I often start my day listening to CRI Roundtable on shortwave radio. It’s bright, refreshing, young and always interesting.
Shortwave broadcasting is still alive. But it is harder and harder to find English language broadcasts. If I tune across the SWBC bands in the morning, there are tons of signals but most in Asian languages. In the evening, it’s mostly Spanish. BBC has discontinued most of its English broadcasts, especially to North America. Programs from the United States are mostly religious in nature.
One remaining SWBC English gem is CRI Roundtable. China Radio International broadcasts Roundtable every morning at 1300-1400 UTC. I tune in on 13710 or 13740 kHz and normally the signal is strong into western Canada.
Hosted by Zhou Heyang (above left) Roundtable is a radio magazine on Chinese and international culture. It’s content is somewhat soft/light, but interesting. Heyang, co-hosts and guests talk about consumer affairs, education, social activities from both a domestic and international perspective. The program originates at Easy FM, a mostly English language station on 91.5 MHz located in Beijing.
CRI Roundtable – You Can Listen
In addition to shortwave, Roundtable is available on the web and podcasts, including iTunes. If you want pure shortwave, CRI signals are strong enough to be picked up on lower cost shortwave portables. The signals that I pick up in Calgary each morning come either directly from China or relayed from Cuba.
Here is an example of CRI Roundtable being picked up on a Sangean portable radio.
If you are interested, you can find the frequencies for by searching here.