The Worldwide Listening Guide 5th edition
I last reviewed The Worldwide Listening Guide by John Figliozzi in July 2009. That edition comprised 112 pages. The new edition, published in December 2011, is considerably thicker at 160 pages, but the price is unchanged.
The book focuses on programme content rather than distribution platforms, and contains some 4,000 individual English-language broadcasts. These are presented in time order, but also indexed by subject category, so if you’re looking for a programme on a particular topic, you don’t have to look through the entire list. Music programmes are sub-divided into categories such as Folk and Traditional Music, Rock Music etc. A brief description of each programme, indexed by title, is also included.
There is extended information about what the author calls ‘The Big Six’ English-language public broadcasters - the BBC, ABC Australia, CBC Canada, RTE Ireland, RNZ New Zealand and NPR USA. For these, information is given about domestic networks that are streamed worldwide as well as their international services.
The main target market for the book is those in North America who want to listen to broadcasts from outside the US, but a substantial part of it is relevant worldwide, so times are given in UTC as well as Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and in the local time of the broadcaster. The use of EDT rather than Eastern Standard Time (EST) is “because it is now used eight months out of the year.”
There are concise and well-written explanations of the different delivery platforms used by the broadcasters: AM/FM radio, shortwave, digital radio, WiFi Internet radio, and satellite radio. The main consolidated listing by time includes all the platforms used for each broadcast that can be received in North America, so the frequencies of those stations that still use shortwave are included alongside newer platforms.
The one disadvantage of this approach is that if you only have a shortwave radio, there’s no easy way to pick out the shortwave transmissions at a glance. But that’s where the 2012 World Radio TV Handbook comes in. As I noted in my review of the Handbook, that publication now briefly mentions international broadcasts via Internet, but doesn’t have the space to give any details. In that regard, the Worldwide Listening Guide is the perfect companion to the WRTH. Indeed, the author John Figliozzi is a long-time user of the WRTH and has clearly gone out of his way to make his book a complement rather than a competitor to it.
There is now also a website for the Worldwide Listening Guide, on which will be posted a consolidated programme listing sorted by station, so that users interested in listening to specific stations can more easily find programmes of interest to them. The website will also publish changes and additional relevant information that becomes available.
At the end of the book are some “Listeners Log” pages in which the user can add listings of additional stations and updates to the published information. There are also details of where to find more information on related subjects of particular interest to the reader.
The wire-bound format of the book makes it perfect for placing beside a computer or radio. Once again I heartily recommend it as a book worth buying regardless of where you live. It can be ordered on the Internet through major book and electronics suppliers.