Take a short-wave radio for the long haul

Patrick Kingsley, travelling with migrants through Europe, writes in The Observer today of the way they have been sharing information through the “hive-mind” of social media. He goes on to say: “Information can only be shared as long as people have the internet. And as they hop between countries, most refugees get online only fleetingly. So the news that Hungary had closed its borders took a while to reach people.”

There are other ways of sharing or, at least, accessing information, as Paul Theroux reminds us in an interview with the Financial Times this weekend. He’s a big fan of short-wave radio. “People say they’ve got their iPhone, computer, Google or an app,” he says, “but in many of the places a traveller is likely to go there won’t be any signal.” He recalls starting his travelling life in central Africa in the early 1960s: “I had a bigger short-wave radio then. On one occasion I managed to get a South African station, which had news that there had been a coup in the country I was in, Malawi. There was nothing about it on the local stations.”

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