National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention - Radio Session 2 - International Radio Reconsidered - Tape 2
The art form. I'd be happy to know about it. I have a stack of forms over here in the corner of the table which I brought along in case you want to check off any of these items that I've mentioned I've got them little boxes if you want to think about them you can mail them to me. And by the way I'd appreciate it very much if you put me on your mailing lists for our weekly calendars and radio schedules and press releases. Now I hope you'll agree with me that these program ideas for others that might be better provide an opportunity to bring the Universities and Colleges of America and sometimes even high schools into the international field. Your radio station operators your radio station operators already have formidable state and regional networks and you're working on the establishment of a national network. I offer you the possibility of using the Voice of America transmitters to go international worldwide.
With VOA world wide facilities. You are articulate faculty members you are keen young American students and you are appreciative foreign students can all move together in a sort of a three pronged people to people communication you members of AA and E.B. radio division will then be well on your way to becoming members of the international set. Thank you. Thank you John your ideas as always are both cogent and welcome. All right the man this morning is Mitchell Kraus who is vice president for news and operations at Radio New York worldwide wor you well the international commercial station. He was formerly director of news and programs at that station. Prior to coming to W. Are you well in 1960 he was director of News of W IP in Philadelphia where he won several awards including a special one for public service in radio journalism from
Sigma Delta Khai for his program series world in perspective. He's also been associated in past years with the BQ X are New York WFLA in Philadelphia. WG Why anyone at Radio New York worldwide which has supervised the station's international coverage for example of the 16th General Assembly of the United Nations for which the station received the George Foster Peabody Award for Outstanding Contribution to international understanding is an active member of the Foreign Press Association. The Overseas Press Club Radio Television Correspondents Association of Washington the Academy of Political and social sciences and the Radio Television News Directors Association which Krauss is uniquely qualified I think to be our anchorman this morning on the topic. What really is international broadcast. Thank you very much John and I'm very happy to be here. Unfortunately the administration department of our organization I think got a little mixed up on initials
and they thought I was going to the N A B conventions to the end E.B. convention. And so they bought me a first class ticket the more expensive cars. I guess they thought they'd charge it off to business development but. But the result was as you know when you travel first class you have those mandatory cocktails and wine and champagne and cordials and the the wine flavored sauce over the steak and on top of it all I had a layover of an hour and a half in Dallas and another airline to cope with the coming at Austin. So the prepared speech I had hoped to have which I intended to write the week before the week that saw the cod and Khrushchev fall and the Chinese bomb the British elections and the death of Herbert Hoover remained unwritten until this morning. And I was fully prepared to write a speech on what really is international broadcasting until two things happened while I was shaving. I had the radio on in the hotel room to the only station which currently was receivable here w LBJ or something of that sort.
And they had the. The community bulletin board following the whereabouts of Lady Bird who is embarking on a trip and they said that the women's un club of Austin was going to have a meeting at lunch today and they were going to meet in the Morocco room of a restaurant called the villa Capri. And they were going to hear Brazilian folk songs to a German lunch. So with that and with the second experience of the day which was experiencing all the wonderful remarks this morning which were so stimulating I rewrote my own written speech several times and so here we are and I'm going to give you what I thought I wanted to say in the first place tempered by the experience of the morning. The question really is what really is international broadcasting and I suppose those who haven't thought a great deal about the word international for a while might perhaps be somewhat confused as to what we mean do we mean stations like the Voice of America which broadcasts from the United States to many
countries around the world. Do we mean stations like those that exist in Europe. Radio Luxembourg radio Andorra Radio Monte Carlo or these pirate ships or radio Invicta Radio Caroline who broadcast from one privileged sanctuary into another country in order to produce commercial broadcasting in countries where commercials are not permitted. Do we need stations like Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty that broadcast behind the so-called Iron Curtain. Do we mean stations like Radio Moscow broadcast propaganda as opposed to the informational mission of the Voice of America. Do we mean stations like those across the Mexican border that broadcast into the United States with high powered transmitters in attempting to reach large audiences here in this country with licenses that they perhaps could not achieve in this country. Do we mean the transmitters of God broadcasting into neighboring Nigeria. Do we mean the transmitters on the island of Zanzibar broadcasting into mainland East Africa. What do we
mean. Do we mean the station that I represent Radio New York worldwide which has been known as W R U well which broadcasts commercial programs to a variety of countries. I think I think the word international broadcasting means a great deal more than that because it is content and it is the audience that is listening that more than the type of station or whether it be shortwave or Af-Am or long wave or medium wave as they call it in some parts of the world. I think it is the content of the program and the listener on the other end that signifies what international broadcasting really means. And again the complexity of this mission is one that those of us in the field bear and I think it's one that you in the field of of educational radio here in the United States bear. Those stations that broadcast into one particular country like radio Luxemburg who aims part of its programming into France and part into Britain. They have a simple mission. They like the Top 40 station perhaps here has determine for itself what its audience
