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muyongshi

Saw your post and went to do that on iTunes and it had already downloaded a new one without getting rid of the old. I'm happy because I like this one better than the NHK one.

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德国之声's morning broadcast for the 20th (itunes link has a very interesting interview with well-known dissident Liu Xiao Bo. Not so much about Chinese politics and so on, but about his dealings with the police over the years, stories of being arrested, etc. Well worth a listen, starts about 50 minutes in.

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wushijiao

I listened to that interview today while walking around. Pretty interesting stuff.

It looks like the intellectuals are starting to get a bit bolder, and perhaps not unrelated, the authorities are tightening up censorship, banning 凤凰 broadcasts in the Mainland, although that station is fairly pro-Beijing anyway.

I've also been listening to Radio Free Asia's Mandarin broadcasts more everyday for the last few weeks. I'd compare it to "Democracy Now!" in the US, that is to say, it comes off as very (Western) leftist, pro-democracy, pro-human rights, which are all good values of course, but also slightly biased ideologically. 德国之声, about a month ago, asked their listeners which other podcasts they listened to. Some of the people who wrote text messages commented that they couldn't stand Radio Free Asia. I can see thier point of view. To some degree, Radio Free Asia seems to squeeze every horrible piece of news about China/the Party into a single broadcast. Although I bet the stories have merit, overall, one sometimes gets the impression that the station lacks objectivity. Also, the production values don't seem quite as high as 德国之声's, and I think Radio Free Asia might be a slightly harder to understand for CSL learners than 德国之声 is. Still, I appreciate anybody or any group that puts out podcasts for free everyday.

Does anybody else have any thoughts on Radio Free Asia? Or any other podcasts to recommend? :conf

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德国之声 is pretty much the only Chinese-language podcast I listen to now. With about two and a half hours of decent news, arts and general interest content a day I'm hard pressed to listen to it all and I like the way it covers topics like dissidents and censorship without hitting you over the head with the 'China bad' stick. The presenters are generally good value too - particularly when people write in to ask for free stuff and get politely laughed at. Would miss it if it disappeared.

Antiwave's one minute slots and interviews just don't do it for me and I've pretty much stopped listening. Apart from that, I don't know of anything. I had a look around on iTunes a few days ago, but couldn't find anything that looked interesting.

Am downloading the latest Radio Free Asia to have a listen this afternoon. From what you've said though I think I'll find it annoying.

Edit: And the three headlines are dissident interview, website shut down, TV channel censored. Someone's hitting me on the head with that stick again . . .

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Have listened to a couple of Radio Free Asia shows now. The 'Asia Pacific' show might be more accurately titled the 'What's wrong with China' show, but once you accept that the content is decent enough. Just don't expect a wide range of content on China.

Production values are poor, some of the presenters sound like they've been dragged off the street and sound quality is often lacking. They also seemed to use more interviews with fast-talking heavily-accented people, which could make listening more challenging.

Will probably keep downloading them, not sure how regularly I'll listen though.

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wushijiao
They also seemed to use more interviews with fast-talking heavily-accented people, which could make listening more challenging.

Yes, they seem to do interviews with people who have been involved in, or were witnesses to, some of the incidents with the authorities. Some of those people tend to have thick accents, which I find a bit hard to understand sometimes. On the other hand, the listenings are more compelling to listen to than, say, listening about whomever Hu Jintao met at a recent summit, or whatever CRI has to offer.

Also, understanding interviews with real people, from a CSL point of view, is probably one of the most important skills. So, from that point of view, "Radio Free Asia" provides the advanced learner with interesting and authentic listenings on a daily basis.

I bet many Chinese people might feel uncomfortable with an American-run radio station that constantly broadcasts anti-Party news. But then again, if I were a farmer who was cheated out of my land by some corrupt official, I'd probably try to use every channel of communication to get out my message.

To some degree, "Radio Free Asia" seems so extreme to me because the Putonghua TV and radio news that I am used to is as docile as a beaten donkey.

So, I agree that "Radio Free Asia" is a good resource, as long as you know what you're getting. I think I'm going to listen to one 德国之声 plus one "Radio Free Asia" per day for the next few months, at least.

