20 April, 2009

My Radio Segment, Episodes 13 & 14

I'm merging both the 13th [ available for download HERE ] & 14th [available for download HERE] episodes together in this report, broadcasted on the 6th and 13th of April respectively, due to the fact that one of them has follow up information for the other. The 14th episode have extra information only about Radio Al-Balad's new programs grid and its details.

Today i have no segment, and i shall be back on the airwaves next week with more news and subjects.

Started the 12th episode with a follow-up for the subject of episode before, with regards to planning the radio frequencies with neighboring countries, that is, as i discussed this subject over a telephone interview with the chief of TRC, Dr. Ahmed Hyasat, who explained the role of the TRC in organizing the coverage of Jordanian Radio stations' frequencies and their coverage, as well as insuring they wouldn't intersect with radio stations from neighboring countries, especially in border areas. In addition to conducting periodic coordination meetings with authorities in neighboring countries to regulate the frequencies and ensure that no interference would be caused neither by Jordanian or foreign radio stations, in addition to having direct communications channels with them in case of having coverage violations, especially violations that exceed border areas in the depth of Jordanian territories.
Dr Hyasat also stated in the interview that both radio stations as well as listeners themselves have a role in detecting such violations and reporting them to the TRC that would care to investigate and make necessary actions for the reported cases.

In my weekly review of the airwaves, I start from Irbid FM, Radio Jordan's local radio station broadcasting on 95.4 FM in irbid area, which has been stopped during this week and without any prior notice or declared reason, and whether this stop is permanent or temporary; how ever, recent news from Radio Jordan Broadcasting stated that this is a temporary stop, as the station will be facing some restructuring in both its employees and programs. Irbid FM is the only local radio station with specific programs targeting residents of the area its covering, and this radio station which started around 16 years ago on 103 FM in irbid area during specific hours on the same frequency of Radio Jordan Broadcasting – Main Service, has reached 7 hours of local broadcasting lately, while the remaining hours Radio Amman FM was broadcasting on this frequency.

Also, the radio station broadcasting on 93.7 FM in Amman, which i mentioned in an earlier episode that its still untitled (except for the RDS name “Nojoum FM”) and whose broadcasting is limited to broadcasting non stop Arabic song for over a year now. We started hearing some changes on it airwaves during this week, as its transmission stopped several times and we now can hear both Arabic and Western music on its airwaves, the station is also no longer entitled as Nojoum FM. This may signify the beginning of an actual beginning for the station soon.

On the other hand, a new station started its broadcasting on 94.9 FM covering the region of Amman, the station was still untitled at the time of preparing and broadcasting the 13th episode, but the week after i followed up and figured out this is the test transmission for Jordan University Radio. The station shall officially start its programs by the end of the month.

While in Karak, Mutah University's Radio station, Sawt Al-Karak, started its test broadcasting on 91.3 FM covering Karak area. The station shall officially start its programs soon as well during next may. Being a community radio serving the local area and community.

Moving further to reviewing what was on the running stations airwaves, i start from Friday 3-4-2009, in which, as the friday before and each and every friday, Radio Sawt Al-Madina was pretty busy with its special program and live transmission from one of Amman's cafes to follow and promote for the Jordanian participants in the reality TV & musical program “Star Academy”, with a lot of people on location, and even some of the program's stars from previous years, Sawt Al-Madina made a unique action for this program and among its fans and followers in jordan.

While on Beat FM, the Jordanian English speaking CHR radio, Beat FM had broken the CHR barriers with a 1st of April fool, as it broadcasted old Arabic songs on its airwaves! Not any songs, but those from old cartoon series translated in Arabic, and which we used to follow when we were little kids back in time. Those cartoon songs were presented within Beat FM's special promotion for “Fresh New Beats” :) ... 2 of those promotions are included in the 13th episode.

On the other hand, Radio Al-Balad had also broken the barriers, by having western music, more specifically Rock and Metal music starting to be aired on its airwaves through a specialized show entitled “Rock with Ghassan”. This programs comes as part of Radio Al-Balad's new programs grid which began on Saturday 4-4-2009. the show which comes out every Thursday from 7.30 PM is now the 4th of a kind, after Beat FM's, Spin Jordan's and Radio Jordan's rock shows. [show promotion attached]

also in this new programs grid, several shows got introduced on Radio Al-Balad, like “Sa7ebat al-qarar”, a legal information show for women, “Made in Jordan”, yet another sport program called “Mala3eb Ordoniah” and a come back for the cultural show “bera2e7at al-qahwa”.

One of the good things in this new programs grid (as radio al-balad changes its programs grid several times a year being a community radio), is the fact that most of the major shows are still on their same air times and days. And this is a good step, as changing the programs timing continuously makes the station loose listenership, due to the fact that a lot of listeners may stop listening to the radio station as their favorite shows get changes in times (maybe now you might know why most the commercial stations have the same programs and timings since they were lunched).

