RCI listeners react to the budget cut

How successful has Radio Canada International been in providing a window to Canada to the world? Perhaps the best indication of that are the comments from our listeners. Here’s a sample:

The cut to the budget of RCI stuns and embarrasses me. What kind of insular country are we becoming that cares only about us selling oil and not about the rest of the world? Those responsible for this budget are the next generation of dinosaurs, and we all know where the last generation wound up. We need MORE of RCI, not less! (Donna C., Fort Qu’Appelle, Sask, Canada)

RCI is a national treasure – a global treasure, in fact.  It tells the story of Canada…to the world.  And it does it with a quality level that allows Canada to stand clear of America’s shadow.  Ottawa should wise up – Canada’s elected leaders should boost RCI’s funding, not cut it. (William P., Fallston MD, USA)

The demise of RCI is like Stephen Harper closing embassies worldwide, and Canada becoming lost in the shadow of its southern neighbour. (Peter A., Sapley, England)

The politicians will regret their action; when, so-called hackers shut down the internet system (You have already reported that it may happen.) I still say World War III will be fought on the internet. You and and I will not know when and where it happens. Country will not determine where it will originate, but normal computer life will cease (no electricity…no email….I hope your government officials will come to their senses. (Edward S., Albany GA, USA)

I feel ashamed that my country will no longer have a SW voice within a few months.  I’ve always relied on RCI to provide me with a link to home when I lived overseas, or when I’ve traveled abroad, and in remote areas of Canada.  Simply put, the internet is not available everywhere, and it’s not always reliable when it is… Heck, one less F-35 would keep RCI on the air for years!  Come on you bean counters.  Get your head out of the sand! (Walter S., Victoria, BC, Canada)

The announced decimation of your budget makes me queasy… RCI brings something wonderful to the world, within and without Canada. I have recommended RCI to friends in Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, Cuba and elsewhere. You have enthusiastic followers all around the world… As I write this, my heart is filled with sadness. People will lose jobs, and that is to be lamented; but the larger picture is, people around the world will lose the beam of a lighthouse from Canada…Thanks for invigorating radio. Kudos to you. (Arthur F., Toronto, ON, Canada)

Rhetorical question, but is the CBC completely out of its mind? (Susan C., Kamloops, BC, Canada)

How can one shut down the most reliable source of information on Canada (and the unique one)? …I wish you a “non-closure” and to stay on air. Good luck! (Yuri D., Cyberspace-Russia)

I write this with Tears in my eyes.  For the better part of his 30 year career with the CBC, My father worked at RCI.  In this day and age, RCI represents more than just Canada’s voice to the world. RCI represents the last true vestige of real Journalism in Canada. RCI kept the values and Integrity that has made them such a good source for news around the world since 1945. Reporting Facts instead of opinion, Real News that Matters instead of Tabloid Junk to boost ratings. (Jeff Q., Montreal, QC, Canada)

Very sad News that Radio Canada International is going to end shortwave broadcasts.  I enjoyed them a lot because they were very good. (Marco C. Coquimbo, Chile)

There are many places where Canada can save money. Something as basic as shortwave radio service is ludicrous. The whole world will suffer the loss of RCI. (Stephen W., Cold Lake, AB, Canada)

Not to beat about the bush, reading and hearing about the so-called ‘Cuts’ in the broadcasting medium of Radio Canada International is the most distasteful and worst media situational issue I’ve ever heard barely a week ago.  Imagine bringing to a stoppage a program which has influenced positively on various life-styles and cultures around the world over coupled with making competent as well respectable figures in the field of journalism become jobless.  (Isaac A., Takoradi, Ghana)

I hear that RCI goes off the air on shortwave by the end of June. I am very sad that the Canadian government has decided to close you down. It takes years to build an audience, but only a short time to lose it. We don’t want to listen to you on computers; we just want to hear you on the radio! (listener, Maanshan City, China)

I was sorry to hear that the Canadian government has decided to end the shortwave transmissions of RCI by 2012. I have been listening to RCI since 1994. I remember that RCI had faced a similar scenario some years back but bounced back due to support from listeners and the public. Hope RCI will be able to bounce back again, with all the bang. (Dr. Avinash C. Al Ai, United Arab Emirates)