is. And on the basis of its methods of selection it decides what that audience should have or what they think that audience wants. But those of us who attempt to broadcast to a much broader and more mixed audience. We have a much more difficult task I think this is true in education when all of you try to decide what percentage of your programming should be for those who are interested in classical music. What percentage should be instructional what percentage should be on current affairs. What percentage should be on the relatively more sophisticated cultural subjects. You realize by putting your programme schedule together that you have listeners with a great variety of tastes and needs and this is much more difficult this is a much more sophisticated job than simply directing your programme service to one kind of listener. We face that Radio New York worldwide and indeed the voice of America of course faces that in the worldwide English service or the general overseas service
of the BBC. Now that language is becoming a situation whereby people speak English who are not Americans or Englishman or Australians means that many people eavesdrop on a broadcast from countries from backgrounds greatly different from those who create the broadcast. And there's nothing like tuning in to a to a radio station late at night in America and hearing the the talk jocky as they refer to him at midnight or or someone else from let's say the city as nearby as Philadelphia to New York and hearing him make some comments about New York City thinking that only Philadelphians are listening and he hasn't done his research very carefully. And Broadway ends up on the wrong side of town. Well this is the kind of experience that we who broadcast to audiences of great variety face whether it be across national frontiers and oceans or whether it be in our own community where we reach all sorts of people. And so we've got to be especially careful that what we say is thought out in terms of who our audience might be not who we think our audience is
that we be sure that we express through what we say. The feeling among our audience and among ourselves that we relate to their needs to the situation in which they live. I'd like to go over some of the events of the past two weeks to illustrate a little bit about what I mean by international broadcasting. Certainly no one here would think that broadcasting a symphony by Beethoven would be international broadcasting in their own country. But Beethoven was not an American. He was a of course a European. No one would think that quoting a line from Hamlet would be international broadcasting. But of course as Shakespeare wrote in a different country all of us are moved in the present world by what happens around the world in other countries as well as our own. And if there is any movement toward international life toward a recognition of the rest of the world it is a movement that is forced upon us not a movement that we ourselves create. Certainly if
one looks at efforts made over the years these efforts to create an international feeling have been certainly overwhelmed by the international feeling that has occurred as a result of the pressure of events. And so let us look for a moment at what happened during the past two weeks in order to determine whether or not we are really engaging in international broadcasting in our own community or across National Front TVs. The answer is of course we are because we certainly could not carry on a single day's broadcasting whether it be in the world of culture or in the world of news without relating to the events of the world which occur the places and the people in the news and yet are we thinking sufficiently are we as someone used the word empathizing enough with our potential listeners. Do we realize for instance that when at the stroke of midnight two days ago a country once known as Northern Rhodesia
becomes the newest nation in the world Zambia. Do we realize the implications for the people in that country and the potential implications for the people elsewhere in the world at the United Nations here in the United States. Do we recognize that when a neighboring country Sudan has a palace revolt and which people are killed in which there is a threat of great instability do we realize the potential that this event has for the stability in our part of the world. And I don't mean to preach and I don't mean to imply that we are not sophisticated or experienced enough now to realize that there are no far off countries. But the events have swept upon us at such an incredibly rapid pace. And I will recall some of the incidents of the past week that was the launching of the Vosh caught by the Soviet Union with three men aboard and a flight around the earth in outer space a capsule that weighed several times the largest capsule that the United States has yet put up. This was an event that most people forgot
about an hour after they heard about it and two days later of course anyone thinking of it would be considered old hat because after all that was on a weekend and then by the following Wednesday we were preparing for a predictable event the election in Britain. It was Thursday the 15th of October that this was to occur. There was a small domestic story out of Washington involving someone in the presidential family an unfortunate story which was a headline story for just 12 hours before it disappeared. The British election was a story that most of the press and some of the radio and television stations of this country had prepared to feature to package for their biggest story of the night and they had spent a great deal of money some of the television stations in sending crews to Britain and taking a great deal of film in preparing documentaries on what the British election was all about. And in fact the station that I am with Radio New York worldwide had developed through the cooperation of three of the educational stations and radio in this country a little
