Alternate History

Communications and mass media (1983: Doomsday)

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The radio, television, print media and telephone industries throughout the world were greatly affected by Doomsday, and have only recently built themselves back up to pre-Doomsday standards. In a few countries, technology has surpassed 1983-era standards. In addition, a new form of communications, REMUNDO, has shown potential to be a revolutionary form of technology over the next several years.


Radio was an integral part of communication in the early years post-Doomsday in all areas of the world that were able to restore electricity. Radio transmitters turned out to be relatively easy to repair, and many nation-states were able to mass-produce new radios for their surviving citizens.

Today, radio is considered to be the closest form of mass media and communications to reach the status of its pre-Doomsday predecessor. Almost all known nations have some sort of radio network for government or civilian use (or both), and most people have easy, affordable access to both home and portable radios.

RTE, a network founded in the former Republic of Ireland in 1960, is not only the official broadcasting network of the Celtic Alliance, but the de facto successor to the old British Broadcasting Corporation in that it has reporters in every known nation in the world, and broadcasts not just to its home territory through AM and FM, but to the entire world through shortwave radio. The RTE World Service is currently heard in 16 languages, including Gaelic, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, French, German and Afrikaans.


New Britain sought to re-establish the BBC early in its history, taking a handful of radio and television stations in its territory and rebranding them as part of the New British Broadcasting Corporation. Government-owned and operated, the NBBC purports itself as the successor to the BBC ,and has equally grand ambitions; so far, it operates only within New Britain, and is criticized by some as nothing more than a mouthpiece for King Andrew and the New British government. Still, some former BBC officials and presenters who escaped the ruins of Great Britain are involved with the NBBC, and are heading up efforts to have it attain the achievements of its purported predecessor, and not become a tool of the government.


USSR Gosteleradio (USSR State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting) is the sole broadcasting agency, and authority, in what has been known as the Union of Sovereign Socialist Republics. It operates the SSNN (Siberian State News Network), as well as the SBS (State Broadcasting Service), both of were formed in the 80's. Other regional channels are also a part of Gosteleradio. Three radio stations are currently being operated and several satellites are used to broadcast the television program over a wider distance.

Most radio stations in the Philippines are privately owned and operated, and the networks exist as they had since 1983.

The Japanese radio infrastructure survived only partially intact after Doomsday. Complete restoration of the radio stations was achieved by 1989. It was not until the late 1990s, however, that signals were strong enough to "leak" out of the islands.

Singapore has three government stations and 19 privately-owned stations that are subject to strict government standards.


The RTE, owned and operated by the Celtic Alliance government, is considered to be the de facto successor to the BBC. Its World Service is heard in some form in nearly every country, and is considered to be a leading source of news for happenings throughout all of Europe. 

Radio stations in every other country are government-owned; some of the most successful are DRS in Alpine Confederation; Norddeutscher Rundfunk (North German Broadcasting) in North Germany; Radio Prussia; and NRK, which serves Norway and the other member nations of the Nordic Union.

Middle East

Government-owned services exist in every country, and many citizens also listen to the RTE World Service via shortwave.

North and Central America and the Caribbean

Some of the world's best-developed networks outside of South America, ANZC and the Celtic Alliance are in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Superior, Vermont and Victoria.

Successful private radio stations exist alongside government stations in the aforementioned countries, plus Aroostook, the Dominican Republic, the East Caribbean Federation, Lincoln, the North American Union, Puerto Rico, West Texas and Wisconsin. Kentucky is said to be developing its own radio network of stations, with help from broadcasters in Superior and Virginia.

The governments of Cuba, Deseret, the Municipal States of the Pacific, Saguenay, Thunder Bay and Virginia operate their radio stations. The Victorian Territorial Broadcasting Company operates stations in the Okanagan Confederacy and the Republic of San Juan.