The loss of broadcast radio signals from a democracy like Canada means it will be considerably easier for oppressive governments to prevent penetration by the voices of freedom: Merely block Internet access to the web sites of RCI, VOA, and others. The day may come when the powers will regret shutting down their broadcast transmitter facilities. As an RCI listener since 1976, I have appreciated RCI’s journalistic integrity and high production values. Thank you to all RCI staff through the years for a job well done. (Brad Farrell—Cyberspace)

What a terrible news indeed! I don’t like the idea of shortwave stations going to internet only services. I hope Radio Canada will continue broadcasting.  It’s always so much better listen real radio receiver than via computer and Internet connection! And there is no internet connection available everywhere and no room for laptop computer when you are out of time. Small shortwave radio is so easy to carry with you and it doesn’t need Internet connection! (Sami. N., Joensuu, Finland)

Shortwave is the easiest method to reach mass people – and people can access easily. Shortwave may be less used in North America and Europe now but in other parts of the world its importance is very high. And more over shortwave can be accessed easily with cheap receivers. In countries like in Asia and Africa majority of the people don’t have computers or Internet.  I think closing Shortwave at all is a short sighted decision for the current time. SW is reasonable or legitimate for more years ahead. And when it becomes a web only radio station it may get lost into millions of websites relating to Canada. (Partha S. G., Silguri, India)

I was very disappointed to learn of the demise of RCI’s shortwave broadcasts.  I cannot afford to have Internet service at my home, so I can only access email and Internet at my public library, which is seven miles distant form my house.  Consequently, I will no longer be entertained and educated by RCI. (Jack F., Clinton, WI, USA)

I believe the best solution after reversing the decision is for the Canadian government to give RCI financial autonomy and take RCI’s budget away from CBC/Radio-Canada’s control.   It is obvious to me and also the many listeners to Radio Canada International , here in Great Britain , around the World and who listen to them between 2 and 3 am on the CBC overnight service,  that they have little understanding of what the World thinks’ and how positive reaction is vital for Canada’s interests. I await your reply and trust that you share my grave concern at the present situation. (Nick Sharpe, Staines, England)

I have been a listener of RCI for a long time and I still remember that your station is one of the few first stations I found on the air waves when I was started playing with my transistor. But it’s really, really shocking for me when I first heard that from June end onwards RCI will become silent on shortwave and just could not imagine how to face that situation … I know other than writing these few lines I cannot do anything to save RCI on SW and you are also helpless when your country’s top officials have decided the negative, but telling you from my heart that I SHALL MISS YOU BADLY. (Prithwiraj P., Jorhat, India)

I have very limited access to the Internet. I use Internet only for emailing purpose. If you stop broadcasting your programme on shortwave, then it will be very difficult for me and many other listener like me to get in touch with you regularly. So I request you please don’t stop broadcasting on shortwave. (Debanjan C., Kolkata, India)

Your unique programme makes be highly glad and happy. (Ashit K.D. M., Chittagong, Bangladesh)

I learnt the culture of Canada through broadcasting and I want to continue listening to your broadcasting. However, I learnt your broadcasting fully stopped the shortwave broadcasting this year. I am very regrettable. Shortwave broadcasting is very important which to know Canada. Has the shortwave broadcasting stop already been decided? I hope for your shortwave broadcasting to be continued. (Kenji H., Nirasaki, Japan)

Canadian Broadcast Corporation has won the prize of the biggest thoughtless blunder in the history of short wave radio, deciding to terminate the RCI program via SW and go digital!!!  Who is the bright mind that came to assume that everybody all over the word have, or will have, access to the internet? (Carlos G-P. Cape Town, South Africa)

I have been a regular listener to Radio Canada International for more than 30 years.  I started as a pupil in 1975 and remember RCI broadcasting in German on four frequencies…Your station contributed much to the free spread of information across borders into closed societies and to help people all over the world to get a better understanding of Canada. (Klaus N., Mulheim/Ruhr, Germany)

I am very sorry to learn that Radio Canada International will be closed.  It will be a great loss for information and culture, and for a lot of people like me that used to listen to your programs via shortwaves.  I will keep listening!  Hugs. (Anna T., Venice, Italy)

I am shocked about RCI [going] off air.  I pray for the health of all of you. (Shin H., Asakuchi, Japan)

