The Return of the BBC's Shortwave Radio

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The BBC has resurrected their shortwave radio broadcasts to reach Russians and Ukrainians - a move last seen during WW2 and the Cold War.

  • Following the invasion of Ukraine, the BBC witnessed a spike in traffic from Russia. In response, Russia blocked BBC news websites - making it available at a fraction of normal levels nationwide.
  • As a result, the BBC has resorted to broadcasting news bulletins over shortwave radio, a technique last used in 2008. The move came just hours before the sites were banned.
  • Shortwave radio uses frequencies that carry over long distances and can be accessed on portable sets. The BBC have said that their broadcast will be available from 4-6pm and 10pm-12am Ukrainian time.
  • Shortwave radio is known as a WW2 and Cold War technology. During that era it was used to broadcast propaganda but also to tackle misinformation behind the iron curtain.
  • During a conflict, such as Russia-Ukraine, where propaganda and misinformation is rife, factual independent news is desperately needed.
  • With Russian journalists now facing prison sentences of up to 15 years for publishing what the Kremlin perceives to be “fake news”, independent and external sources and more important than ever.
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