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Shortwave Radio Signal From Florida Cow Pasture Reaches Russia Carrying Latest News

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A massive shortwave radio antenna sits in a cow pasture north of Lake Okeechobee in Central Florida.

"We have 14, 100,000-watt transmitters and 23 antennas beaming to all parts of the world," said Jeff White, the general manager of Miami-based WRMI.

The multi-signal station is said to be one of the largest shortwave radio operations in the world.

WRMI stands for Radio Miami International and worldwide coverage means it can easily send signals into Ukraine and Russia.

Shortwave is old school technology, think of World War II or the Cold War, as American-produced news beamed behind the iron curtain. Now, during the invasion of Ukraine,  Russia has shut down journalism as we know it.

Kate Neiswender, one of the guiding lights behind funding news programming for Russian audiences, said, "they were going to pass a law making journalism essentially illegal, facing a 15-year criminal penalty."

Neiswender and fellow former journalists formed a fundraiser to beam news into Russia, where state-controlled media, at best, does not tell the true story of the invasion and many Russian citizens have no clue about the severity of the invasion.

"This is a journalistic pursuit more than anything else," said Neiswender.

WRMI is in the game because U.S. Services like the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe have over the years scaled back their shortwave services depending more on TV, FM, digital, and direct-to-home satellite.

Jeff White told CBS4 News, "Management there (Russia) seems to think that people don't have enough short wave radios to make it worthwhile."

Shortwave is old technology, but folks at WRMI will tell you there are plenty of shortwave radios in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Most importantly, "Shortwave is known as crisis radio and in times of crisis people will look to their shortwave radio and start tuning around," White said.

And what will they find? Unfettered news of the invasion, no censorship and they can hear the news in Russian, Ukrainian and even in English being beamed their way from that cow pasture in Florida.

Click here if you are interested in contributing to the fundraising efforts to keep uncensored news flowing into Russia and Ukraine.

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