Please Share: Introducing the “I listen” project

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

To paraphrase a line from John Fitzgerald Kennedy: “Ask not what your station can do for you, ask what you can do for your station.”

Think of this as a reverse QSL program . . . but I get ahead of myself.

I was perusing the news a while back, reading about the closure of radio stations in the U.S. and how e-vehicle manufacturers did not want to include AM (MW) radios in their vehicles . . . and . . . I snapped.

“The reason they are closing,” I snarled, “is that they think no one is listening . . . but WE listen!”

So I offer, for your consideration, a modest proposal . . . the “I listen” project.

Let’s do this!

All I ask is that each and every one of you who reads this is that you send a postcard or a letter to your favorite station – AM, FM, or shortwave – that says in BOLD letters at the top I LISTEN! Further down on the postcard or letter, you should explain what you listen to, and what you enjoy.

So here would be a sample from me:

From: Jock Elliott, Upstate New York

To:       Talk 1300 AM & 98.7 FM WGD, 11 Dennis Terrace
Schenectady, New York 12303

I listen!

To Talk 1300

To the Jack Catham show because I really like the calm way he presents the issues and interacts with callers.

That’s it. Of course, if you want to send more than one postcard or letter, great!

The point is to let the station know without a doubt that you listen. Why a postcard or letter? Because it is a physical piece of mail that is hard to ignore. By contrast, an email or a text is much easier bypass or ignore.

So make sure that your favorite station or two knows that you listen, and let me know here.

I’ll end by paraphrasing Arlo Guthrie: “Can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day, sending “I listen” postcards to their favorite stations? And friends, they may think it’s a movement!”

And bear in mind, this is not the time to be asking for goodies in return.

Spread the radio love

18 thoughts on “Please Share: Introducing the “I listen” project

  1. Rob W4ZNG

    Jock, this is a great idea. I’ve already got my list of stations (pfft, just check the memory buttons on my bedside radio), and now only need to get a handful of colorful local postcards.

  2. Mario

    What a great idea Jock. Thanks. Maybe some of us hams can use QSL cards for this. I think the radio stations would certainly find them an attention getter.

  3. Ward E

    Thanks Jock,

    It’s a wonderful idea to let our favorite stations know that we like them. I shall follow your example…
    I appreciate the diversity of programming available in my area with a good radio. For instance on AM-MW, I can hear blues, gospel & rhythm & blues, Swamp Pop and all the rest of the oldies, all on AM-MW.
    Shortwave is a wonderful experience, just tuning in to a beautiful long distance warm crackly station from sometimes across the world and you feel you are learning what not many people can hear…


  4. Robert Gulley

    Excellent idea, Jock! We never know what kind of impact a letter can have. I doubt its true in the case of Congress anymore(!) but they used to say one handwritten letter was worth more than many phone calls in determining how people felt about an issue!
    Cheers! Robert

  5. Jerome van der Linden

    I would like to see more information on the “new antenna to speaker DRM module in large volumes which sells around $10 each” I have not heard of these: would you be able to provide some more detail?

  6. mangosman

    An excellent idea. There was a country local government mayor who was promised a new public hospital by the state government. They switched the money to another location because an election was coming. The Mayor posted a physical house brick to the Minister’s office every working day. In the end the Minister complained that his office was filling with bricks and to stop it he did find the money for a new hospital. Not long after completion the Mayor died. So the method does work.

    I would suggest that the following be added to your reverse QSL.
    We want you to move your (AM or FM) transmissions to Digital Radio Mondiale.
    * This will remove the sound quality difference between AM. FM and online.
    * Larger coverage area than FM is possible, no reduction of coverage area at night.
    * The transmission running cost and pollution generated will be much less.
    * Broadcasters with more than one transmitter can reduce their numbers to a single operating transmitter carrying between 3 and 18 programs allowing the sharing of costs.

    We want you to move High Frequency (Short Wave) broadcaster please push to move to Digital Radio Mondiale
    * Crystal clear stereo sound which can be received many thousands of kilometres away
    * New DRM receivers will receive this band without upselling or price increases
    * The electricity consumption and pollution reduces by around 60%.

    Now vehicle manufacturers will have to install analog radio into digitally controlled vehicles!

    As for receivers there is a new antenna to speaker DRM module in large volumes which sells around $10 each and use very little electricity. Countries just need to ban the import of non DRM receivers just like what happened when TV converted to digital.

    Lastly, new entrants into the market boast how may percent increase in listenership they have. What is not publicised is the proportion of the whole market they are. Existing broadcasters are at a disadvantage because to increase a growth in a market which is nearly all yours already is extremely difficult by comparision.

    1. qwertyamdx

      DRM has been already widely rejected thorough the world, with most of the countries that used to run trials having now returned to AM or abandoned broadcast operation altogether. The mentioned ‘pros’ are either completely false (in terms of sound quality, there is no possibility of achieving FM-like sound quality in DRM30 thanks to its outdated, over 20-years-old modulation schema resulting in less than 30kbps of audio bitrate in most applications) or misleading, as with the energy efficiency which is actually worse for transmitters operating in digital mode, not to mention that digital receivers consume a lot more energy than their analog counterparts. Can you name a single DRM-capable receiver (not a module for DIY) which can be bought in Europe or in the US via common platforms like eBay or Amazon? There must surely be a lot of them, now that 2 decades have passed since the introduction of DRM? The idea of banning the sales of any receivers except DRM-capable ones is not only an outrageous and anticompetitive absurd, but it also sounds like something taken straight from a totalitarian dystopia. Technical progress should be achieved by competition, not such over-regulation. Back in the times, I used to connect to the Internet via dial-up, now I have fiber but I cannot remember a single piece of legislation that would outlaw the use of dialup, ADSL, etc. The new standards achieved fast and widespread adoption thanks to their indisputable advantages over the old ones. DRM does not have such advantages, the last two decades proved beyond any doubt that it was a solution in search of a problem.


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