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    Ean press release on RTE medium wave shutdown

    Monday, February 11th, 2008

    Ean has issued a press release on the shutdown of RTE medium wave services, which will affect those who listen to Radio 1 on MW radio. The move will hit listeners in Britain, Northern France and the Benelux countries.

    Here is the text of the release:

    On March 24, RTE will cease broadcasting on medium wave, cutting off Radio One to those who listen to it on MW radio. This is a move that will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable among the listening audience.

    While RTE points to the fact that there are numerous other options for listeners available, including FM, longwave and non-radio technologies such as the internet, there are wider implications that will affect many sectors:

    · Senior citizens – who value medium wave’s reliability and ease of use over FM’s sound quality. It is easier to tune in – the FM dial is cluttered with stations, and tuning in can be a distraction. Medium wave reception is stable and predictable. Those who need to purchase long-wave receivers will incur an additional cost.

    · Emigrants – Medium wave reaches Britain, Northern France and the Benelux countries. Those listening to Radio One on MW radio will have to buy new long-wave receivers, which will be a burden on the vulnerable elderly among the emigrants. Additionally, there are some areas where medium wave is a stronger signal than the longwave station, due to interference with the long wave signal.

    · Northern Ireland – parts of Northern Ireland rely on medium wave because the FM signal is too weak to reach them. Cutting service contradicts the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement.

    · People with limited vision – the FM dial is cluttered with stations. Tuning RTE in on MW is simple.

    · People on the move – medium wave stays on the same spot on the dial. FM requires retuning as one travels through the country, which is the type of distraction that has been a proven factor in car accidents.

    · RTE has been producing separate programming for medium wave, such as sports programmes and events and the Sunday Mass. Religious services will move to longwave, requiring the purchase of an additional receiver for those who do not have them. This will be a further restriction for those on the move, as pocket-sized long-wave sets are rare on the market.

    FM, medium wave, and longwave are complementary services: some people choose medium wave over FM because they live in areas where they do not get good FM reception. Additionally, some programming is not carried on FM, so people will be required to switchover to longwave. For many, a switchover to longwave will require the purchase of a new radio – a burden that will fall disproportionately on the elderly and most vulnerable, who are the most likely to rely on medium wave to begin with. Additionally, those listeners who want to convert their car radios to longwave will have to incur the installation costs.

    In addition, new digital technology will soon render our existing longwave receivers obsolete. RTE has installed a longwave DRM transmitter and tested it in August, transmitting digital longwave across the UK and Europe. This is a welcome move, but the switchover to digital radio on longwave will render current longwave radios obsolete. Those who purchase longwave sets now will have to buy another radio when RTE cuts the existing longwave signal and sends out a digital signal in its place.

    Ean Director Noreen Bowden says, “This issue is particularly important for our older emigrants, who value RTE’s services as a powerful link with home. At the very least, they should be given assistance with the switchover before services are cut off – although we would like to see the move postponed until RTE begins broadcasting in digital, which will give near-FM quality across all of Ireland, across most of Britain, and into near Europe, using much less power. This will be a boon not just to older emigrants, but to anyone travelling abroad – business people and holiday-makers as well as long-term residents.?

    ÉAN CONFERENCE 2007 part 1

    Monday, December 3rd, 2007

    You can listen to this podcast of our 2007 Éan Seminar, which took place on 1 December in Dublin’s Temple Bar Hotel. We decided to provide a podcast in order to make the event accessible to our members and any interested people around the world. (The link to the podcast is at the bottom of the page.)

    Your comments are welcome! Feel free to use the comment box at the bottom of the page!

    Session 1: Focusing resources

    Moderator: Seamus Scally

    Chairman’s Address: Alan Hilliard. “There’s gold in them thar hills”
    See the text of this speech.

    Keynote Speaker: Brian Harvey. “The Goodbody’s value-for-money report on Irish emigrant services”.
    See the written summary of the speech.

    Discussion time

    Report on curriculum project: Noreen Bowden
    See the accompanying Powerpoint presentation.

    Report on assisted holiday pilot project: Karen McHugh
    See the accompanying Powerpoint presentation. 

    RSS Feed of Podcast

    Who are the speakers?

    Rev. Alan Hilliard is a Dublin Diocesan priest and a native of Coolock. He took up the post of director of the Irish Episcopal Commission for Emigrants in 2003. He is also chair of Emigrant Advice Network and sits on the board of Emigrant Advice. Previous to his work as director Fr. Alan spent time working as Emigrant Chaplain and establishing the Irish Chaplaincy in the parish of Bondi in Sydney, Australia. On his return from Sydney Alan took up the post of Pastoral Care Manager for the Special Olympics World Games 2003. Fr. Alan was involved with the establishment of a new parish in Lucan South, County Dublin. The parish opened a new Church in September 2000. He was also based as a priest in Ringsend, Dublin as well as teaching in Dublin Vocational Schools for seven years.

    Brian Harvey is an independent social researcher who works for voluntary and community organizations in both parts of Ireland, Britain and continental Europe in the areas of social policy, poverty, equality, community development and European integration.

    Noreen Bowden has been the Director of Ean since 2006. Prior to joining Éan, she spent six years at Irish Emigrant Publications in Galway, where she was General Manager. Noreen has an MA in Irish Literature and Culture from Boston College, where her research focused on emigrant literature. Noreen became involved in migrant issues while spending six years volunteering for the Irish Immigration Center in Boston.

