|The place where Paul often sits to listen to VOV after working hours.
Paul Walker, an American radio presenter and a loyal listener of VOV, says it is the personal connection that makes him want to listen to VOV and learn about Vietnam.
After a 6-hour drive from Washington we reached a small town in Pennsylvania near the border with Canada. It was a peaceful, quiet place with houses dating back more than 100 years. Paul Walker, a young radio presenter, met us in front of his house with his radio gears already set up.
With a small table and chair, 2 antennas, an analogue receiver, a tuner, and a digital recorder, Paul finds it interesting to listen to foreign radio programs. Paul said he picked up an obsession with radio when he was a kid and this passion has grown year by year. Now he is doing radio for a living.
“I started listening to the radio as a real young kid. In fact listening to the radio is what made me want to get into radio. I listened to that growing up and now I get paid to play music. I wanted to do it as a kid and that’s what I do now for a living. I’m actually a radio presenter here in the United States, play music on the radio, put together commercials, manage FB pages for radio stations and general stuff like that,” Paul said.
|Paul self assembles the radio equipment.
Paul started to listen to VOV in the summer of 2015 and since then VOV has become an indispensable part of his listening schedule.
Paul said he listens and sends in reception reports to VOV quite often with every detail he recorded with his radio equipment.
“I like the music, especially when they play the older music. I also like to listen to news because I like the different perspectives, different opinion on it because other countries see things differently than we do and I like to hear that. I like the Letterbox program that is one of my favorites, I like to hear how other listeners tune into VOV and what they like about it and it seems like a fairly large amount of people like the music so I know there’re many of us out there. VOV’s English announcers are very friendly”, said Paul.
Paul said what impresses him most about VOV is the personal connection which makes him want to listen to VOV and learn about Vietnam
Paul shares his feeling “One of the things I like about the Voice of Vietnam is the personal connection that VOV announcers have with the listeners, especially listeners that have been listening for a while, VOV announcers remember who they are and where they are. When you send out a reception report, you hear back and you get a card. That personal connection is like you have a piece of that radio station and a piece of that country with you when you listen. It adds a little bit to the listening.”
In a time of modern technology and because of high costs, many radio stations have stopped shortwave transmissions to focus on online streaming, VOV still retains its overseas broadcasts, something Paul really appreciates “Shortwave is quite an effective way to reach people without the internet. Countries and broadcasters who may be a little under-funded I can understand because you can’t really judge how many people are listening to shortwave.
I like being able to listen to the radio without being connected to the internet. You can basically listen to VOV anywhere you can get one of their radio signals and many the places you can’t get internet so I can see why VOV keeps shortwave to reach out to places where internet is slow, unreliable, and expensive.”
Paul said he is willing to participate in VOV’s contest “What do you know about Vietnam” to win a chance to visit the country and meet VOV’s staff and learn more about Vietnam and its people.