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Radio in Our Times of Need

September 14, 2021

The number of natural disasters – fires, floods, hurricanes – that have recently hit the country is mind-numbing. Tens of millions of lives have been turned upside down as a result of these events. Right when residents need news and information, their electricity is out, and internet access is non-existent.

Consider this:

When power is down, people can’t turn to TV to receive important notices.

Downed cell towers can prevent text alerts.

Both of these things affect internet access.

However, residents can still get crucial updates from radio. Whether it’s in their car or from a transistor radio, local stations are still broadcasting emergency information and connecting people to their community leaders and first responders.

Radio continues to inform and update fleeing residents about how things are unfolding, exactly when they need to be informed. This is nothing new, but over the past few months, it has become even more apparent what local radio means to the community when they need it most.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of how local radio has supported and informed their communities in times of need. One great example of this is WWL in New Orleans. While most of New Orleans was shut down, WWL-AM/FM was connecting people and services in their time of need.

The Washington Post (my hometown newspaper) just published an extensive article about how WWL-AM/FM and their dedicated staff have helped the citizens of New Orleans survive Hurricane Ida, much like they did with Katrina 16 years ago.

Much can be said about how radio entertains and provides companionship on a day-to-day basis. However, recent natural disasters have proven that radio is more than a friend; it’s a valuable resource in emergencies. We cannot undervalue the impact of being a voice to the community and a resource when people need it. This cannot be said of other entertainment choices, especially pureplays.

There is more to radio than just music and entertainment.

-Charlie Sislen, Partner