A realistic guide to reception report writing
by Jonathan Marks & Diana Janssen
Well over a decade ago we produced a simple pamphlet designed to explain how to write a useful reception report for most international broadcasters. We sent out some 60,000 printed copies since then. Now that we’re well into the new millennium, we thought it about time to thoroughly revise the information.
International broadcasting across borders is a very specialised form of programme making. Bouncing signals off the ionosphere is not the most reliable way of reaching far off target areas. That’s why many international broadcasters, including Radio Netherlands, also use other methods of programme delivery such as local rebroadcasts and streaming audio on the Web.
For shortwave, good frequency choice is essential if the broadcast is going to have any impact at all. Listeners have sent reports on reception quality to international broadcasting stations since the early years of this century. This was simply because most transmissions contained (and often still do contain) a request for such a response. In the beginning, when many of the broadcasts were experimental, stations relied heavily on reports from listeners.
In the new millennium there is now a different technique required to make your reception reports useful to an international broadcaster. Nowadays at Radio Netherlands we now have access to remote monitoring equipment around the world, which enables us to monitor reception of our broadcasts in real time. We also have a team of about 150 individual monitors who check our transmissions on a regular basis.
Radio Netherlands continues to welcome all listener reports, but before tackling the detail, please note the following: The comments that follow apply ONLY to reception reports sent to international broadcasters. If you wish to report to low power stations in Africa, Asia, or Latin America, you need to use a completely different approach.
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A Sample Reception Report
€ Written from Radio Netherlands archives ( “Writing useful reception reports”) . Thanks to Radio Netherlands and Steve Whitt for there kind consideration.