Soviet Socialist Siberia operates stations in its portion of Alaska. The ANZC-associated nation of Alaska has ANZBC affiliates in all areas, plus a few private stations in the major towns carrying classic American pop/rock, Oceanic pop hits and American country music. Alaska/U.S. "patriots" operate Radio Free Alaska.

Four of the world's known full-power (50,000-watts or more) AM stations are located in North America, in Billings, N.A.U.; Midland, West Texas; Stowe, Superior; and St. John's, Canada.

In Mexico, radio was one of the most important news outlets after Doomsday. Stations in Monterrey and other northern Mexican cities not affected by the electromagnetic pulses over the United States helped provide news and information for residents and refugees alike, even with government and military restrictions imposed on broadcasters. Mexican regulators quickly allowed these stations to increase their transmitting power to the maximum wattage, as long as their signals did not interfere with other Mexican stations. Many years later, licensing of shortwave stations and transmitters in central Mexico beamed to the United States and Caribbean was granted. Caribbean service began immediately. Actual service into North America began in West Texas. The public broadcaster, Instituto Mexicano de la Radio (IMER), maintains shortwave services in English, Spanish and French to North America and the Caribbean. One of Mexico's main networks for television is Televisa S.A. de C.V.


Radio and television broadcasting in the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand is governed by the ANZC Broadcasting Authority. The official state network is the ANZC Broadcasting Corporation (ANZBC), which was created from the merger of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. It is state-funded but enjoys editorial and programming autonomy, and competes with a host of privately-owned broadcasters, including Capital Radio Network; SBS; and Star FM. ANZBC also operates affiliates in all associated territories.

South America

South American stations are mostly privately-owned, with some government-owned stations also operating. On the continent, most people listen via portable devices or in their automobiles. Music and sports are two of the most popular formats.


The television industry in the northern hemisphere was greatly affected by Doomsday, even in the areas that survived the cataclysm, and took much longer to rebuild than the radio industry. Nations in South America saw their television networks affected by the damage to their nations' economies, and Australia television took a hit when that country's three largest cities were destroyed.

In 2009, television is a profitable, and popular, form of communication in certain parts of the world, most notably South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Oceania, the Philippines, Singapore and portions of Europe and North America.


Only in New Britain and the Union of South Africa does television still exist as a communications medium; both countries' services are government-owned. The New Britain Broadcasting Corporation is an attempt to replicate the old BBC, but currently produces only news, sports and informational programming; it, and the Union of South Africa's service, relies on the ANZC, RTE and South American networks for most programming. Occasionally, episodes of old BBC shows - those tapes salvaged after Doomsday - are broadcast as a "classic block". Efforts to launch services in Zaire, the Republic of Angola and other African nations, with the help of Celtic Alliance's RTE, are ongoing.


The Philippine television industry is largely unchanged from what it was before Doomsday. ABS-CBN and GMA Channel 7 are once again the main competing stations; as they had been before Marcos' 1972 declaration of Martial Law. Government-run stations tend to be public access systems. Foreign channels come primarily from the ANZC.

Singapore has four stations, one government-run, the other three privately owned but subject to strict government standards and censorship.


RTE in Celtic Alliance is one of the world's most influential broadcasters. Its television programming is shown throughout the world, and RTE's news division has a presence on every continent. Its entertainment programming is geared towards both the domestic market and a worldwide audience and older programs have become popular in syndication throughout Asia, the ANZC and North America. Also, RTE has advised and assisted broadcasters starting or restarting networks in the Alpine Confederation, the Nordic Union, Prussia, North Germany and Greece as well as in former France and Spain.

Middle East

Israel and Lebanon have restored television service.

North and Central America and the Caribbean

Government-owned stations and networks reignited the industry in North America, beginning with Superior's National Broadcasting Service in 1997. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's television service was restarted not long afterwards. The CBC and NBS, along with the Vermont Broadcasting Service and Victorian Broadcasting Corporation, are considered the standard for television broadcasters in the region and on an equal par with the South American networks, the ANZBC and RTE. Government-owned stations exist in other North American nations, and Superior has a few privately-owned networks successfully competing with its NBS.