Indeed, sometimes the change is needed if there are fatal mistakes in the programming, at that case, re-programming [content and timing] are more of a need. An example of that was the dramatic changes in the programs grid on radio al-balad at the beginning of the year.

14 April, 2009

My Radio Segment, Episode 12

This episode is available for download HERE, and for listening on the listen icon.

ListenThis episode, aired on the 30th of march, was more of a rumble, about the impact of having Jordanian radio stations covering all the places throughout Jordan, and the media role of radio station in delivering the information to citizens through its airwaves, regardless of the main objective of these radios.

Taking as an example the transition to daylight summertime over that weekend and the participation of Jordan in the earth hour initiative, plenty of people did not got information on these “announcement” properly or clear enough, or not even at all maybe! Despite the fact of having all those radio stations populating the airwaves, & despite the high claimed listenership of radios. Which is an entertainment and media mean that is completely free and can be made available through the simplest ways and devices, without the need of having to current electricity even.

As the options went multiple for the listeners, people are no longer depending on the official state radio, or news radio stations to obtain information and entertainment. Thus, to ensure that the examples mentioned above of information would reach to the entire nations, Radio stations, regardless of their different types and genres, should stay apart from the formal nature in the provision of those kind of information. What would stop entertainment radio station (be it that they broadcast news bulletins or not) from playing a simple and inexpensive media role, by providing through its usual entertaining programs such sorts of simple information that would be of an interest to the whole nation in an informal and smooth way, ensure it would be reachable for all sorts of people. This may be the minimal media role radio stations can do for people, and this is for sure a responsibility for those radio stations against the airwaves they broadcast in.

Of course, the impact of having Jordanian radio stations covering different regions across the kingdom is much reflected on the reliability of the local media and dependency of people to obtain their information from the Jordanian media instead of neighboring countries media, and therefore gives an impact on the delivery of direct information concerning the citizens of these areas.

We might be now in a good situation as far as radio coverage is concerned in comparison with several years back, that is, as Radio Fann FM is covering all areas in Jordan throughout 11 radio frequencies, and is even covering more areas that the official state-owned Radio Jordan stations across the FM dial. Which puts on Fann FM - owned the Jordanian armed forces – big responsibility in serving the people in areas where no other radio stations reach, especially areas like Al-Karak , Al-Azraq, and Al Ruweished to the East from Mafraq.

Before this revolution on the airwaves, there were many areas across the Kingdom, especially border areas, whose residents used to depend on radio stations from neighboring countries. One good example is Irbid in the North,as at the time there were no jordanian radio stations covering that region, while southern Lebanon was occupied and no FM radio stations were available in Syria, so the only option for the residents of that area was Radio Israel Arabic service, as well as some of the Arab Israelis owned radio stations. This was for sure a case that is not to be accepted neither by officials nor the public. and although Jordanian radio station's frequencies has increased and reached over 15 in irbid area, those compete now with many radio stations from the neighboring three countries.

This issue of having Jordanian radio stations covering jordan and having them as a primary source of information for Jordanians across jordan may require efforts from both the AVC and TRC, to encourage opening radio stations in various regions of the country especially border area, be it local radio stations or frequencies for Jordanian radio stations broadcasting in other areas of the country.

Also, planning frequencies with neighboring countries should be a high responsibility for both the AVC and TRC, especially with regard to radios from neighboring countries broadcasting through the depth of Jordanian territories, and beyond the border areas, such as the Saudi Quran Radio broadcasting on 91.7 FM and covering wide areas that reach even to Jerash and Ajloun areas, and the official Syrian radio stations that reach even to the capital Amman on several frequencies such as 100.9 FM and 92.6 FM affecting even some Jordanian radio station's broadcasting in northern jordan (Watan FM on 92.7 FM), and the capital (Radio Al-Balad 92.4 FM)

08 April, 2009

Radio Guide Update: Jordan University Radio on 94.9 FM

Jordan University Radio started its test transmission on 94.9 FM covering Amman Greater Area.

The Radio station, which will be more of a cultural-political "students radio", will be starting officially soon, and the moment of writing this post, only Classic Music is being aired on its airwaves.

Radio Guide Update: Sawt Al-Karak on 91.3 FM

Two days ago, Sawt Al-Karak, which is Mutah University's Radio, started its test broadcasting on 91.3 FM for the Karak region.

The local radio station, owned by the university, will be more of a community radio for Al-Karak region, which misses any other radio station on its airwaves except for Fann FM. and is scheduled to officially launch its programs soon during May.

05 April, 2009

My Radio Segment, Episode 11

This episode is available for download HERE, and for listening on the listen icon.

ListenThis episode, aired on March 23rd (sorry for the late publishing), was mainly oriented towards reviewing what was on the Jordanian airwaves in the previous period, in which i had more specific subjects to talk about in my radio segment.

