Despite its many problems, AM radio is still an important communication medium. From reporting local news updates to providing vital emergency warnings, AM radio is often the only option for people who live in rural areas. But what are the other benefits of AM radio? Here are the biggest reasons to save AM radio from automakers trying to kill it.
Radio Is A Vital Communication Tool During Emergencies And Natural Disasters
- AM radio is an important communication tool during emergencies. From terrorist attacks to natural disasters, when the power goes out, digital and cellular signals will not work. During emergencies, cars serve as a source of power and the radio provides important information to many people who are without electricity.
Radio was essential for providing news, information, and entertainment before smartphones and the Internet. People could tune in to their favorite radio stations to hear the latest news, listen to music, and learn about current events.
But what happens when the power grid fails? Without power, our cell phones, computers, and TVs can’t connect to the Internet. What’s left? For many of us, it’s the radios in our cars. AM radio waves go further than FM. This makes AM a critical communication tool in times of crisis when our power grids fail.
If automakers remove AM radio from our vehicles, they will be eliminating a vital source of information for people in need during emergencies.
AM Radio Has A Powerful Signal That Can Reach Remote Rural Areas And Farmlands
- AM radio signals are very strong and can broadcast across large distances, sometimes up to hundreds of miles. This helps people stay connected, especially those living in farmlands and rural regions.
AM radio is known for its wide coverage area. This is because AM radio waves are longer than FM radio waves, which makes them less affected by obstacles such as mountains and buildings. These longer waves can travel hundreds of miles. This is accomplished by a phenomenon known as skywave where radio waves bounce or “skip” between the ionosphere and the ground.
FM radio waves, on the other hand, are shorter than AM radio waves. This makes them more affected by obstacles and requires broadcasters to set up FM repeaters and build taller broadcast towers for FM stations.
With its unique ability to reach a wide geographic area, AM radio offers many Americans without cellular or Internet connectivity a chance to stay connected. Besides the residents in these remote areas, AM radio can also benefit travelers. For long-distance drivers, especially those traveling through rural areas with limited communication infrastructure, AM radio is both an indispensable information tool and source of entertainment.
AM Radio Is Still A Very Popular Choice Among Motorists
- AM radio is still very popular. For decades, AM radio has been a popular feature in automobiles, and it still draws millions of listeners every day throughout the United States.
Critics of AM radio often mention low usage and small audiences. However, statistically, that isn’t true. Although there are fewer AM radio listeners than FM, over 82 million Americans still listen to AM radio each month. And AM radio stations aren’t just popular in rural areas. Millions of drivers in big cities like Detroit, Cincinnati, New York City, and Washington DC, are heavy AM radio users.
“AM radio is still popular with drivers because it provides diverse content, such as news, sports, entertainment, and weather updates.”
AM Radio Offers Niche Programming
- AM radio plays a crucial role in connecting diverse communities with niche and in-language programming. This content can help provide an avenue for community connections that might not be available elsewhere.
In many urban areas, one of the biggest groups using AM radio are minority communities. AM radio plays a vital role in connecting diverse communities with niche and in-language programming. Community-focused AM radio shows that offer news, talk, and music are essential to help underrepresented groups feel included and connected.
The impact of these programs extends far beyond just the content they present. These AM stations allow communities to come together and hear their voices represented. By providing a platform for marginalized groups to share their experiences and perspectives, these stations help to foster understanding and empathy among listeners.
Radio Is Simple And Easy To Use
- In a world filled with complex technology and devices that demand constant attention, radio offers a simple and user-friendly alternative. With its easy tuning process, radio provides a safer option for drivers compared to modern vehicles.
In today’s modern world, our daily routine is filled with technology that requires constant Internet connectivity, regular software updates, and frequent problem-solving. Almost everything is a “computer” now. From sleek touch-controlled fridges to cutting-edge Smart TVs, we are surrounded by gadgets that demand our attention and maintenance.
But radio has always been simple and easy to use. Unlike smart speakers or streaming devices, there are no complicated menus or settings to navigate. You don’t need a touchscreen to use a radio. It’s so easy, most drivers can change radio stations without even looking at the dashboard. Once you find a radio station, the tuning process is straightforward, requiring only the movement of a single dial.
But as automakers continue to remove knobs in newer vehicles and replace them with car touchscreens, they are only making our roads more dangerous.
AM Radio Is Free
- AM radio is a free source of content. This means that even those who cannot afford expensive technology or paid entertainment services can still access news, weather updates, and music on the radio.
AM radio is a free and accessible way to stay entertained and informed. Unlike other entertainment services, radio does not require a monthly subscription fee or Internet bandwidth.
AM radio is a great option for people of all incomes. It is free to listen to, and there are stations that broadcast a variety of content, including news, weather, sports, talk shows, and music. This makes AM radio a convenient and affordable way to stay informed and entertained.
AM Radio Is Government-Regulated And A Trusted Source For Local News And Entertainment
- Government regulation of AM radio helps to protect listeners from harmful content. It also helps ensure that AM radio provides a variety of programming that is of interest to the public.
Unlike social media or other Internet-based platforms, broadcast radio is regulated by the US government. Government regulation serves a dual purpose of safeguarding consumers from objectionable content and promoting diverse programming on AM radio that is appealing to the public.
One of the benefits of government regulation is that it helps to prevent the broadcast of obscene material and hate speech. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rules in place that prohibit the broadcast of material that is obscene, indecent, or profane. This helps to protect children and other vulnerable listeners from being exposed to harmful content. Other mediums, like Internet radio and podcasting, fall outside this regulation.
The FCC also requires AM radio broadcasters to provide a certain amount of public service programming, such as news, weather, and public affairs programming. This helps to ensure that AM radio is a valuable source of information and entertainment for the public.
Here are some additional details about how the FCC regulates AM radio:
- The FCC requires AM radio broadcasters to obtain a license before they can operate.
- The FCC sets rules for AM radio stations that dictate their broadcasting content, signal strength, and spectrum usage.
- The FCC enforces its rules and regulations through a variety of means, including fines, license revocations, and other sanctions.
Why Do Automakers Want To Kill AM Radio?
AM radio has been a standard feature in all vehicles for decades. So why are automakers trying to kill AM radio now? It’s a financial decision. New electric vehicles (EVs) produce the same electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) as AM radio. This means that without additional shielding, an AM radio will not work in an EV. In an effort to cut costs, a number of car manufacturers, including Tesla, have decided to kill AM radios from their vehicles rather than save AM radio by paying EMF shielding.
Why We Need To Save AM Radio In All Cars, Even EVs
AM radio is an important communication medium that provides news, emergency warnings, and entertainment to rural communities that often have no other options. The cost of adding an AM radio to a car is minimal, and it is a crucial part of the emergency communication system. However, without vocal supporters and an active listener base, it may only be a matter of time until AM radio is phased out.
We need to do everything we can to keep AM radio alive. We can do this by contacting our automakers and legislators and letting them know that we want AM radios in our cars. We can also support AM radio stations by listening to them.
AM radio is an important part of our society, and we need to do everything we can to keep it alive. Are you an AM radio listener? How are you helping save AM radio? Let us know in the comments.
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.