Friday, July 28, 2006

Japan's NHK Adds More English Program Output

In Japan radio news, state broadcaster, NHK says that from October 2007 it is going to re-align its Radio Japan International short wave radio broadcasts to reflect changes in listenership lost to television and Internet.

Language sections to be cut completely will be: Italian, German, Swedish and Malay.

Some 18 languages will remain - Japanese, English, French, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Korean, Persian, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese.

This is the first time since NHK International (NHK World TV and Radio Japan) was formed in July 1980 and, coincidentally the 50th anniversary of radio broadcasting in Japan that language cuts have taken place.

In transmission schedules, short-wave programs to Western Europe, North America and Hawaii, will also be trimmed back.

French language broadcasts will be directed only to Africa.

Spanish language programs will be transmitted to South America only.

NHK says that the saving of an annual 100 million yen will be used to increase English language program output for its Radio Japan and NHK World international TV transmissions.

NHK has progressively expanded online Internet streaming of its foreign language content/program output accessed by using Windows Media and Real Radio software.

The Radio Japan moves reflect the corporate restructuring of NHK at the direction of the government which wants NHK to modernise in line with a fast changing media environment and to make the institution more relevant to today's needs.

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