The Texas State Network, set up with the help of public Mexican broadcasters, is one of the earliest post-Doomsday television networks in the former United States. It went on the air in 1997 and currently has affiliates throughout the former U.S. state of Texas, as well as in Louisiana, Hattiesburg, Natchez, Hot Springs, Broken Bow, and the Navajo Nation.

Television service is planned for the Municipal States of the Pacific by 2012.

The few television viewers in Alaska can choose from the ANZBC affiliate, Channel Two, Television Free Alaska (which is beamed into "occupied" Alaska and is often jammed) and the government-operated station in Siberian Alaska.

Most stations in the former U.S. operate in the evenings during the weekdays and from early morning through late night on the weekends. Some Superior, Texas and Vermont stations may go to all-day, seven-day-a-week broadcasting by 2011.

Mexico has the highest use of televisions outside South America and the ANZC. The most influential networks are TV Azteca and Televisa. Mexican programming, most notably telenovelas (soap operas) and variety shows, are shown on tape-delay on the various North American and Caribbean channels. Cable television is in the major cities, and operators are planning to expand their services throughout the country.

Government-owned stations exist in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and every state of the East Caribbean Federation. Puerto Rico has four private broadcasters and one state-owned station. All stations rely heavily on Mexican programming and, less frequently, on programming from South America and Oceania.


The ANZBC (formed by a merger of the Australian and New Zealand Broadcasting Corporations when their two countries merged) competes with the Seven and Nine Networks and SBS (also publicly owned) for viewers. ANZBC has affiliates in all of its associated states, and includes SBS programming in those areas; Seven and Nine provide network and syndicated programming for stations known as "Channel Two" in all of the ANZC states. All Australian networks also syndicate programming throughout Asia, Europe and North America and in select parts of Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, Siberia and South America.

Cable television exists in the major cities.

Tonga has two stations: a state-owned Channel Two and a League of Nations-operated station. Fiji' s state-owned service broadcasts in the evenings. Hawaii has its ANZBC affiliate and Channel Two station in Hilo.

South America

South American nations have the most television networks and stations of any continent, and their people own nearly 40 percent of the world's total television sets. Ninety-five percent of the continent can receive a TV signal (so it isn't unusual for Amazonas or Andes viewers to watch TV). Industrial production of TV sets and production equipment are mainly in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela; each country also exports sets and equipment into the Caribbean and Central America and, recently, into the former United States. Cable television is available in the major cities. A private Brazilian company is working on satellite television service (similar to satellite TV in the U.S. in the early 1980s). Researchers in Chile and the UAR are working with their counterparts in Brazil and the ANZC on digital television, although such a service is considered to be decades away from becoming reality.

South American networks also produce much of the world's televised entertainment programming; some Brazilian presenters and entertainers have become worldwide celebrities. Some of the most influential networks include Brazil's Rede Globo, Rede Manchete, and the public broadcaster TV-Brasil, along with Venezuela's Radio Caracas Televisión and Venevisión. A major change has been the extensive dubbing or simultaneous translation in Spanish or Portuguese of programs and live events.

The Vatican has also set up - with the aid of local operators - an official station, broadcasting in Latin, Spanish and Portuguese.

Print media (newspapers, magazines, etc.)

Newspapers were often the only source of news in the days and months after Doomsday. However, because of the difficulty of getting paper and other supplies, many papers went to a weekly schedule, with editions as small as four pages. As global conditions improved and resources became more available, frequency of publication for all newspapers improved. Today, newspapers are considered an important venue for reporting news and opinion.

The magazine industry all but dried up outside of South America and the ANZC for years after Doomsday. When market conditions improved, and as the standard of living in nations rose close to a pre-Doomsday level, entrepreneurs began relaunching old publications and starting new ones all over the globe.


