Mailbox

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In Mailbox this week: response to developments at Radio Prague, strike over pay cuts on December 8th, 2011 QSL cards. Listeners quoted: Mark F. Tattenbaum, Ed Reid, Michael Fanderys.

Hello and thanks for tuning in to Mailbox, Radio Prague’s weekly programme for your views and comments. In response to last week’s announcement of the budget cuts and consequent termination of shortwave broadcasting early next year, Mark F. Tattenbaum from the US sent us this e-mail:

“I learned today that Radio will fall silent on January 31, 2011. I am a long time listener. I am 57 years old and have been listening to shortwave since I was 12 years old. This is a very sad day... I thank all of you for your years of enjoyment and will miss you all. I am so very sorry to learn this.”

On the same topic, Ed Reid from Wales writes:

“I was very pleased when not very long ago (less than a year) it was decided to continue shortwave broadcasts in spite of budget cuts. Now, however, faced with new budget cuts, it seems that the decision has been taken to meekly surrender and you have now announced that you will end shortwave broadcast after the end of January.

“The reasons why we have pleaded previously for continued shortwave broadcasting remain as valid as ever. Not everyone has access to the internet or the funds to maintain a broadband connection, and even among those that do listening on shortwave offers more flexibility and a better listening experience. Shortwave broadcasting is also much less liable to be cut off or blocked by hostile governments as opposed to internet only broadcasting….

“With the disappearance of Radio Prague from shortwave, it is likely that the influence of and the knowledge of the Czech Republic will decline – I wonder if this has really been considered by your governmental funders, as it seems completely against what their stated goals are. Only persons who will already have an interest in the Czech Republic or in Radio Prague (such as myself) will be likely to visit your web site, while casual listeners who stumble upon your current broadcasts will no longer tune in.”

Photo: CTK
On a different subject, Michael Fanderys from the USA sent us this comment:

“I heard (over my Grundig shortwave radio), at least two days, this week, in the Radio Prague News stories and extended coverage feature (Jan Velinger & Jan Richter reporting), about the National one-day strikes in the Czech Republic. Why is there no mention of it on your web-site? Is there suppression of this news and events surrounding it? I have to side with the union people in this regard. My wife's father, grandfather and she were all union members. …

"My wife is now a retired member of the AFT – American Federation of Teachers. If it were not for the hard fought strikes and negotiations of these unions and their members, our standard of living and health care along with retirement would probably have been much worse.”

I believe the story you are talking about was titled “Over 120,000 state employees take part in strike over pay cuts” and was aired on December 8. Its transcript can be found on our website among other current affairs stories www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/over-120000-state-employees-take-part-in-strike-over-pay-cuts On the day before the event we ran two stories which can be found at www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/100000-set-to-strike-wednesday-against-cuts-in-public-sector-salaries and www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/national-strike-a-demonstration-of-power-or-weakness-by-czech-unions

It is strange that you weren’t able to find them on our website. I can assure you there is no censorship at Radio Prague.

Some of our listeners might be wondering what will happen with reception reports and QSL cards after Radio Prague goes off the air. After February 1st, Radio Prague will still verify your reception over the internet. There is a new set of cards featuring Bohemian and Moravian castles which will soon appear on our website.

And finally, let me repeat our monthly quiz question:

In December we would like to know the name of the Prague-born Austrian author and mathematician, who lived in Austria and Palestine and died in 1957 in the Austrian spa-town of Bad Ischl.

Please send us your answers by the end of the month to English@radio.cz or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague. Thanks for listening today and until next time, take care.