It closes on the 3rd of August 2018 at 17:00 AEST.
The terms of reference are very broad, seeking to assess the reach of Australia's media in the region, and covering many distribution platforms - they mention television, radio and online.
The striking thing that's changed in recent years is the increased output from China which has in some cases taken over frequencies that used to be used daily by Radio Australia (which of course they have every right to do).
Technical things have changed too:
- Digital Radio Mondiale has been rolled out in India (although receivers are still not very good)
- Smartphones and mobile data are much more available in the region
- Use of home satellite receivers has declined globally as more content moves online
- Use of shortwave AM radios has diminished but it's interesting to note that there are many new models of radio available.
There are many benefits arising from broadcasting into our region from Australia, perhaps the best defence against Fake News is just the provision of consistent, quality, regular news. Tecsun Radios Australia has a great article on the value of shortwave in the region.
You can find out more by joining the Facebook group "Supporters of Australian Broadcasting in Asia and the Pacific".
The Strategist has a nice piece by Graeme Dobell backgrounding some of the politics.
I had an opportunity to talk about this on ABC RN Drive with Patricia Karvelas. Former Pacific correspondent Jemima Garrett was interviewed the next night on RN Drive.
There has been some additional coverage:
- China takes over Radio Australia frequencies after ABC drops shortwave. - ABC
- China takes up Australia's former radio space in Pacific - RNZ. Also on Loop Tonga.
- China grabs ABC Pacific radio - The Australian (Paywalled).
- China just took over radio frequencies left behind by Australia — and it shows Beijing is winning over the Pacific - Business Insider
- China shortwave foray into Pacific helped by Aus withdrawal - Radio New Zealand
- Supporters of the ABC call for help to revitalise Australia’s voice in the Asia-Pacific - My land my country
- Wireless Institute of Australia national news item - starts at 2mins 53secs in.
- Push to restore full Asia/Pacific service for Radio Australia - Sean Dorney on Radio New Zealand's Dateline Pacific Program
- Pacific Islands Forum SG says shortwave radio is still relevant in region - Interview with Dame Meg Taylor on Pacific Beat
My tiny camper van came with a Pioneer car radio that has shortwave. I notice that in the afternoons Radio New Zealand belts in to Sydney and could be mistaken for a local AM station.
Let me know if you see more stories I've missed.