UNESCO Joins The Fight To Preserve Radio In Electric Vehicles


“Radio in cars should not just be easy to find, it must be impossible to miss.” Those are the words in a joint statement led by UNESCO on World Radio Day, addressing the recent moves by some carmakers to remove AM radio from electric vehicles in the US and abroad.

The UNESCO proclamation affirms radio as a vital medium for upholding the freedom of opinion and expression as outlined in Article 19 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

For the sake of news, entertainment, and education across the globe, the UN’s education, arts, sciences, and culture arm calls for the preservation of analog and digital radio signals, be it by way of HD Radio or DAB.

“Studies have repeatedly shown that radio has the greatest trust, with most citizens rating it above television, the internet, social networks or the written press. Radio is a triumph of accessibility, immediacy and intimacy, and there’s a strong public-interest case for protecting it and our access to it,” says the call to action.

UNESCO goes on to call for a collective effort from governments, regulatory bodies, the technology and automotive industries, and the global radio community to implement safeguards that protect radio. The message is cosigned by fourteen other organizations, including the World Radio Alliance, the International Association of Broadcasting, and the International Radio and Television Union, among others.

In the United States, the battle goes on to save AM radio in cars as the bipartisan AM For Every Vehicle Act awaits a vote on the Senate floor. The bill, which would require all automobiles made and sold in the US to carry AM radio as a safety feature, currently has 46 sponsors in the Senate and 207 in the House of Representatives.

The cause has been championed to great effect by the NAB, with a recent report backing up UNESCO’s message about the importance of radio in the automobile as a safety measure.


  1. Once this matter is resolved, my hope is that the industry (all of us and especially the NAB and big corporate radio) insists on “FM in every cell phone”, which is way way overdue.


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