More Than Nostalgia: AM Radio Essential for Public Safety, Free Speech

By: Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20)

As we navigate the rapidly advancing digital landscape of our modern world, it’s important to recognize the long-lasting value of AM radio in our society beyond mere nostalgia.

Serving as the backbone of our national public warning system, AM radio plays a vital role in public safety by disseminating critical alerts and updates during disasters. These stations, serving as Primary Entry Points across the nation, cover 90% of the U.S. population and maintain direct links to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service, receiving essential information during emergencies.

Even with the rising popularity of subscription services and digital platforms, 82 million United States citizens still tune in to AM radio as a source of reliable news and entertainment. However, the future of AM radio is uncertain as auto manufacturers prioritize advanced technology in new vehicles, potentially leading to its phase-out.

I recently introduced Senate Resolution 223 to urge Congress to pass the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act. It’s not just about preserving a relic of the past, but instead safeguarding a vital source of connection for millions of Americans.

By preserving AM radio, we uphold the values enshrined in the First Amendment. It’s more than a matter of nostalgia – it’s a testament to our commitment to free speech and democracy. The founding fathers understood the importance of true expression, and ensuring the longevity of AM radio does just that.

While the digital age continues to reshape the way we consume news media, AM radio persists as a resilient and valuable tool. It’s a reminder that sometimes the simplest technologies are the ones that hold the greatest significance in our lives.

Let’s ensure that AM radio remains accessible where it belongs – in our vehicles.

Jennifer Wilson

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