Ganzert Helps Upgrade Mongolian National Radio


Charles Ganzert (Communication and Performance Studies) was involved in a recent effort to help Mongolian National Radio upgrade its equipment. He was part of a contingent that delivered and installed eight Pro Tools digital audio workstations, then trained staff members on how to use them. Ganzert is pictured with staff members outfitted with NMU apparel at a "graduation party" that followed the training.


"Their former studios were literally frozen in amber in 1982, which is when they were first designed by Russians and Hungarians," Ganzert said. "A lot has changed in more than 20 years, including the availability of digital media, so we helped introduce them to more modern technology that will make their jobs easier and their product better. We also did some workshops for trainers at the stations to help them get more out of their staffs and more effectively train new employees."


The 17-day journey to Ulaan Baatar was to complete a project supported by the United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Asia/Pacific Institute for Broadcast Development.


According to UNESCO, the goals are to upgrade the scope and range of radio and television services in Mongolia, restructure broadcasting operations in the prevailing climate of economic and social change, and offer training in both modern management methods and participatory programming techniques. The hope is that all of these services will help Mongolian radio and television in the challenging transition from 70 years of government control to becoming editorially independent, public service broadcasting organizations.


"There are signs the scope of radio is changing," Ganzert said. "Mongolians can hear more live programs, listener call-ins, and programs geared toward young people. There's even a confrontational type of program where they bring in political people to discuss issues. But they were forced to cancel that program for a period leading up to the May elections and until they were over. Despite some steps forward, it's obvious the government still wields influence over programming to some degree."


Ganzert was invited to participate by a former colleague from another institution who has been affiliated with the UNESCO-AIBD project and previously analyzed the status of broadcasting in Mongolia. It was Ganzert's first trip to the country. He has shared stories and photos from his travels with NMU students.


"I've been able to discuss Mongolian broadcasting in a comparative framework, both technologically and journalistically. It was a challenging experience in some respects, but also enriching and rewarding. I was grateful for the opportunity."


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Updated: October 26, 2005

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