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: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:http://rciaction.org/blog
Admin RCI Action has written 71 articles so far, you can find them below.
Wednesday (May 15, 2013) Radio Canada International launched a mobile version of its website, after RCI director Helene Parent convened staff to a late morning meeting to showcase the new version, and to bring employees up-to-date on RCI news.
The presentation was almost cancelled, since the RCI website was off-line after the server hosting it (the server of our French-language public broadcaster Radio-Canada) crashed. Service on the RCI website was off and on throughout the day.
The mobile version is something a number of employees were calling for, even before last year’s 80% cut of RCI’s budget, and the elimination of shortwave radio broadcasting.
In her presentation to staff Parent said a mobile version had been a priority, to make up for the loss of shortwave. This version comes only weeks after RCI radically changed the appearance of the website to better highlight the material posted by the English, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic language services.
Parent emphasized how well the new website was being received by staff and administrators in the national public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada, and also by senators in Ottawa.
Parent said she accompanied CBC/Radio-Canada president Hubert Lacroix to a senate committee presentation on May 1, where they presented the website, and Parent said numerous senators came up to the two after the meeting to congratulate them for their success with RCI.
We’ll have more on the senate testimony of Parent and Lacroix, as well as the questions and comments made by the senate committee members, in a future post.
BREAKING NEWS: Conservative Senator Hugh Segal spoke in the Canadian Senate yesterday, October 25, about the 80% cut to Radio Canada International’s budget, and reiterated his intention to have a Senate Committee ask questions of management about the cuts.
Many thanks to U.S. listener and RCI fan Thomas Witherspoon of Ears To Our World (ETOW) for getting this petition out to stop the dismantling of Canada’s only international broadcasting site, the transmitter site in Sackville, New Brunswick. Click on the photo below or this link for details. Thanks to all who have already signed up!
See updates below – In the next few days the transmission lines that allow Canada to broadcast to the world will be taken down one by one. For more than 67 years Radio Canada International’s shortwave transmitters have guaranteed that Canada’s voice would be heard despite the Cold War, despite natural disasters, and Internet blocking. Now this efficient, cost effective communications tool will be dismantled by Canada’s public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada.
Those of us who understand how important this lifeline to the world is to world communication are sick to our stomachs at the rapidity with which the broadcaster wants to make the transmitters disappear. Shortwave broadcasts of Radio Canada International ended on June 24, 2012. Other countries’ use of our transmitters will end on October 31.
But CBC/Radio-Canada has already started the process of dismantling unused transmitters, and will start taking down still functioning transmission lines very shortly.
Why are they in such a hurry?
CBC/Radio-Canada has never understood the importance of international broadcasting, and is betting that Canadians will ignore the fact that a web-only service has limited impact while shortwave radio can reach more than 800 million radio receivers around the world.
The short sightedness of administrators obsessed with web page clicks fails to take into account that shortwave not only transmits radio broadcasts, but has been used for teletype and data transmission. Recent experiments reveal that with free software, shortwave signals could transmit texts where the Internet is not available. A tool that once again would get past Internet blocking, natural disasters, and wars.
The transmitters are there, they don’t cost much to maintain. Why do we want to cut ourselves off from being able to communicate with the world? Who should be making these decisions?
Please contact Canada’s Heritage Minister James Moore email@example.com and tell him to stop CBC/Radio-Canada from dismantling our transmitters.
UPDATE: October 23, 2012 – Five transmission lines have already been taken down! Two are in the process of being dismantled. By next week almost all of the 28 lines will be dismantled. Only two will remain temporarily for the Quebec Northern Service.
UPDATE: later on October 23, 2012 – U.S. listener Thomas Witherspoon has started a petition to stop the dismantling of Sackville. See the post on our website, the petition is here http://tinyurl.com/sackvillepetition
We’ve been quiet for a while, re-grouping, dealing with the tough situation at Radio Canada International after our 80% budget cut. But we haven’t been totally quiet. Radio New Zealand has just (August 6) broadcast an interview by RNZ’s Bryan Crump with RCI Action Committee Spokesperson Wojtek Gwiazda:
Please join us in this new project: “RCI – WE WILL NOT ‘REST IN PEACE’ PHOTO PROJECT – RCI, RIP ? NON !
You have been so generous with your time, in reading, and commenting and supporting us. We are now into our fourth (!) week without radio broadcasting. We’re not happy about this. We don’t think you are. Please take a few minutes to read the details here about our project, and then send us your photo.
On the last day of radio programming at RCI on June 24, 2012, some of the newsreaders and host/producers ended their last broadcasts and then shared their reflections on Radio Canada International in this series of five videos.
It was an emotional day. All were professional, but clearly devoted to our international service and its tradition of 67 years of presenting Canada to the world.
Canada’s international radio service started officially on February 25, 1945 with an address by Canada’s Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, followed by Justice Minister Louis St-Laurent (in French) and then by Howard B. Chase, chairman of the CBC board of governors:
With its shortwave towers in Sackville, New Brunswick, the CBC International Service (as it was called then) would provide Canadians and foreign listeners with news, information, and music from Canada. For more details and audio, please go to the archives of our national public radio and TV broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada here.
On June 24, 2012, more than 67 years after the first broadcast, Radio Canada International broadcast its last radio programmes, and went to a a web-only Internet service.
It’s really hard to know what to say. We’ve been working so hard these last few days at Radio Canada International, to hang on to our listeners with so few resources, even though many are not there, because of the end our our radio programming on shortwave on June 24, 2012.
And now, for four days we have no audio on our web-only non-radio website! What’s next?
What you can do: help us restore the budget of Radio Canada International which was cut by 80%, help us get back on shortwave radio, so that millions of listeners can be in touch with Canada once again.http://rciaction.org/blog/what-you-can-do/