Radio – An Observation

Radio.  It’s an interesting medium.  From Edison to Marconi it has been with us since the late 1800’s.  Among the first wireless, commercial transmissions were referred to as Marconi-grams.

Marconigram Mar*coni*gram, n. [Marconi + –gram.] same as {radiogram}; a wireless message. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

Transmitting messages wirelessly became preferable over wired transmissions referred to as the telegraph.   In 1920 our world changed as KDKA, a government radio station was thrust upon the airwaves and commercial radio kicked off.   The BBC in England followed suit around 1922.

Radio is still with us in a lot of different forms.  Our homes still have them, our cars still have them and while we’re steering towards a world of streaming media from the internet, good old-fashioned radio is still very much in play,  But ask yourself…….what purpose does your radio serve?  Seems our parents and maybe even our grandparents were a bit more attuned to radio (no pun intended).  My grandfather used to have a pocket transistor radio so he could listen to the Cubs games.  When I was a kid radio announcers would get teletype messages on baseball games and THEN RECREATE THE GAME WITH SOUND EFFECTS ON THE RADIO.  Google up a guy named Marv Bates if you don’t believe me!

My parents of course had a TV, the kind you had to actually walk across the room to change the channels on……..all three of them.  But we had radios in the house and it generally found its way into action if the power went out.  It was our connection to the authorities and our means of staying safe during weather phenomenon such as tornado’s which were semi-infrequent occurrences.  I still fondly remember the 5 band World radio my brother had.  When I could get my hands on it I did.   I still remember being a little boy and sharing a room with him and he would listen to the Johnny Carson show on the radio at 1030 at night.   You could listen to the TV on radio………….what a concept!

What about today though?  What can radio do for you?  Two way radios are used by many industries most notably aviation.  But what about good old fashioned radio?  What can it do for you?

I’m going to give you two very current examples.  And one may be somewhat geographical to my location on the East Coast of the United States (Eastern North Carolina).  Last night there was an active shooter in Philadelphia with hostages.  The news was sporadic from the internet and from sources that lets just say put information out there without checking it and then coming back and correcting it later.  Such is the internet and broadcast TV media with everyone wanting the scoop.

If you don’t believe that news media is desperate to get information, any information out there I submit this for your perusal.

Anyway from Eastern North Carolina there are a few AM radio stations from Philadelphia that are easily received after dusk.   I can go straight to the source and listen to local news people that are on or near the site.  Not some guy or gal in Silicon Valley trying to frantically update an internet news site.

Example number 2.  There are mass protests at the airport in Hong Kong. While people are coming into America and burning American flags and they are in no danger, the people of Hong Kong who are in real danger from Chinese police and Chinese troops are waving American flags.  Go figure.   Anyway China Radio International (CRI) broadcasts on about every other channel on Shortwave Radio in about every language.

While you are going to get the news situation from the VIEW OF THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT you are at least going to get some more immediate insight of what is going on.  I have been listening to CRI for a couple of days regarding the information on the Hong Kong protests and I am amazed at how much of CRI’s information seems to bleed into our own mass media. Seems like it is one of the sources for Chinese government quotes.  When you hear “The Minister of This, That, or the Other Thing had this to say………….”  That’s where your quote may have come from.


Yeah, I know you’d rather stream music from Spotify but when something grabs ahold of you and interests you take a minute and think about “Where can I learn more about this?” and then fire up your old radio.  That’s where you can learn more about it.


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