Why local matters:
When a train car overturned in Minot, North Dakota last year, a large quantity of ammonia spilled out, sending up a cloud of poison gas. Local officials quickly tried to contact the town’s seven radio stations to send out the alarm — only to find that there was no one actually working in six of them. They were simply relaying a satellite feed from Clear Channel headquarters in Texas — there was plenty of country music and golden oldies and Top 40 and right-wing chat, but no one to warn about the toxic cloud drifting overhead. It’s true that you can hear anything from anywhere at any time but oddly, it’s gotten a lot harder to hear much about your immediate vicinity
The story actually became a cause celebre with groups fighting the USA’s Federal Communications Commission over the FCC’s attempt to give large companies more control of the airwaves. More on the story here and here.