Even though we (only a fraction of us) can still listen via the internet and through podcasts, it really is a slap in the face to all of RCI’s listeners out there. How will those shortwave listeners access RCI now?? As a Canadian living abroad, I am so disappointed that Canada is being silenced on the global stage. (Carmen P., Espoo, Finland)

I, too, am saddened by the upcoming closing of RCI.  I started listening to RCI back in 1966, when I was still in elementary school.  You cannot imagine the wonder I experienced hearing the voice of your country come through the shortwave radio I salvaged from the curb of the road.  RCI has always presented its news and current affairs programs as fair and impartial, and the world will be a poorer place after it shuts down. (John V., Downers Grove, IL., USA)

I wrote to say that the cuttings at Radio Canada International are a racist, cruel and unfair decision.  As Cuban and Latin-American I’ve been listening to RCI from 2005 and, in my opinion that broadcaster is the jewel of America, a window to the dispossessed, to the hungry to the ones who has no voice.” (Yasmany M-M, Cuba)

I feel angry about the end of the programs in short wave at Radio Canada International. I think is a mistake that could affect the international image of the country.  Canada could not afford loosing thousands of listeners that know something about Canada thanks to RCI.  Radio Canada is a touristic and information platform that could disappear do to wrong decisions. (Emilio S.D, Cybrspace-Spain)

The bad side of stopping the short wave broadcasting is that with a single touch is destroyed a long and traditional way of making radio.  The sadness is not that the shortwave is cut, the sad part is that we would not be able any more to listen to programs like Canada en las Américas, that uses radio formats effectively and interesting for the listeners. (Carlos G. R., Cyberspace-Colombia)

I think that the decision to close the radio station – is erroneous. The decision to close the Russian service is a blow to the culture; it is dictated by the unconscious in favor of the shadows of darkness. I wish and hope that we all have the courage to strength and wisdom to reconsider this bad decision, then our grandchildren will be a bright future. (Gennady G.N, Cyberspace-Russia)

When I heard that RCI will stop the mandarin broadcast to China at the end of June, it made me very sad, even depressed. I cannot understand the reasoning behind this decision.  As a person in the retirement age and living in the countryside, I am not exactly belong to the so called “young computer generation”. For me, the shortwave radio is the only way to know what happen in China, in Canada and in the world. Now you are burning this only bridge down! How sad. I hope it is not too late to reverse this decision!(A phone message from a listener in the province of Sichuan, China)

I hear that RCI goes off the air on shortwave by the end of June. I am very sad that the Canadian government has decided to close you down. It takes years to build an audience, but only a short time to lose it. We don’t want to listen to you on computers; we just want to hear you on the radio! (listener, Maanshan City, China)

Users in mainland China can only access your site by crossing the firewall. It is not easy to elders and those without computers in particular. RCI is bound to lose part of its audience once the shortwave programs are off the air… for people in developing countries where the freedom of the press is limited, shortwave is still a border-crossing and reliable access to get information. At this diversified information age, traditional media is facing challenges. But radio has its inherent advantages, such as the facility of production, supply and consumption, the low cost, little geographical restrictions…That is why radio has been used as a media tool until to today. (listener, Anhui, China)
As a fan of shortwave radio, I was shocked and feel regret about this decision! Although the webcast can better meet audience needs in modern days, do not forget the audience in remote and backward areas. They have no economic means and basic conditions to enjoy internet resources. Canada and other Western democratic countries are known to care more the vulnerable groups.  Your decision is clearly contrary to your principles! (An unsigned listener in China)

RCI is one the few foreign radios that are not jammed in China. RCI has contributed a lot in passing on Canadian cultures, traditions, and customs. RCI is an important window for us to know something about Canada. I am against cancelling the shortwave broadcast of RCI. (A listener nicknamed “poor and bad guy”, Cyberspace-China)

Why your short wave broadcasting was eliminated, and how we can listen to your program after? I always thought RCI’s program is more objective and truthful. Especially when concerning the news… If this window closed, we will loss an important channel to know Canada. In addition, I like RCI because I can listen to your program  more clearly than other short wave station, such as VOA, probably because the Chinese government does not interfered your signals too much.  (An unsigned listener from China)

