In an Internet World, Radio Lives

Thank you to Radio World for publishing this:

A teacher with an ETOW radio in Bor County, Southern Sudan. Courtesy Project Education Sudan

For as long as I can remember I’ve been passionate about radio.

From my earliest childhood memories in the 1980s during those final fading days of the Cold War — of my dad tuning in WWV in Fort Collins, Colo., on his dad’s vintage RCA 6K3; of falling asleep listening to my then-old-fashioned AM transistor radio; and of drinking in all those mysterious DX stations I heard over shortwave and medium-wave … I was the sort of kid (a throwback to a former generation, one might say) who couldn’t get enough of radio.

In those days when cable TV and video games and the first PCs upstaged and supplanted radio in nearly every American household, even in the blue collar town in which I grew up, it was nonetheless radio that captured my imagination, and taught me early on that everyone has a story. Radio taught me, too, that each voice is different in his or her consideration of what’s meaningful or newsworthy. I learned to understand or at least appreciate the diverse perspectives I heard in my vicarious radio journeys, and from these sprang my own opinions, hopes, beliefs. Radio became my teacher—a teacher who gave me, in my formative years, a global perspective.

I would have to say that radio has shaped my life. I suppose that’s why radio recently has become a mission for me…

…Today, I am the founder and director of Ears to Our World, a grassroots charitable organization with a simple objective: distributing self-powered world-band radios to schools and communities in the third world, so that kids, not to mention those who teach them, can learn about their world, too.

I want others –– children and young people, especially –– who lack reliable access to information, to have the world of radio within their reach.

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