    Karen Mc Hugh has a long history of working with the Irish in Britain. As a qualified Social Worker, she has worked with some of the vulnerable sections of the the Irish community throughout London. She worked as the Director of the Brent Irish Advisory Service (BIAS) for nearly 10 years and continues to have a role there as Fundraiser for the organisation. Karen is also involved with Cricklewood Homeless Concern and the Irish Traveller Movement in London. In May of this year Karen commenced work with EAN to develop an Assisted Holiday Programme and will facilitate the organisation of up to 5 holidays in 2007/2008. Karen is fully committed and passionate about supporting the Irish in Britain.

    .

     
    icon for podpress  CONFERENCE part 1 [2:00:37m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

    ÉAN CONFERENCE 2007 part 2

    Monday, December 3rd, 2007

    Session 2: Strengthening ties

    Moderator: Pascal Mooney

    Patsy McGarry: “The Irish abroad and the media”

    Philip Orr: “The experience of Irish soldiers abroad”

    Noreen Bowden: “Political participation: An international perspective”
    See the accompanying Powerpoint presentation.

    Discussion time

    Paula Lally “The emigration of people at risk”
    See the accompanying Powerpoint presentation.

    About our speakers:

    Patsy McGarry has been the religious affairs correspondent with the Irish Times since March 1997. He has been with the paper since 1994; A graduate of NUI, Galway, the Ballaghadereen, Co. Roscommon native worked until 1987 with the pirate radio station Sunshine Radio in Portmarnock, Dublin. He then went on to freelance with Magill Magazine, RTE and the Irish Press group; he set up the newsroom at the first independent radio station in Ireland, Capital Radio (now FM104). Just prior to joining the Irish Times, he worked with the Irish Press Group and then Independent Newspapers.

    Philip Orr is a freelance writer, researcher, and former theatre studies teacher. He is currently working on a project for the Centre for Contemporary Christianity in Belfast on deprivation in Loyalist working-class communities. He has written about several topics but has a particular interest in the Great War in Irish history; his publications on that topic include, “The Road to the Somme?, Blackstaff Press, 1987 (due to be reissued next year) and “Field of Bones?, Lilliput Press, 2006, which tells the story of the 10th Irish division at Gallipoli.

    Noreen Bowden has been the Director of Ean since 2006. Prior to joining Éan, she spent six years at Irish Emigrant Publications in Galway, where she was General Manager. Noreen has an MA in Irish Literature and Culture from Boston College, where her research focused on emigrant literature. Noreen became involved in migrant issues while spending six years volunteering for the Irish Immigration Center in Boston.

    Paula Lally is an information worker with Crosscare Migrant Project; she joined what was then Emigrant Advice in July 2005. Specialising in emigration and return migration, she wrote the books “Going to the USA?, “Going to the UK?, “Going to Australia?, “Going to Canada?. Each was subtitled “A practical guide to emigrating?; they were published in November 2007.

    RSS Feed of Podcast
     
    icon for podpress  CONFERENCE part 2 [1:57:29m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

    RTE gives details of global All-Ireland broadcasting

    Thursday, August 30th, 2007

    RTE Radio has announced that its All-Ireland Hurling and Football Final coverage will be broadcast to Irish people living abroad in countries across Europe, Africa and the Far East.

    In Africa and the Far East, the finals will be on shortwave. Across most of Britain, listeners will get coverage on LongWave 252. Most of Europe can hear the finals on DRM; RTE is broadcasting the finals on DRM for the second year in a row.

    Audio coverage will also be available worldwide on www.rte.ie/sport.

    The broadcaster notes:

    The service is part of RTE’s continued commitment to Irish people overseas, particularly in geographically or technically isolated areas.

    The hurling final takes place on 2 September and the football final takes place on 16 September.

    See full details of the All-Ireland broadcast on the RTE website.

    For more information on RTE’s global coverage visit the broadcaster’s website.

    Éan member has suggestion for broadcasting to EU-based Irish

    Thursday, June 21st, 2007

    Broadcasting radio into the heart of Europe would provide a useful information source for Irish people in Europe, says Éan member Enda O’Kane in an article that has appeared in Business Travel magazine.

    He notes:

    DRM is now used worldwide by 32 broadcasters and more than 40 hours of English language programmes are broadcast across Europe.

    An Irish radio service into the heart of Europe would help fuel our tourism industry and would serve to call back Irish emigrants, as well as inciting visits from those foreign to our country… It would provide a badly needed travel information service to our business community that is otherwise unavailable. The Internet cannot provide a listening experience to people on the move. Neither is the RTE Astra service recievable by motorists, or accessible in hotels and apartments across the EU.

    Enda notes that RTE already owns the broadcast infrastructure, and says that for €4 million, the former Athlone medium wave site could be adapted to digital short wave to meet the needs of Irish citizens across the EU.

    Read the whole article.

    For more infomation on DRM, including sound recordings, broadcast schedules and information on receivers, visit drm.org.

    Éan working to ensure radio included in broadcasting legislation

    Friday, February 9th, 2007

    Éan has been working to ensure that Irish radio broadcasts will be available to Irish communities in Europe as part of the Broadcasting (Amendment) Bill 2006. The original bill as it was introduced in the Seanad made provision for television broadcasting, but not radio. Ean and Éan member Enda O’Kane worked to contact senators to explain the importance of radio to Irish communities abroad, and, in particular, the value of DRM digital shortwave. A number of amendments have now been added to the bill to include radio.

    The relevant Seanad discussions are on the Seanad website.
    January 31 debate
    February 7 debate

    Another bill is looking at the overall issue of broadcasting – Enda and Éan worked to contact a number of groups and individuals to make contributions during the discussion period at econsultation.ie. To see these contributions, visit the econsultation.ie website.

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