, which has been expanding its Asian and
Pacific FM network. It recently claimed high levels of local
listenership to these relays.
According to RNZI, internet cafe owners in Fiji are also reported to
be closed down as their operations are investigated by government
officials. A number of blog sites carrying negative comments about the
interim government have received widespread publicity in recent days.
Currently, people in Fiji can still listen to foreign news broadcasts
via shortwave or from some of the more powerful local AM stations in
Australia and New Zealand that can be heard at night. Relays of Radio
Australia and RNZI news from Radio Tonga [1017 AM] and 2AP Samoa [540
AM] may also be heard at night in some parts of Fiji.
The Indian language Radio Tarana station in Auckland [NZ]
broadcasting in Hindi at 1386 AM is often well received at night
Internet streaming of Radio Australia broadcasts can be received in
Fiji as well, so long as the local ISP operations remain open. The
Fiji military is reported to be considering shutting down
non-government internet access.
Fiji TV has already had to curtail news bulletins after initially
defying the military, and the situation regarding relays of satellite
delivered TV news channels channels via local rebroadcasters remains
unclear. Individuals with satellite dishes are probably still able to
use them, at least for now.
The situation regarding amateur radio operations is also unclear.
There are no reports of clandestine radio broadcasts attempting to
circumvent the military crackdown on media news coverage. This report
draws on coverage from Radio Australia, RNZI and independent sources.
Source : The Radio Heritage Foundation
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