network on the East Coast and we were going to broadcast. Indeed we did the coverage of the British general election returns in the Boston area on WGBH on WRVA our New York and on WMU in Washington. And we were situated at the New York headquarters of the BBC where they were having an election night party with British journalists and with some of the celebrities of of the British stage in motion picture. And we had decided to originate the broadcast from that point in order to make a simultaneous translation from British into American of the results. And we have had interest up and down the Eastern Seaboard in this broadcast and again because caught in a few other things this reporter as I refer to myself sometimes it was going to be the anchorman. I had intended to use that Thursday the 15th to do some final boning up on this very strange political system that the British have had and we had a lot of research material and background tapes and so forth. And about 11 0 2 in the morning the Reuters news service carried a story that
attracted some interest that Vesty as you all know the government newspaper edited by Nikita Khrushchev's son in law was not going to print its edition that night. And since that's the only paper in Moscow it did create a problem for the citizens of that city. But we knew that something big was in the offing. And all concentration on the British election had to stop short because by of course as you know by the end of the day the Soviets had a new government. The next day by 11 0 2 the following morning the Chinese had exploded a nuclear weapon. The British election results were in and the British had a new government. And within 48 hours great American Herbert Hoover had died and the attention of the world was focused on a state funeral. And over the weekend we had a new country in Africa and the disintegration perhaps of the government of the Sudan. Some stations didn't discuss any of these stories with the exception of the Walter Jenkins story because that was local news they say they assume. Some certainly referred to
Khrushchev and they read ripped and read the wire service copy. But the potential of all of these stories not only in terms of their implications for your audience but the potential as far as program content was literally overwhelming collection of events. Could any station have commercial educational international religious or classical. What what content possibilities existed to equal three men in space. The downfall of the Soviet leader for 14 years or so in a rather for ten years or so in a in a non democratic election by Western standards a brand new government in Britain. The downfall of a government in Africa a new country coming into existence. And of course all of the stories that we are waiting for the United States election and the opening of the UN General Assembly. So the gist of what I what I'm trying to say today really is that.
Programming that relates to the world around us the world around us which creates the pace in which we live. This is the challenge that international broadcasting creates for us and this can create for us on our local educational station level and on our local commercial station level. The greatest opportunity to do creative exciting programming about what's happening in the world where these places are who these people are why these events of occurred. And in each one of your communities John Morgan says he has stated here just a few minutes ago. Each one of your communities there are foreign students. Some communities have foreign consulates. Some communities have visiting professors. Entertainers of people who have traveled to other countries and live there who are Americans a great reservoir of potential talent that can be explored. That should be explored to bring to the listener to your station and of the commercial station a better understanding of how a coup d'etat in the
Sudan can affect the listeners in your community and after all what's happening in the Sudan and isn't that the same country where the great project is underway to preserve some of the greatest relics of mankind's early culture. And isn't that the same country that existed under British authority and doesn't the Nile River have something to do with the Sudan and all of these things which can can in a very elementary way open the eyes of some of the people in your audience who are interested in Beethoven and Brahms and Shakespeare and who never quite thought about the relationship of their projects to the world at large. I like to close with with one further thought and to paraphrase something that John Kennedy said and he said and I'm paraphrasing Ask not what what your commercial stations can do for you. But what. Perhaps you can do for your commercial stations in your community and perhaps what both of you can do for each other because after all the great reservoir of talent
that exists in the educational community that you represent the great possibilities of building the bridges really between the educational radio and television effort and the commercial effort to reach all levels to reach all audiences in the community. Not to make the culturally rich richer and the culturally poor poorer because you're not going to entice those listeners over from commercial radio but to get into the commercial radio stream and perhaps a to do not just what the chairman Henry of the FCC said that Mr. post here referred to and that was that commercial radio should find a way to support educational radio. But let's make an offering to commercial radio of what we could possibly contribute to them. It might not be money. But it might be some ideas it might be some program concepts it might fit the top 40 formula you know popular music is popular in other countries as well as the United States and perhaps it might be fun for that top 40 station to hear recordings of music that occur in other countries the
same music that we play here. These are only some very rough ideas but. But let's try to build those bridges and let's try to reach across that terrible gap between commercial and sustaining or between educational and the money making Top 40 formula. And let's truly make our efforts international If only the border is that which exists between your work and the work of the commercial broadcasters that I represent. Thank you. Thank you very much miss like your colleagues on the panel this morning you have pointed out both are possibilities. Some of our potentials and some of our responsibilities. I'd like to remind you just before we break that the forms to which John we're going to referred are here on the corner of the table and I'm certain that John will be pleased to have stopped by. If you have not yet purchased your ticket for the lunch which follows immediately my understanding is that you may still do so. There will be
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention - Radio Session 2 - International Radio Reconsidered - Tape 2
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