To cut RCI shortwave, does it mean that the audience in China cannot listen to your program anymore? I started to listen to RCI Chinese when I was in high school, and fell in love with it almost immediately. I like your program, which contains very nice contents and no political bias. I think it helps me in the way I see the world. Now I am in the second year of university. I feel very sorry that your program has to be cut. Wish all of you good luck and I will support your program forever. (An unsigned listener from China)

Heartbreaking news! I hope they re-think about the cuts and realize that RCI has been playing a vital part in diverse Canadian culture with their radio programming. (Vandana V., Toronto, ON, Canada)

It breaks my heart to know that some of my favourite programs will be no more including yours [Masala Canada]. You have done amazing service to the South Asian people in Canada via your program. Hope there will be a way that we can have access to recordings of some of the programs you have so lovingly put together. (Amrit in Calgary, AB, Canada)

No one is going to turn on the computer just to listen the radio.  Please, don’t call a transformation what is just an expenses cut. (Ernesto P., Argentina)

Here in Chile Internet is a massive media, but people don’t use it to listen to the radio.  I hope the management will reconsider the cut.  Should I be condemned to listen to just the Chinese and religious broadcasters?” (Alberto S-R, Chile)

Sad news! It’s a pity that the Russian section will soon be closed. I have been listening to its broadcasts for 35 years. Your programs and your voices became part of my life. I can’t go on further. It’s painful. (Andrey K., Cyberspace-Russia)

I have been listening to RCI for 35 years, first in Polish but since 1991 when the Polish Section was closed, in Russian. It will be hard without you. Thank you for everything. (Jaroslaw J., Cyberspace-Poland)

How will this help CBC ‘pursue its mission of disseminating Canadian democratic values abroad’ I wonder? One of the finest principals of Short Wave broadcasting is its reception availability and Radio Canada is one of the best examples as it is – if it ain’t bust don’t fix it. I thought CBC was more realistic; shame. (Rog. P., Hinkley, England)

I would like to express my sadness on learning RCI and CBC Nord will no longer be heard on shortwave.  I’ve listened to your broadcasts off and on over the years since 1967, and I’ll keep listening and sending reception reports until RCI leaves shortwave. (Timm B., Subang Jaya, Malaysia)

Do whatever possible to keep on the air on shortwave. Many listeners in Italy and Europe still want to continue to tune in despite the internet and satellite TV. (Paolo S., Quarto d’Altino, Italy.)

The decision to terminate the broadcast in Portuguese is in contradiction to the official policy of strengthening the ties between Canada and Brazil. For some reason I am not surprised by the lack of consistency of this government. (Mary S., Toronto, ON, Canada)

I was shocked to hear that RCI is to close down in June. I have been a listener since 1962 and have many fond memories of listening to Canada. The closure of RCI will be a severe blow to Canada’s image abroad. (Christer B., Halmstad, Sweden)

Every minute ‘budget-cut’ word came along…disturbed our happiness. It’s a painful word, you know? If I lived somewhere in Canada or States, I thought to take a march to RCI Toronto with flag to raise budget to proceed the service of RCI (A. R. Vedaranam, India)

It is very difficult to find anything Canadian anywhere in terms of culture and content here in Europe.  This will merely add to this void. (Richard B., Uzech, France)

I have seen this happen before with other short wave broadcasters, it is very disturbing to say the least! Now with the pending loss of RCI and it is popular at that, this decision needs to be reviewed. Neither the Internet nor computer makes up for short wave radio as it is not radio. This loss is like losing a good friend! Please reconsider! (Rod W., Cyberspace)

How Canada will sustain its so preached openness, shutting down one of the most important sources of information about Canadian values and culture? It’s an important part of Canadian history being cut just letting go great and dedicated people. Indeed very sad. (Rogerio B. —Cyberspace)

What can you do to stop the cuts? Please go here: http://rciaction.org/blog/what-you-can-do/

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Article by Admin RCI Action

Admin RCI Action: Wojtek Gwiazda is the spokesperson for the RCI Action Committee which is supported and funded by the union that represents almost all RCI employees: the Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada (SCRC). E-mail: rciaction@yahoo.ca Admin RCI Action tagged this post with: , , , Read 78 articles by Admin RCI Action
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