Starting from radio Ayyam FM. Where the radio comedian Nadeem Sarraj, famous for quite a while now for his comedy character "Rajee Dwara" in the funny sketches of “Nakshet Mokh” on Mazaj FM, Nadeem now became part of Ayyam FM's airwaves starting mid February 2009, with a new radio comedy show entitled "Etla3 Men Rasee" and with a new character names "Dr Refa'at" doing phone pranks with all sorts of people.

On March 1st, Radio Jordan Broadcasting celebrated its 50th anniversary, of launching Radio Jordan Broadcasting from its current location in Um Alhairan. Although the history of Radio Jordan goes back to 1948 when it was located in Ramallah, and this was declared officially by the Jordanian Parliament to be the official Jordanian radio station in 1950. while the radio presence in Amman wasn't until 1956 when a subsidiary station was opened in Amman under the name of "Radio Amman" and used to broadcast for no more than 8 hours a day from a building in Jabal Al - Hussein. However, the launch from Um Alhairan in 1959 was the point of switch to Radio Jordan to the concept of modern state radio, as it had their an independent modern building equipped with several studios, sound engineering rooms, news editing rooms.. etc , in addition to the co-opening of a broadcasting antenna and station in the area near Naour bridge. Radio Jordan Broadcasting is of course still evolving, and currently operates several radio stations as well as several radio frequencies, which are not limited to the FM frequencies we might know throughout Jordan, but with also several frequencies via which Radio Jordan broadcasts through the short waves, enabling it to reach all around the world from Al-Harraneh Antenna station near Queen Alia Airport.

Also on the 1st March, the cold wave that brought in snow to the kingdom, had its effect on the radio programming as well, but unfortunately, not on all the radio stations. Many radio station didn't give attention at all even to it, like if they are broadcasting in another country!!!! On the contrary were Radio Fann FM (which even postponed a prepared subject for that days episode of Al-Wakeel's morning show) , Amen FM (which of course kept following up the situation of all the roads in the kingdom with up to date information), and Play FM, which had a good interaction with the listeners about it, and was even announcing for example the universities that had stopped their lectures for that day or postponed them like other radio stations.

Moving to 4 March 2009, when we have witnessed across the Jordanian airwaves a nice experience of unifying two stations broadcasts, that are, Radio Al-balad, and Radio Arabisc in Damascus, through a joint program speaking about therapist tourism of both countries and with the participation of radio announcers from both station in a live broadcasting. This program will continue on monthly basis on both stations, on the first Wednesday of every month at 10 PM.

Also, starting earlier this month, with the announcement of HM Queen Rania's initiative of "Ahel Al-Himmeh", we started listening to announcements and promotions of this initiative through the airwaves of all radio stations. This for sure demonstrates the importance of the radio media sector, and its power of reaching the message directly and smoothly to all sorts of people where-ever they are. [The Promotion attached]

Of course, we can't wrap this review, without reviewing what we had on the Jordanian airwaves for mother's day, which was more of a “Mother's week” on the Jordanian radio stations, due to their huge interaction with this occasion over an entire week. This started with Radio Sawt alghad, which held a big festive event & contest starting Friday 13-3-2009 over 3 consecutive days in City Mall. The contest was in a form of a race between the mothers in performing home work cleaning, and with the participation of several sponsors and companies who had gifts for the participating mothers. Sawt Al-Ghad didn't stop there, as it had quite a big concentration on this occasion throughout its programs across that week, as well as on most of the radio stations, that came up with all sorts of prizes and contests for this occasion, with gifts reaching even to the value of 1000 JDs like we had on Energy FM.

Also, several radio stations had special programs that went on their airwaves for this occasion, and even on mother's day it self, Saturday 21-3-2009, as we had on Watan FM, Ayyam FM, and Radio Jordan English Service.

But maybe, the most notable special show, was the special episode from Al-Wakeel's morning show on Radio Fann FM, aired on Thursday 19-3-2009 and replayed on Saturday. The show was more of an emotional and humanitarian one, as the the program's team had researched and investigated to host 10 mothers that have been, and still, struggle in this life as mothers to cope with their difficult lives with their families and children. The show presenter Mohammad Al-Wakeel reviewed their cases on the air and rewarded them on this occasion. In addition of course to the usual interaction from individuals and different institutes for their cases. [Different segments recordings from the show attached].
Radio Sawt Al-Madina also had a special program for this occasion during mother's day, but was quite a different one, as it was hosted by the guys from "3alarasi.com" , which we have been hearing a lot lately on Sawt Al-Madina, making it more of a comedy and funny show on this occasion, as one of their mothers was also co-hosting the show with them, and had a nice interactive touch on the show.

Last but not least, Spin Jordan had showed again its creativity and high quality of production on this occasion, as it had a small nice, comic, and yet realistic promotion on this occasion playing on its airwaves all over the week. [Promotion attached].