Every country has at least one functioning weekly newspaper, servicing at least their capital. In New Britain, entrepreneurs have tried to recreate the great newspapers - and tabloids - of old London, with varying degrees of success. The most successful papers are the New Britain Times, which has a centrist view and strives to look at news from a serious angle, and the Star, which is a classic tabloid. The industry in former Angola has had a difficult time stabilizing itself, due mainly to the long strife in the region.


Daily newspapers in Singapore (Singapore Daily), Manila-NCR (Philippine Star) and Kuala Lumpur are considered to be the region's newspapers of record.

Socialist Siberia preserves its predecessor's two principle newspapers. Правда(Truth) is the voice of the Communist Party, while Известия(News) is the voice of the government.  Despite various reforms, these papers retain their reputation for lack of credibility.  An old Soviet joke still holds true:  "В правде нет известий, в известиях нет правды." (In the truth there is no news, and in the news there is no truth).


The following is a list, by country, of Europe's currently most influential newspapers:

  • Alpine Confederation: Tages Anzeiger (Zurich), Blick (national), Le Journal de Geneve (Geneva), Oberösterreichische Nachrichten (Linz)
  • Celtic Alliance: Independent (Dublin), Celtic Times (Dublin), Cork Examiner
  • Iceland: Morgunbladid (Reykjavik)
  • Norway: Andressavisen (Trondheim, the oldest active newspaper in the country, established in 1767), Verdens Gang (Trondheim), Aftenposten
  • Prussia: Der Tagesspiegel, Die Welt (Berlin)

Middle East

More to come...

North and Central America and the Caribbean

The print media came back to most of the survivor states before the radio industry did, albeit on a limited scale. Regular publication began to resume in the mid-1990s, and even in 2009 most newspapers publish only 3-4 days a week.

Nearly every survivor state now has at least one newspaper publishing each day, with the notable exception of Superior.

Superior is unique among the continent's survivor states in that it has a relatively very small newspaper industry. Bills passed by the Congress encouraging public consumption of radio and television for news and entertainment, with an emphasis on receiving news immediately (versus a day's delay with print media), led to a mass rejection of newspapers in the country. The only functioning paid paper is the Superior Times, a weekly newspaper based out of Stowe, which focuses on political and news issues and has a circulation of 13,000. Free tabloid newspapers and paid magazines have attempted to provide such services as sports coverage, comic strips, crossword puzzles, and coupons from area stores once provided by area newspapers.

The most popular, and influential, newspapers are:

  • Canada - St. John's Telegram, La Presse  
  • Mexico - La Jornada, El Norte, El Universal, and Reforma, each which publish daily editions in Mexica, D.C. and Mexico City
  • North American Union - Billings Gazette, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Scottsbluff Star-Herald
  • Puerto Rico - El Nuevo Dia, El Vocero, San Juan Star
  • Vermont - Manchester Union-Leader, Montpelier Times Argus
  • Victoria - Victoria Herald
  • West Texas - Midland Reporter-Telegram
  • Wisconsin - Madison State Journal


Australia greatly depended on the newspapers in Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Darwin to spread news and information after Doomsday, and since then, they have become important sources of news and opinion in the region. Auckland and Jervis Bay papers have joined that group.

South America

Largely unaffected by Doomsday, though they took on increased importance in areas where radio and television broadcasting became unavailable for short periods of time. This created the distribution of free daily newspaper by all mayor newspaper, later to ceased printing when radio and television transmissions returned to normal conditions. But it became a major business itself when Fala Hoje (1995), Noticias Hoy (1995), and the bilingual Jornal/Diario C/Zero (1998) started their continental and local editions of free newspapers. The International Herald Tribune was relaunched five years after Doomsday by a joint Argentinian-Brazilian-Mexican enterprise. The editorial and press personal made up from the foreign correspondents of Canadian, American and European newspapers. Because of its highbrow quality, high shipping cost and newsstand price it is mildly popular with English readers in North America and has become a niche product. There are plans to installs bureaus in the major English speaking cities of the world, along with local printing and it is hoped this will give a wider readership.