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I had tried 德国之声 a ways back when it was first mentioned on this site. It didn't grab me then, but I went back on the basis of your guys' comments. I pleasantly discovered that just about everything on their program is posted to the website--not just the news headlines, but the in-depth stories, Hong Kong clippings, science feature, etc. You have to play around with the left hand banner to find everything, but it's there for those who like having a text aide. I don't think they post the listener comments, though.

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德国之声 is pretty much the only Chinese-language podcast I listen to now. With about two and a half hours of decent news, arts and general interest content a day I'm hard pressed to listen to it all and I like the way it covers topics like dissidents and censorship without hitting you over the head with the 'China bad' stick.

In your opinion Roddy, how does 德国之声 compare with SBS? The thing I like better about the SBS is that it is broken up so I don't feel "hard pressed" to listen to it all.

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I've never listened to SBS, but I'm downloading the latest one just now.

Reason I'm downloading it is that my 德国之声 podcast has stalled - the url I am using (http://rss.dw-world.de/xml/podcast_radio_china ) hasn't been updated for a couple of days - anyone got an alternative functioning podcast address?

Edit: And it mysteriously started working just after I posted that. Is someone at 德国之声 listening to 我之声?

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Just an update: After listening to Radio Free Asia for about a month, I have to say that I've warmed up towards the station quite a bit (I'm politically in line with them too, which helps). They do have a lot of original reports about China everyday.

Also, for learners, you can also go to the website and read a summary of the headlines, or the actual articles before (or after) listening, in order to boost comprehension:

http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/

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  • 3 weeks later...

Where do you even go to look for podcasts these days? The podcast.bokee.com link wushijiao has now redirects to mov.bokee.com, the 音频 tag on podlook hasn't had anything new for months and seems to be mostly music and stuff about 美女s, (I'll stick to video for that, thanks), antiwave hasn't updated for two or three weeks and the likes of lifepop.com and tudou.com I can't get to just show me audio content. I can't see how it's possible to get iTunes to show you only chinese language podcasts, if there even are any on there beyond the news ones.

I'm quite possibly missing something. Help me out. The most I've managed to do is find the rss for the 有一说二 shows, which seem to still be updating every week or two.

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wushijiao

Wish I could help. I usually just listen to Radio Free Asia and 德国之声, which gets me to about an hour and a half of listenings per day.

The French service also has a podcast that was downloadable from the Mainland as of July.

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Do you have a functioning RSS feed for News茶座? All the ones I can find just don't work in iTunes.

德国之声 I still listen to but after listening almost daily for a few months now I feel the need for a bit of a change.

RFA I was listening to, but I can't figure out a way to get round the firewall in iTunes.

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Don't they have any proxy configurations in the windows version of iTunes?

On a Mac, if I configure my machine's proxy settings to use a tunnel, then iTunes can access RFA without any problems.

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wushijiao

Have you tried downloaded the NEWS茶座's from their official website and then putting it into iTunes? (I know that's almost too much to be bothered with, but still).

http://gb.cri.cn/inet/programs/cz.htm

Also, the RFA website has tons of MP3 listenings that you can download, often including the transcript. For example, they have a few hours worth of reading from Zhang Rong's Mao book

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I'm really looking for stuff that I can set up automatically. However, I've got the 有一说二 and RFA podcasts working now, plus Antiwave updated yesterday with an interview with one of the groups that does all the subtitling for foreign TV shows (YYeTS or something?) so that might be quite interesting.

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Coming to appreciate the RFA podcasts - you do need to accept that you aren't going to get much good news, and it really is going to be mostly politics and dissidents, etc, but once you've got past that it is fairly good quality content. Particularly good to have the phone interviews with the people at the sharp edge of all this.

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wushijiao
Coming to appreciate the RFA podcasts

Me too. I also like that they cover quite a few news events per day.

By the way, it seems that RFA and 德国之声 both haven't updated their iTunes since October 6th or so. Does anyone know what the deal is? A few other podcasts sites that I go to regularly (Anderson Cooper/ NPR's Talk of the Nation) seem to have the same problem. Maybe they are all lazy?

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I can see that they haven't updated on the actual iTunes site, but it doesn't seem to be affecting the downloads, which I think work by your iTunes software getting stuff directly from the RSS feed. Wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't mentioned it.

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