From shortwave to the web: 74 years of change
Since February 25, 1945, Radio Canada International has been Canada’s voice to the world, first on shortwave radio, then on the web.
During its 74 years of existence, Radio Canada International has broadcast in 23 languages. Today, listeners and web site visitors on five continents interact with us in five of the most-spoken languages in the world: English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic.
Some of the biggest names in Canadian journalism and culture have worked at Radio Canada International:
René Lévesque, a journalist who later became premier of Quebec
Judith Jasmin, who had a distinguished career in journalism
The sounds of a radio station
On Friday 18 May, 1923, at 8.15pm the following words started coming out of a canvas tent in Prague’s Kbely neighbourhood: “Hello, Hello, here is the Radiojournal broadcasting channel …”. The transmission went on for about an hour and Czechoslovakia had thus begun regular radio broadcasting just six months after the BBC – the world’s oldest broadcaster.
The first transmission was a music performance, but the radio station soon expanded its programme to sports news, weather forecasts and stock market updates. In fact, Czechoslovak Radio can boast to be the first ever European live sports broadcaster.
Most importantly however, Czechoslovak Radio has played an important role multiple times in key events during the country’s history.
Sounds of history
What did Swissinfo.ch sound like for the first seven decades of its existence? The short answer: a radio station.
From the mid-1930s to 2004, Switzerland’s international service was Swiss Radio International (SRI). The first few decades of SRI’s existence were the heyday of shortwave – it was often the only way of getting news directly from other countries.
What began as the Swiss Short Wave Service in 1935, would grow from broadcasting programmes in German, French, Italian and English to include other European languages and Arabic, and eventually change its name to Swiss Radio International.
The international service was considered a voice of neutrality during times of war, first during World War II, followed by the decades of the Cold War and up to and including the first war in the Gulf in the early 1990s.
91 years of Radio Romania
Radio Romania boasts a 91 year long history, which started on November 1, 1928.
Radio Romania kept company with the Romanians in the interwar period, throughout WWII and during communism, constrained by the limitations and censorship specific to both fascist and communist totalitarian regimes.
After 1989, Radio Romania regained its role of public media service.
We now invite you to listen to some excerpts of recordings kept in the radio tape library:
Comedians Stroe and Vasilache presenting the popular show “Ora veselă” (Happy Hour)
The great historian Nicolae Iorga
Over 90 years of history
Polish Radio, the state-owned national public-service, was founded on 18 August 1925.
For over 90 years, Polish Radio broadcasts have accompanied Poles in Poland and abroad.
The rich history of the station was interrupted on 1 September 1939, after the German invasion of Poland. However, before the Polish Radio went silent for six years, it broadcasted significant messages warning Poles about German attacks.
The battlefield recordings are a very valuable archive of those cruel times.