The magazine, weeklies and monthlies production ceased in the first years post Doomsday in cause of the rationing of paper, the priority given to newspapers and high cost in production. Afterwards it returned to normal along with a brief series of weeklies providing the available information and analysis of news and events outside the country and continent. Due to the almost universal access to TV and radio, along the competition of free newspapers, the publishers of this sector made a series of buyouts and fusions. In the end leaving almost a handful of editorials in some cases associated to a major newspaper publisher or TV broadcaster.


Telephone capability was one of the two forms of mass media (the other being newspapers) to be re-established most quickly after Doomsday. Today, it is one of the most important forms of communication for domestic and international purposes.

From the late 1980s through the early 2000s, as nations around the globe were discovered and the ability to build and rebuild international phone lines was restored, priority was placed on connecting governments and military to each other. Domestic service took a little longer to take off, but was given priority by nations once official lines were connected and secured.

Most countries currently have extensive domestic services in place, and the relative few that don't are getting assistance from operators in nearby countries to restore service. People in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Asia, Oceania and parts of Europe, Africa and North America can make international calls. Civilian service is being ramped up, particularly in North America, Europe and Africa; major corporations have lobbied their respective governments for this for some time.

West Texas Bell is considered a leader for its ongoing attempts to establish service with every North American country; it has already established lines into Mexico, the Caribbean and much of the western former United States, and is working on expanding service into the eastern former U.S. and Canada.


The origin of what has come to be known in recent years as the Internet has its origins in a United States government project started in 1958.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as ARPA, was created in February 1958 to help the Americans regain a technological lead over the Soviet Union, which had just launched the Sputnik satellite.

This led to the birth of ARPANET in 1969 as the first two nodes of what would become the ARPANET were interconnected between UCLA's School of Engineering and Applied Science and SRI International (SRI) in Menlo Park, California, on October 29. The term "internet" first came into use in 1974, in a publication written by Stanford University professors.

Work on the ARPANET ceased with Doomsday, but professors and scientists in South America remembered the Americans' work on the concept and thought that, long-term, it had merit for scientific and public use. Because of Doomsday, they had to build the concept from scratch.

Numerous discoveries were made by South American scientists and experts in the computer field, and by a few of their counterparts in Australia. In 1995, what has become known as "electronic mail" was successfully tested, sent from Buenos Aires to Santiago. In 2000, United American Republic and Chile, with the support of the South American Confederation, set up the REM, or REMUNDO (Red Mundial de Communicacion) network.

All university libraries, nearly all public libraries, and most school libraries throughout South America were wired by 2004. "REM" lines were established into the ANZC and Asia by 2005. Lines were established from Venezuela into Mexico, from Brazil into Canada, and from northern Australia into Singapore in 2008. A line from Canada into the Celtic Alliance was established in July 2006.

While known as REM or REMUNDO in South America, it is also popularly known as the Internet elsewhere in the world, particularly in Canada and the ANZC. Speeds currently top out at 33.6 kilobytes per second.

Nearly everyone involved with the REMUNDO/Internet agrees it has potential as a significant tool for commerce and social use, but that would require a global infrastructure, and speeds, which may not be available for the next 10 to 20 years. The sentiment is that whatever extent REMUNDO develops will depend largely on funding and research from national governments and the League of Nations, as the private sector does not yet have the resources to develop the technology. The LoN has expressed an interest in growing REMUNDO, and the greatest technological breakthroughs are occurring in the ANZC, Chile, Singapore and the United American Republic.

The League of Nations had discovered the survival of the city-state Binghamton, and with it the remnants of the computer company IBM. By using the papers and employees left over of the company, this can greatly evolve the technology scene of the world, and furthermore, the Internet.


More to come....

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